(Moved to

Kwaito Culture

Neo's work is one of the 40 exhibitions to be seen at the coming
festival of photography Chobi Mela III. The festival opens on the 6th
December 2004 in Dhaka. neo-ntsoma.jpg

This picture is part of my self-initiated project SA Youth ID - Kwaito
Culture, a personal and reflective body of work about the changes in the
lives of South Africans in the new democratic country. The word Kwaito
is derived from the Afrikaans kwaai - 'angry'. In colloquial slang,
negative words or phrases often acquire a positive connotation or 'cool'
status. The language of Kwaito is Isicamtho, South African township

While working on the project it became clear to me that the youth of
South Africa refuse to be condemned by the politics of the past
(apartheid) but choose to find their own identity. They have been
developing one which is truly and proudly South African - Kwaito
culture. It's about peace, love and unity; about being yourself and
loving yourself enough to be YOU.

I am a 31-year-old female photographer. I did my photography studies in
Cape Town and Pretoria. I then freelanced in Mmabatho, my hometown,
before moving to Johannesburg. My original interest was in film and
television. But I could not pursue my dream because of the political
situation in South Africa at the time. In 2000 I joined The Star
newspaper. I later spent a year teaching at Pathshala South Institute of
Photography in Bangladesh. 

I have always been inspired to change the gender imbalance in
photography. My recent achievement - the first woman CNN Africa
Photographer of the Year - has motivated me to devote my time to this
even more, popularizing the profession among other women and ploughing
back the knowledge I have gained by making a difference in the lives of
others. I continue to work at The Star, specializing in news, fashion
and theatre photography.

Neo Ntsoma
South Africa

October 27, 2004 Posted by | Photography, Photojournalism, Southern Exposure | Leave a comment