With amazing African photographers emerging: Eric Gyamfi (Ghana), Kgomotso Neto (South Africa), Steven Chikosi (Zimbabwe) and so on, I couldn’t help but wonder how one begins towards the path into a career in photography. How do photographers become good at their craft?
Taking the opportunity to take advantage of a fellow member of the media team, Daniel Semphere – currently director of multimedia and last year’s multimedia assistant- with 3 years of sterling skills of photography up his sleeve: it was time for a hard talk on photography. Here are a few tips I took away from our conversation.
In an attempt to make my photography appear as unplanned as possible, during break time I went around giving unsuspecting delegates the straightforward direction, “look cool, act like I am not here,” as I took pictures of them. In a crowd of more than 200 bright minds, there ought to be some exceptional responses.
My simple instruction was met with varied reactions, many of which were more whimsical than I could have anticipated, one delegate pausing with their hand raised mid-way in an attempt to recreate the legendary delegate pictures on the ALAMAU 2017 Study Guide. The fact that they were told to pretend there was no lens aiming to shoot at them, made it a lot more obvious that it was a staged photo.
What I found most fascinating about my little project was that although most times I arrived to find a group of delegates in mid-conversation, as soon as they were told to look cool and pretend there is no camera in front of them, they would, as if out of instinct, go on to craft a fake conversation! My immediate thought would be, ‘but you guys could have continued with what you were talking about!’ On another humorous encounter, my subjects, who had initially been speaking about their committee topic, initiated a conversation on a flower which happened to be conveniently situated in front of them. This right here taught me the power of being genuine, the more I tried to get my fellow delegates to act in a certain way, the less genuine they felt and therefore appeared. Art is haphazard, the best thing about being an artist is you seldom have to explain your thoughts to anyone, splash paint on a canvas, organize a few words into a poem and leave it out there for the world to figure.
Western intervention has brought the deterioration of tradition. The ALAMAU promotes tradition by the dress code being formal with a touch of our traditional identities. The cultural night was a ground for participants to look best in their respective traditional regalia.
As the sun rises from the east and sets at the west, the brightness of Africa shines all round and we feel the warmth from its natural essence. Being different and united under the name Africa is a lifetime gift which can never be replaced. The love of Mother Africa can be compared to the rays of the golden sun.
African art is one of the broadest and unique types of art, being that every tribe has their specific type of art. The African woman exhibits the true culture and beauty of Africans. The pride of a woman is her dressing. Colours are embedded in our tradition and lifestyle. Use of traditional attires and materials should be promoted. I find it very encouraging as people have begun to embrace Ankara accessories.
On the 16th of March 2017, the African Commission on Science and Technology held its first session in which a moderated caucus was put in place at 10:30 AM to determine how to fund the technological sector of their home countries. The delegates had notable solutions, all of which had their pros and cons.
The overarching motif in each solution was that each country had to increase their revenue. The delegate of Ivory Coast suggested that this be done by raising taxes. Even though this would indeed provide the wherewithal to fund the technological sector, it could cause companies looking to lower expenditure to be repelled by the country’s high taxes.
Thereafter, the delegate of the Gabonese Republic advocated for their government to implement policies that are business-friendly, promoting the growth of local businesses. However, this may well lead to the influx of foreign business and money going out of the country, rather than the money circulating around the country.
Subsequently, the delegate of Rwanda proposed “cross-border market integration”-where Rwanda with its booming telecommunications industry, would set up shop in its neighbouring countries- providing services to those countries whilst gaining revenue. Whilst this seems to bear a multitude of advantages, one cannot account for the ulterior motives of the donor of the service or the recipient of the service.
One thing that remains true is that a techno-friendly Africa is an Africa of progress and one we should strive for in our resolutions this week.
ALAMAU 2017 welcomes all the delegates with anextremely vibrant opening ceremony with eccentric music from different parts of Africa with the dancing making truly amazing first impression. The opening ceremony was officially kicked off by the ALA choir, ALApella, which captured the audience’s attention with two songs, one sung in Swahili about the desire for Africa to be at the top.
Following the choir was a passionate speech by the dean of the academy, Hatim Eltayeb, which deliberated upon the fact that practice is the way to success. He gives us his past experiences from conferences that he has attended and explains what attributes in all delegates will be developed during this conference.
Shortly after was an inspiring speech from the director of international relations council, Mr Faith Abiodun. He begins with informing us
about current affairs in Africa at the moment and uses this to stress the fact that we don’t have time and must put our ideas together to make change in Africa. We, the youth, must put our ideas together to make change in Africa and we cannot wait to be adults to create change.
Mr Deprose Muchena, the key note speaker, emphasizes the fact that Africa has the fastest growing economies with an economic growth of 5% every year but we don’t take advantage our privileges such as land and natural resources to boost development Africa. He goes on to explain how we, Africans, are destroying each other and succumbing to the idea that we are impoverished and have nothing to offer. He fought these ideas using quotes from revolutionaries such as Kwame Nkurumah, he planted the idea that corruption could be tarnished if we, the generation of today, make a difference. Mr Muchena, in conclusion, insisted that the limitation of our mind may only hinder us from progressing to a better Africa.
Today, the Press Corps is shedding light on another ALAMAU 2017 Committee. The committee chair of the Pan-African Parliament is Lidya Feleke, an Ethiopian student at African Leadership Academy. You’ll be reading a bit about her from an interview with the Assistant Director of Press Corps.
It seems that the wise and compassionate of the ALAMAU staff have a wrap around their heads. Amina Ndagire, from Uganda, is the Director-General for this year’s conference. With the Admin, Events, Finance and Media team under her wings, she handles the logistics of the entire conference. A hefty task I’d say. You find her working all the time, planning so that the gala dinner will be a blast, and the cultural night will run smoothly, and every delegate is taken care of. That’s right, she makes sure you have a room.
Her job is not easy, but she handles all hurdles and obstacles with grace, that is, a smile and unwavering eyes. I know that many people would be pulling out their hair if they had to accomplish the same tasks or they would start sprouting grey hair. But Amina, as petit as she may be, stands proud. ALAMAU history has shown that Director-Generals never make it to the conference, so what makes Amina the exception? So in a bid to understand, I searched for the answers through an interview. Continue reading “Behind ALAMAU: Director-General”→
For years we have been patiently waiting for an Incredibles 2 movie. It hasn’t happened and now we know why.
The Incredibles lived in Metroville but after saving the world, they vanished. In the year 2016, they were re-discovered in the suburb of Honeydew but to keep their identity hidden they took on new identities and a new team name- The ALAMAU 2017 Media Team.
The ALAMAU 2017 Media Team are from all over the world to stop suspicion from arising but they still remain a close-knit family. The family evolved into superior forms in order to navigate the strange world that is the 21st Century. Continue reading “The Incredibles EXPOSED!”→