The Mpalume Mentorship is a pilot project created by the Zimbabwe Association of Female Photographers (ZAFP) in partnership with TEE3, a project management and communications company, based in Harare. It will provide a mentoring opportunity to two professional female photographers within the organisation’s network.
Named for a founding member, Annie Mpalume, who battled the odds to become one of the Zimbabwe’s first female photojournalists, the mentorships will take place over three months in 2021. ZAFP Directors, Davina Jogi and Cynthia Matonhodze, will serve as mentors, working with the selected participants to each develop a documentary project through a series of virtual meetings. Annie Mpalume will work alongside the mentors to curate the projects into stories which will be showcased on the ZAFP’s website and social media.
The objective of this pilot programme is to lay the groundwork to build up the ZAFP as a localised network which works like an agency by commissioning documentary stories through mentorships and projects and assisting photographers with marketing their work for local, regional, and international audiences and editors. The ZAFP intends to move away from intermittent project work to develop a more sustainable, long-term approach to investing in its photographers.
Diana Motsi is a Zimbabwean artist and self-taught photojournalist focused on stories surrounding African women and their health, sexuality, education, and human rights. Having worked extensively across Southern Africa, Diana also covers stories on identity and culture, social justice, and gender equality. Her art practice uses photography and storytelling to construct visual critiques of Zimbabwe’s socio-political state drawing from current events and social development programs.
She began her journey in 2018 in her home city of Harare, documenting and exploring rape culture on university campus. This work sought to tackle and highlight stories on gender-based violence prevailing in the education system at tertiary level. Her photography helped in providing support and healing for survivors. Through her informed documentaries and photo essays, Diana has played a part in shaping the Zimbabwean women’s movement. Throughout her developing career, Diana has worked with the Ministry of Information, Ministry of Women Affairs, and international organizations such as Amnesty International, Trocaire, Hivos as well as local Non-Profits such as Katswe Sistahood, Adult Rape Clinic, Southern African Trust, to mention a few. Diana is listed in the African photojournalism database.
Wonai Haruperi is a 26 year old self-taught photographer living and working in Harare. Growing up in a society rich in colour and culture she developed a love for storytelling and decided to use photography as a tool to explore and share the realities of her everyday life. The first project she embarked on drew from her professional background as a clinical audiologist. Photos For Hearing Loss, an ongoing campaign, seeks to raise awareness for people affected by hearing impairment in Zimbabwe. This opened doors for more work in the NGO sector such as campaigns with The Flow Initiative Zimbabwe. In this project she explored menstrual health challenges and period poverty faced by young girls in Zimbabwe through photography and videos shared on social media platforms.
Wonai founded Unpublished ZW in 2020, a collaborative space for photographers that acts as a window into everyday Zimbabwe showcasing beauty found in the most unassuming places. The organisation uses social media as the primary vehicle for dissemination. She says that, “What drives me as a photographer is simple – I want to tell stories about my beautiful people, for my beautiful people and I want those who receive these stories to be moved to celebrate the virtuous and/or be moved to action on injustices emerging from everyday life.” Wonai is continuously seeking opportunities to grow and refine her skills in photography and ethical storytelling.
Annie Mpalume (curator) is one of Zimbabwe’s first female photojournalists. She was trained at the Market Photo Workshop in Johannesburg in 2007 and returned home to work for the Daily News where she was often sent on daily life assignments because, as a woman, the editors were afraid she would be pushed around at political events. Annie persevered, at one point riding to assignments on a bicycle, and today is the Visuals Editor for Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe and one of the country’s preeminent photojournalists covering everything political from riots to elections.
Cynthia Matonhodze (mentor) is an independent documentary photographer, photojournalist and videographer based in Harare, Zimbabwe. Her work has been published in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Bloomberg, The Guardian UK and commissioned by various international NGOs. Cynthia is a co-founder of the ZAFP, a member of Women Photograph and World Press Photo’s African Photojournalism Database, and a contributor to @everydayzimbabwe. The focus of her work has been social justice issues and in 2013, Cynthia was shortlisted for the ZimRights Human Rights Journalist of the Year Award. More recently, she was selected as a 2019 Magnum Foundation Photography and Social Justice Fellow.
Davina Jogi (mentor) is a Zimbabwean documentary photographer, writer and researcher and a co-founder of the ZAFP. Her photography has been exhibited in Southern Africa, Europe, the United States, South Asia and Australia and she has recently been nominated as a finalist in the 2021 National Photographic Portrait Prize at the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra, Australia. In 2019, Davina served on the World Press Photo Contest News and Documentary Photography Jury and chaired the Contemporary Issues Jury in 2021. Currently based in southwest Australia, she is pursuing a PhD using documentary photography to investigate her own hybrid identity as a culturally diverse African immigrant.