A single bird in the sky, rare flowers, and a very independent fly on the wall. We received over 50 pictures from Africa -and well beyond- in RNW Africa’s first ever photo contest. And we’ve got a winner!
Ismail Warsameh (33) pleasantly surprised the jury with his picture of Somali women about to board a plane. RNW gave him a call to tell him that he’d won, and to find out more about the photo. Warsameh, who lives in Mogadishu, took the picture about a year ago at Aden-Adde International Airport.
“I was walking towards the plane when I saw this group of women and children. For me, it shows independence because they were free to go. Somalia is a difficult country. Almost every day there’s fighting going on. There’s foreign troops trying to maintain a certain level of safety. You could say that Somalia isn’t an independent country at all at the moment. That’s why this scene at the airport was so special to me.”
The jury awarded Warsameh’s picture the first prize because of the mix of aesthetics and the clear ‘independent’ message it conveys. Jury president Sandesh Bhugaloo, photographer and RNW Africa editor: “Those women walking to the plane, on their own, left a strong impression. The fact that it is an African airline only underlines the concept of independence. And on top of that, the picture is beautifully framed.”
Warsameh, who has been working as a photographer for 6 years, wins a Canon 500d digital camera. “I’m so happy that I’ve won. It’s quite hard to be a photographer in Mogadishu these days. I mainly cover demonstrations and press conferences, and you need to register and obtain the necessary permissions before you can do anything at all. And of course there’s the security situation. In fact, there is shelling going on right now.” See more of Warsameh's work over on his Flickr account.
Aveseh Asough’s picture of a very damaged minibus on the streets of Abuja, Nigeria, had us all wondering how on earth it was possible the car was still moving. An honourable mention and a well-deserved spot as the runner-up in this contest.
Second runner-up is ‘Epape’, with his photo of Kinshasa Mafia Style in the Bandal neighbourhood of the Congolese capital. Although the picture was taken 4 years ago, the jury thought the independent attitude of the group was timeless.
Although the competition is now closed, you’re always welcome to share your snapshots on our Facebook page. And who knows where that may lead…