Sunday, January 21, 2007

Melodi Ya Mamelodi.

Got a phonecall from New York, asking for a shoot with Vusi Mahlasela. Think this was December... it was a nightmare getting it organized, as the New York office of Trace Magazine handled everything, as I sat on my hands not 20 km from Vusi's home and 10 km from good friends who happen to also be his booking agents. Go figure. Eventually I got a confirmation from New York, for an hour slot! And this at around 11 in the morning... for those that know the African summer sun, you'd be hard pressed to pick a trickier time to shoot, and this on location... they wanted Vusi in his Mamelodi surroundings.

In the end, I wasn't ecstatic with what I got... though I liked that the b&w portrait worked out... a style I have now started to work in more and more, as you will see in the upcoming posts. That said, the highlight was getting to meet Vusi one on one for a change, and not in passing at a festival. I have profound respect for him as a musician, an activist and a voice... the Voice, in fact, as he is known. This shot was never used in the article, but meant a bit to me... it was in the street outside his gogo's house, whom he then promptly took me to meet. This while he had to be heading to a luncheon meeting with the Danish ambassador, who supported one of Vusi's outreach programmes.

So far I am still waiting to see the magazine the work appeared in... was promised a copy, but so far have only viewed it online, thanks to a friend from Pretoria (now living in New York) who tracked it down. Hopefully there'll be a package for me at the post office some day soon. Fingers crossed. If you get a copy yourself, let me know... otherwise you can view it online yourself here...



Blogger Lynn said...

Vusi is a legend, I'm glad they got somebody to do the shoot who actually appreciates the people and is able to capture their essence :)


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