Q&A | Ruth Motau on taking pictures of and never leaving Johannesburg

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A Zionist priest prays for a congregant. Church Series. (Ruth Seopedi Motau)
A Zionist priest prays for a congregant. Church Series. (Ruth Seopedi Motau)

When Ruth Seopedi Motau started studying photography, she did it because she previously enjoyed her time with a point-and-shoot camera. Then one day while working on practicals, she realised what she was doing.

"It happened while we were processing our films in the darkroom. The first image that I saw hit me. I remember it being a portrait. I can't remember who it was of, but I remember the feeling. It hit me hard and I knew that was it. It was exactly what I wanted to do."

After completing the course, Motau was among the applicants for the Mail & Guardian's first photography internship. From the publication's first photography intern to photo editor, Motau was the first black woman to occupy such a seat in a South African newsroom. Since then, Motau has led the photographic missions of several newsrooms and worked as an exhibiting artist. She speaks to Arts24. 

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