Lungisani Mjaji aims to capture the beauty and history of his village

Lungiani Mjaji, a photographer from Nongidi Kwamachi in Harding Town, saw a picture of his niece, Lethukukhanya, holding a loaf of Albany bread, leaving many impressed after it went viral this week. 

In a wide rang interview with Sunday World, he said he aims to capture the beauty and history of his village.

“The inspiration behind capturing pictures of my niece stemmed from my desire to present a visual representation of our village’s daily life. I wanted to convey the essence of our community, emphasizing the significance of the younger generation in both the present and future.”

He said his niece symbolizes the innocence, hope, and boundless potential that resonates within the children of his village. Through her, he sought to celebrate their role in shaping our community’s narrative.

Mjaji, who is a student at the Tshwane University of Technology, said he is currently running a project titled ‘My Footprint’ that holds immense significance for him and his community.

“My Footprint began in 2019 as a personal endeavor to document and capture the beauty and history of my village,” he said.

Mjaji said the day of the photoshoot was meticulously planned, with every detail envisioned in advance. He approached his supportive mother, requesting her assistance in procuring props for the shoot.

“She graciously provided the necessary funds, and I purchased Albany bread, which became a significant element of the composition. My mother’s unwavering support extends beyond financial aid she actively seeks out items in town that she believes will enhance my photography. On the day of the shoot, I executed my plan with unwavering determination, capturing the essence of my vision and telling the story I had envisioned.”

Mjaji says the recognition and support he has received for his work has been overwhelming and has exceeded his wildest expectations.

“The recognition validates my skills as a photographer and artist, showcasing the beauty and cultural richness of our village. It is humbling to see how my work resonates with people and evokes such heartfelt appreciation. I am immensely grateful for the support of my community and my country.”

The 26-year-old said he hopes his journey can inspire others, especially the younger generation, to follow their creative dreams fearlessly. He plans to continue with his photography studies and believes that every day holds creative opportunities.

“I have not specified a particular specialization, my aspiration is to make a difference through my work and inspire others along the way. Furthermore, I intend to delve into commercial photography, collaborating with prominent brands and showcasing their products against the backdrop of our village,” he concluded.

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