Feature Opinion

SA photographer goes guerrilla at Global Citizen

Entertainment media have to jump through so many goddam hoops when it comes to the coverage of huge international musicians.

And we do it. Whether willingly or unwillingly because damn, even though only six of your Guns N’ Roses pics will make the cut, everyone wants to get that all-important shot from the Secondary Barrier at Front of House amirite??

But I digress.

On Sunday at Global Citizen a photographer named Siyamazi Khathola (who applied for accreditation but didn’t receive a reply) decided to arrive and see what he could hustle up. A skill which I find highly commendable because lord I wouldn’t even know where to start.

“I rocked up in hope and let my ancestors handle the rest,” Khatola told me this afternoon when I reached out to chat to him.

But he didn’t stop there. He was very forthcoming with his feelings towards the organisers saying, “The Global Citizen says they believe in eradicating poverty and bettering the lives of people, yet when we as photographers try to get bread for our families; they deploy “gatekeepers” [security] to stop us from our pursuits. So much for the Madiba legacy, again his name is used in vain.”

Khatola has a point here. While rules and regulations are put in place to protect the artist and their image, it wasn’t always like this. There’s a certain “freedom” of independent press that’s been lost over the years and we can debate forever as to why but technological innovation is the main culprit here.

And while we know it’s not feasible to have everyone and their uncle with an S5 in the photographer’s pit taking pics, I do think that promoters can at the very least set aside a few passes for talented students who are aspiring photographers. Can you imagine being a kid finishing your studies and being allowed to take a photo or two of Ed Sheeran or Beyoncé? Inspiring to say the very least.

At a time in our industry where there are so many rules to follow and so few independent media sites or new blogs, it’s nice to know that a sort of guerrilla-gonzo-spirit is alive and well out there. Keep that up.

Check out Siyamazi Khathola’s work on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.