The Great Lakes snapping challenge

Working as a journalist with a camera comes with as many upsides as there are downsides. Just the sight of a camera can be a turnoff for your intended focus or a turn on for the unintended. At Juba POC 3 – as with most refugee camps in Uganda as well – the camera is a delight to young children. Kids always scramble for the camera, regardless of whether they’re actually part of my story or whether they’ll see the end product or not.

Children sit at a water point pose for a picture at the Protection of Civilians (POC 3) site where over 40,000 South Sudanese have fled for safety.

Adults however are a different, unpredictable breed. And that was one of the biggest lessons of this reporting trip – testing out the light seeing what my lens could potentially capture at a school in northern Uganda made one teacher scream at me. I never intended to take a picture of him in school grounds, but the simple fact that I aimed my device in his direction set him off.

The man was livid! I tried to explain what I was doing, but it was of no use, he was not happy and he wasn’t accepting any of my many attempts at apologising.


Covering Africa, facing resistance as a journalist is nothing new, I’ve been in many tense situations where people don’t even want to see me taking out my camera, and having a camera on this trip had some harsh and some delightful, but all hugely important ‘teachable moments’ for me as journalist.

So here’s a post dedicated to all the willing ‘young models’ whose pictures I snapped in Uganda and South Sudan. This pic is children at one of the water points at the Juba POC 3 camp, hopefully one day in the future life affords them the opportunity and good fortune to stumble across this post and say, “hey, that was me and my crew chilling way back when!” #fingerscrossed

– Tendai Marima