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2021 Africa Photo Awards winners announced

The winners of the third annual Africa Photo Awards have been announced at a recent award ceremony held at the Keyes Art Mile in Johannesburg.
South African photographer Melanie Cornelius secured top honours as the 2021 Photographer of the Year for her image ‘Spring-Buck-features’. | Source: Supplied.
South African photographer Melanie Cornelius secured top honours as the 2021 Photographer of the Year for her image ‘Spring-Buck-features’. | Source: Supplied.
The 2021 edition of the Africa Photo Awards showcased some of the best photography the continent has to offer and received entries from across the continent. The awards is a non-profit competition sponsored by Fujifilm South Africa and QPhoto ProLAB. The intention of this event is to create a competition that explores photography in the African context and which challenges individuals as photographers.

Local photographer secures top honours


This year, South African photographer Melanie Cornelius secured top honours as the 2021 Photographer of the Year for her image ‘Spring-Buck-features’, which also won the Abstract award category. Cornelius’ winning image was taken during an outing to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, on the border between South Africa and Botswana.

The award secured her the main prize of a Fujifilm X-H1 mirrorless camera, battery grip and Fujinon XF 18-55mm F2.8 lens. Her prizes further comprised of a R5 000 printing voucher from QPhoto ProLAB and an Instax Square SQ20 instant camera and film. Each of the category winners received a R2 000 printing voucher from QPhoto ProLAB, and an Instax Mini 11 camera and film.

Judging for the Africa Photo Awards was done by a panel of eight judges and three adjudicators, with the panel including some of the top photographers on the continent such as Sarah Waiswa (Uganda), Héla Ammar (Tunisia), Gurcharan Roopra (Kenya) and Mauro Pinto (Mozambique). The three adjudicators for the Africa Photo Awards 2021 were Dennis da Silva, Michael Meyersfeld and Harry de Zitter from South Africa.


Deon Brits, general manager of the Imaging Solutions Division at Fujifilm South Africa, believes the Africa Photo Awards is important since it acknowledges the quality of photography on the African continent.

“Historically, Africa has produced exceptional photographers who perhaps have not received the international recognition they deserved. My hope is that the Africa Photo Awards becomes a vehicle for photographers to showcase the quality of photography available and to promote their work in general,” Brits said.

Below are the winners in each of the nine Africa Photo Awards 2021 categories:


- Photographer of the Year and Abstract: Melanie Cornelius, Spring-Buck-features
- Wildlife: Tim Driman, Down the hatch
- Wedding: JCclick Photography, Wherever the wind may take us
- Conceptual: Lionell Botha, Covid Valentine
- Editorial: Charlaine Gerber, The cattle herd in the mist
- Fine Art: Bertus Hanekom, White horse
- Portraiture: Pieter Pieters, Window to the soul
- Landscape: Nicolene Cresswell, Rocky blues
- Fashion: Joseph Abbey Mensah, Makola

The top ten entries across all nine categories are currently on display at the Gallery Trumpet on Keyes Atrium in Rosebank, Johannesburg.

The public is encouraged to vote for their favourite image in the People’s Choice Fujifilm Award category by 15 January 2022. For their effort, one lucky voter will win a Fujifilm X-T100 mirrorless camera.
Read more: photography, awards

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