Bonani Africa 2010 Festival of Photography

Bonani Africa Online Exhibition 2010

Oupa Nkosi

Black diamond

The photo stories that I have presented for the Bonani Africa 2010 Festival of Photography is about how I see and view things that are happening around me and the society at large. It also about how things revolve and the impact it has on our economy. The work is also about how people manage to cope in dire situation and sometimes able to prosper in life. On the contrary it also depicts how the other minority black people have got to reap the rewards of their hard work and want they do to have fun.

Black Diamonds are members of South Africa’s fast-growing, affluent and influential black community. They are a complex and diverse group of people ranging from:

  1. Mzansi Youth who are still living at home and studying towards their future.
  2. Start- me- ups who are starting out in the big wide world.
  3. Young families that have young kids and work for good companies.

South Africa’s black middle class has grown by more that 30%, with their numbers increasing from 2 million to 2.6 million in 2007 with a collective spending power rising from R130-billion to R180-billion. This is according to the study by the University of Cape Town’s Unilever Institute of Strategic Marketing and TNS Research Survey.

The combined annual spending power of the black diamonds had grown tremendously each year and many of them have moved from the townships to the metropolitan areas such as suburbs.

A study shows that a high percentage of ‘Black Diamonds’ who have moved to the suburbs return to townships on a regular basis. Even though they live in the suburbs there remains a strong desire, right across the board, to maintain their township connections.


Push Until Something Happens (PUSH) is a non-profit organization based in Kliptown, Soweto and caters for community members living around the area that suffer from illnesses and also take care of child headed households. The organization consists of care-givers that are involved in critical HIV/AIDS and TB related activities such as voluntary counseling and testing, drug adherence counseling and home based care. Nearly 39 000 community caregivers are employed voluntarily and paid stipends by government to cater for the 40 million South Africans who are dependent on public healthcare. The stipends are inadequate and caregivers work more than their call for duty.


In recent years South Africa has seen a surge in the number of refugees as conflicts and war continue to ravage various parts of the African continent. Somalia, for an example, has civilians fleeing their homes almost daily as they fear endless battles between Islamist insurgents and the government backed forces. It is estimated that there are about three millions Zimbabweans that have fled to South Africa for a better life. Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and old rival Morgan Tsangirai, united in government ago, but they remain at odds over several key issues and have struggled to turn around the battered economy.

Resentment against foreigners in South Africa boiled over in part because of frustration over government’s failure to deliver housing and social services 14 years after the end of apartheid. In May 2008, xenophobic violence irrupted in several impoverished communities in Johannesburg areas and spread quickly across the country.

About Oupa Nkosi

Born: Johannesburg, 1976. Attended the Market Photo Workshop, Johannesburg and the World Press Photo Foundation. Has participated in the Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts Competition and was nominated in the 2003 MultiChoice Calendar - African Photographers of the Future. Works as a newspaper photographer.