Ten students each year are given the unique chance to explore their world through photography for 20 weeks and, perhaps, open doors to future educational and professional opportunities.
Started in 2009 with University of Cape Town professor Vanessa Cowling, the Fezeka photography program is now run by professional photographer Greg Hillyard <email@example.com>. It features a year-end exhibit and field trips, including a camping trip into the wilderness.
Aside from shooting skills, students learn how to edit images and make them print ready. In 2012, EwB integrated the photography program with our after-school English tutoring program so students could better express themselves and their work.
“When taking a picture you are looking at secret places, silent places, the wounded places and the crying places. Everywhere I look I see humour, sadness, happiness, anger and fear, these are also manifested in the pictures I have taken. … These past few months photography has played a very important role in my life, it has kept me and other in my group out of the streets.” — Phumla Maxwele, former student
Graduates of previous programs have obtained bursaries for professional training. In 2009, Phumla Maxwele was the first accepted into a 10-week DSLR1 course. In 2010, Sikhumbuzo Wauchope obtained a bursary to attend a one-year program at the Stellenbosch Academy of Design and Photography. He is now working as a commercial photographer, specializing in street casting. In 2011, Thabiso Klip and Lukholo Samela obtained bursaries to attend the Cape Town School of Photography (two-year programs).
EwB partners with Educo Africa to take photography students on a camping trip to a place of singular beauty: the Groot Winterhoek Nature Reserve. This has proved over the years to be a highlight on the calendar. Educo Africa is a youth development organization whose mission is “to develop in young South Africans a sense of vision, initiative, contribution and personal responsibility.”
The award-winning Fezeka School choir continues to excel at the local and national level, all under the leadership of Choir Master Monde Mdingi (left).
The 55-member choir is made up of boys and girls and is a considerable source of pride for the school and community, as well as the individuals involved. EwB funds Mr. Monde’s salary.