Sam Nzima Foundation celebrates doctorate for the late iconic photographer

Late photographer honoured with Doctorate of Arts and Design (honris causa) by TUT

Benson Ntlemo

Legendary photographer Sam Nzima who in 1976 captured a moment in history when he took the picture of the injured Hector Peterson who was being taken to a car that was to take him to hospital has now been honoured with a Doctorate of Arts and Design (honoris causa) by Tshwane University of Technology.

Hector was a victim of the uprisings and he was being carried to the car by Mbuyiso Makhubu and his sister Antoinette was running alongside them.
Naima was a photographer of the The World newspaper and his picture is now known throughout the world as it show the brutality of the then apartheid government in South Africa,
Nzima died on May 12 2018 but his memory is being kept alien through the foundation that he started while he was still alive.

Over the weekend the foundation celebrated his birth day as well as his honorary doctorate from the Tshwane University of Technology.
The event at the Hilltop Assembly church in Mkhuhlu celebrated his posthumus dee degree conferred by TUT in June.
That was during the lockdown.

Conferring the degree at the time, Prof Lourens van Staden the university’s vice rector and principal said it was an honour to confer a degree on Nzima given his history.
“May his iconic image of Hector Peterson keep on reminding us, not only of the power that young people have to create change , but also of the power a single picture can have to open the eyes of the world to injustices and brutality,” he said.

Nzima’s son Thulani has thanked TUT for the honour. He said his father’s house has been donated to the foundation where a centre of excellence will be built to honour the late photographer.
“We would like to provide teaching at the centre involving photography and journalism involving Tut’s expertise,” he said.

Thulani said his father played a huge role in the history of the country.
“Just like the students who protested against the use of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction, my father was also a hero because his picture was used worldwide and played a big role in drawing the international community’s spotlight to the brutality of the apartheid regime, “ he said.
He said the Sam Nzima Legacy Centre will also house Early Childhood Development Centre, a museum and a community facility.

To mark his role in the struggle for liberation, the foundation started an annual commemoration service on each June 16 in his honour starting from his first anniversary in 2019.
But this year because of the Convid-19 lockdown rules and regulations, the foundation did not have normal celebrations but had some outreach community programmes.

The foundation donated food parcels, blankets and Personal protective materials.

Nzima’s iconic image made Times Magazine’s headlines in 1976. The magazine also recognized it as ne f the Top 100 Most influential images of the century.

It was also used extensively by various publications around the world by as an employee of Argus Group that owned The World newspaper, Nzima had to fight for 22 years to get the rights to his work.

He was finally given the copyright to the picture in 1998 when the Argus Group sold its newspapers t the Independent Online group.

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