Pic: Meet The Brilliant Photojournalist Behind The Iconic Hector Pieterson Picture

Pic: Meet The Brilliant Photojournalist Behind The Iconic Hector Pieterson Picture. A picture indeed tells a thousand words. Because of this man, many have a clear picture of what happened on that fateful day. Sam Nzima is the man behind the iconic Hector Pieterson picture.

  • Sam Nzima was born on the 8th of August 1934 in Lillydale, a small village in Bushbuck Ridge, Limpopo Province.
  • His father worked as a labourer for a white farmer. Sam Nzima first became interested in photography when his teacher showed him his camera and how to use it.
  • While still at school, Sam bought a camera and began taking pictures in the Kruger National Park.
  • In 1956, Nzima found work as a waiter at the Savoy Hotel.
  • At the hotel a photographer named Patrick Rikotso taught him photography skills.
  • While traveling he wrote a story about taking the bus and sent it with photographs to The World, a black African daily newspaper.
  • The editor of The World was interested in Sam Nzima’s work and requested that he work freelance for the paper.
  • In 1968, he invited him to join as a full-time photojournalist.
  • On June 16, 1976, the Soweto uprising began as police confronted protesting students, Nzima took the picture of Hector on the corner of Moema and Vilakazi Streets in Orlando West, Soweto, near Phefeni High School
  • Although the picture was iconic, he struggled for years to get the copyright.
  • Sam Nzima passed away on the 12th May 2018.

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