Max Frei, 71 completed the 85km Cape Town Big Walk on Sunday in just over six hours. He has participated in the race for the last 10 years in his three wheeled wheelchair. About 20 years ago, the Swiss born South African lost the use of his legs after he had a fall, helping a friend with home repairs. Max and his wife, Vivienne run a small and successful metal works business from their home in Cape Town. Apart from being a determined athlete, Max is also a very competent engineer, designing industrial sized machinery for their business and elevating gadgets to overcome his disability. After seeing Max ride around the block at high speed in his self made racing chair, I honestly have no excuse to ever give up on life. Max and Vivienne’s optimistic attitude towards challenges is an inspiration to the people around them and myself.
Photos by Armand Hough
I was on assignment with The Cape Times, to do a report on the new Industrial Development Zone in Saldanha Bay. I didn’t know what angle Cobus Coetzee (political journalist) was going to use on the story so I decided to shoot across the spectrum.
Environmental portraits of the locals who would be affected by the development and landscapes of the town’s existing industries was part of my scribbled shot list.
We heard that amongst the delegates that will be attending the launch of the IDZ would be President Jacob Zuma, the premier of the Western Cape and leader of the opposition party Helen Zille, deputy minister Marius Fransman and various other cabinet members. I didn’t think much of it at the time but I knew that it’s never a bad thing to have the country’s leaders in my viewfinder.
The logistics of the event was a complete nightmare. Not that it was a difficult situation. It was just organized in a true African manner. Most of the delegates pushed the boundaries of being fashionably late to the upmost extreme and the driver of our overcrowded media van almost ended all of our careers in an incident involving a thoroughly indicated speed bump.
Authorities had no control over the few hundred strong crowd inside the tent and there was thousands waiting outside of the sport grounds with ANC shirts and posters. Between the presidents guards, the police and the official security at the sport grounds, no one looked like they were in charge and even though I was within an arm length from the president, not once did anyone ask for my credentials.
As the story unfolded, Helen Zille was hackled so much by the ANC supporters that she lost her cool and stormed off the podium towards the president.
On her way out the back, she greeted him and exchanged a few words.
I took aim with an 80-200 from the outside through an opening in the tent. The crowd was pushing and pulling and I am pretty sure I was resting the lens on a woman’s head when the significant couple of photos were taken.
Outside awaited a flurry of reporters, camera crews and journalists to get a response from the primer.
Amongst the media, a few ANC supporters from other districts followed the premier while shouting profanities. In all honesty, I thought these photos would make much more of an impact until I got back to the hotel and saw the facial expressions on the two leader’s faces.
I personally don’t think much of the photos apart from the fact that it’s the first recording of the two leader’s true relationship.
It was the classic situation of being at the right place at the right time. Over the next few days, the series of photos appeared in all the biggest national newspapers including 4 front pages.
I guess this is the most recognition I have received yet for doing what I love and it would not have happened without the splendid journalism of Cobus Coetzee and the support from everyone at The Cape Times on this assignment.
The setting sun of life gilds with its rays, the unforgotten but far distant days, the days when youth and hope walked hand in hand.
It sheds around the past a rosy glow, that past which never was a present, though on looking back o’er life it seems to stand.
Bathed in a crimson glory, and old age, lingers with loving fondness o’er the page, thus lighted up by memory’s golden rays.
A poem by Florence Peacock
© Photos by Armand Hough
The Kingdom of Bahrain’s largest street bazaar is named after its capital, Manama Souq or Bab al-Bahrain to most of its locals. It lies in the north of Manama, in-between the old parts of the city and the Central Business District, to the east of Noaim and west of Ras Rumman. The area also is home to Bahrain’s only synagogue. Like a rib cage protecting a hearts, the souq shelters its inner city inhabitants from the desert heat and frequent dust storms.
©Photos by Armand Hough
Last year I took a year off work to finish my photographic studies in London. The urban city environment has timeless photo opportunities around every corner.
As London is a story teller herself, she showed me what is happening to her iconic red telephone booths.
Has the intruduction of mobile phones changed London’s beloved phone booths into urine stench marketing stalls for sex workers?
I personally have never used a London telephone booth to make a call in all my years in her care and I would rather ask a stranger if I can borrow their phone in an emergency.
If the nostalgic red London phone booth has lost its purpose as a communication device, then maybe its time for a rethink. How about converting them into fresh air booths for the manky summer months and heating booths for the rest of the year. Or even soundproof stress booths where you can scream your lungs out when life gets a bit too much.
Images by Armand Hough
Dr. Mamphela Aletta Ramphele is a South African former activist against apartheid, a medical doctor, an academic and a successful businesswoman.
She is a former Vice-Chancellor at the University of Cape Town and a one-time Managing Director at the World Bank.
On the 22nd on June 2013, she will officially be launching the new political platform named Agang which means “Building South Africa” in Sotho.
The party is based upon five principles: empowering the people to govern, building effective public services, building a restructured economy, building a modern education and training system and restoring South Africa’s position in Africa as well as internationally.
I had the enormous privilege to meet Dr. Ramphele and take these portraits of her for her political campaign where she will be challenging the ANC for the presidency in the 2014 South African general election.