Umhlaba Wami provides photography workshops to orphans in
Wamukelekile Umhlaba Wami. Welcome to My World.
Umhlaba Wami, meaning "My World" in Zulu, is a project founded in order to instill confidence, create community, and enhance creativity in the disadvantaged children of South Africa. Under the guise of Thandanani Childrens Foundation, Umhlaba Wami will use photography to enable children to open their eyes to a new way of seeing the world, and allow others insight into their lives through their remarkable photos.
An educational venture, Umhlaba Wami strives to counter the lack of arts education in South African public schools by using workshops to teach basic photography skills and nurture creativity and self-expression that may otherwise go undeveloped.This is an outlet for them to have their talents validate, boosting confidence and self-esteem.
Some of these children have never had their picture taken before, most have never seen a photo of themselves, and none of them have ever used a camera. Not only will all of this change, but this project will also give these children the opportunity to visually represent their communities, their country and their culture to the rest of the world-- giving them a forum to address some of the issues that affect young South Africans and share the joy in their lives that belies poverty.
This is a new project that will evolve, change and grow immensely in the next few months. Stay tuned by checking back here to see the latest news, meet the children, and look through their pictures. You will be able to support this project through a financial contribution, in-kind donations of cameras and photo albums, and purchasing prints of the children's work. This is an incredibly exciting project for everyone involved-- we cannot wait to see the results!
The children of Umhlaba Wami have opened up their own exhibit at the Natal Museum in Pietermaritzburg. After two months of the workshop they have produced some amazing pictures that I know you want to go see. The exhibit will be open until the end of April. Congratulations to the kids on a great exhibit and for a write-up in the April 1, 2010 issue of the Natal Witness!