Vernacular Light Stories

The Soweto of today has the earmarks of being a community of vibrance, innovativeness and bursting potential, that is yet to be fully explored. As the sun rises each morning, so do the people of this land, ready to attack the day with the best skills on their sleeves, to sustain food on the table. In this conflate, we meet Andile Bhala, a vernacular photographer, who relishes in exploring the subtle moments that tell the stories of duality and contrasts of life in Soweto. Any hustle is worth noticing through his lens. In his words, he intones that life takes the lead, and images are a natural by-product of it. As a deduction, the reality of the image mustn’t therefore be lost during the capture, and upon that simply trusting the poetry that will follow.

 As you scroll through the artist’s Instagram feed, you ultimately get absorbed by the authentic, raw colorful portraits that haul in the people together with the community’s way of life. You stumble across a plethora of emotions; joy, free-spiritedness, strength, passion and incontestably love. The subject-matters have been captured in their casual day to day activities in focal geniusness, with slight edits here and there that enhance the story. Mr. Bhala whose native name interestingly means ‘write’ has steadily improved his craft by fashioning creative ways to tell stories with light using his immediate environment. Through capturing  the allures of Soweto which he says are “to inspire, educate, create, learn and inspire, he has been able to be a part of several campaigns with reputable brands in different industries such as Nescafe and Canon, in tandem with being a Fujifilm ambassador in South Africa. Additionally, prints of his work are also available online. With vernacular photography being a mushroom artistic exploration in Africa, this is one artist to be on the lookout for.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *