Bra Alf’s work on Mandela ‘will be cherished’

2012-10-22 08:10

Renowned South African photographer Alfred Kumalo’s work on the life of former president Nelson Mandela will forever be cherished, The Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory has said.

Kumalo (82) died in a Johannesburg hospital after suffering from renal failure.

“The Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory worked closely with Bra Alf over the years on a variety of projects. We will cherish his rich work and remember his dedication to his craft as well as his ‘old world’ charm,” spokesperson Sello Hatang said in a statement.

Kumalo closely documented Mandela’s life both before and after his imprisonment.

“His career as a photographer, beginning in 1951, mirrored the rise in Mr Mandela’s political career and Bra Alf photographed many of the historic events in which he played a key role.”

“Hamba kahle Bra Alf. We will miss you.”

Those who worked with him praised his professionalism.

“He was good at what he did and was a very good story teller. He could tell stories both through his pictures and relate them brilliantly as well,” said the Sowetan managing editor Hebert Mabuza.

Mabuza worked with Kumalo at the Star newspaper back in the 1980’s.

“He was a good human being and a proponent of his profession.”

In his retirement he ran and managed the Kumalo Photographic Museum in Diepkloof, Soweto.

Kumalo who matriculated at the Wilberforce Institute in Evaton began his working career as a journalist and photographer for Bantu World in Johannesburg in 1951. In 1956 he joined the Golden City Post as a permanent staffer.

He covered the 1976 student uprising, the State of Emergency during the 1980s, the unbanning of the liberation movements and the inauguration of South Africa’s first democratic government among a host of other events during a career which spanned over more than 50 years.

Kumalo, despite his advanced age, still worked professionally and ran a professional photographic school in Diepkloof.

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