African News Agency (ANA) photojournalist Phandulwazi “Phando” Jikelo has won the Top News category in the Andrei Stenin International Press Photo Contest.
Phando’s winning entry the Grabouw Housing Protest was one of five thousand from 76 countries. The award is organised by the Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency in conjunction with UNESCO.
Independent Media Executive Chairman, Dr Iqbal Survé congratulated Phando and said this award was an acknowledgement of his excellent work.
“We must not forget the reasons why he was in Grabouw on that day, and how dangerous the situation was. I commend him for being a fearless photojournalist. As an ardent news-follower, I have, over the years, been able to identify the styles of many of our photojournalists, Phando being one of them. He has the eye and the fearless heart of a photojournalist.”
Phandulwazi “Phando” Jikelo
Phando, 33, said he had not expected to win the category. He said the award was confirmation that excellence comes with passion and hard work.
“It has come at the right time of my career and life. I never thought that I would win an international competition. I was just doing my work, like I would on any other day, like the rest of the photographers were doing theirs. I'm just glad that my work is recognised internationally and the fact that our African stories are told by Africans.I will always push myself to achieve more,” he said.
Phando was working for the Cape Times when he took the picture. Editor Aneez Salie published the image as a banner picture.
On hearing the news Salie said, “We are thrilled at the international recognition Phando has received for a piece of work he did while a member of the Cape Times team. Well done to him, he has brought us great honour, as he did when he won awards previously for his coverage of a poor, child-headed household in the Eastern Cape. Award-winning Phando has demonstrated a keen affinity for the poor and downtrodden, which is in keeping with the Cape Times and Independent Media ethos, developed after a change in ownership and leadership. It shows what transformation can do. All power to his lens.”
Phando now works for Independent Media’s sister company, African News Agency (ANA). ANA pictures CEO, Amit Makan said, "A big congratulations to Phando in this global achievement and recognition. This award is not only a victory for Phando, but also for photojournalism and visual storytelling on the African continent. It demonstrates his, and ANA Pictures, commitment to changing the African narrative visually."
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