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Five Outstanding African Female Photographers 2021

As a woman compiling this list, it’s an honor, privilege and an inspiration to highlight these African female photographers who have braved their paths in a male dominated field and continue to break the ceiling on the photographer stereotypes.

With outstanding talent, expertise, innovative cognizance and the female touch, these women are allowing us to delve into their creative world through their art.

Ley Uwera

A radio presenter turned photojournalist in DR Congo, who through her camera has the ability to tell stories of its people. Her work is outstanding and her passion can be felt through her images. She’s a great advocate for women especially Congolese women who through the many years of turmoil in their country have had their voices suppressed. In an interview with Okay Africa she said “Every day… I stand for the rights of women and especially the Congolese woman who for years suffers because of insecurity in Eastern Congo,” she says. “Youth can dream, have good initiatives and do something positive. I believe they can see all this through my work.”

An outstanding African Female Photographer, her love for Africa, warms our heart and her talent makes the Female Specie very proud.

Tamary Kudita

Tamary is a Zimbabwean photographer whose work is stunning, inspirational, innovative and simply breathtaking. She uses her interpretation of the post-colonial impact on people of color to inspire her work which has awarded her prestigious awards like the VAW Journal Most Inspiring ArtPiece Award Winner 2020, and also first ever winner of the VAW’S Cover Art Award. She’s had exhibitions PH Center gallery & Michaelis Galleries in Cape town, she’s currently exhibiting at Ki Smith gallery in Harlem, New York.

Her innovative way of showcasing African culture in a contemporary fashion, gives her work that extra edge to be outstanding. Her prowess in choosing her muse and behind the scenes videos gives us more insights into her thought processes. In her words “I looked at how African identity was stereotypically portrayed in the west and I noticed a black and white visual language that implanted a concrete image of Africa in western imagination. I wanted to rewrite this visual culture and present a counter narrative that portrayed Africans as dignified. Seeing that Photography was instrumental in affirming visual codes through which the west saw Africa., I use photography as a tool for resistance.”

An outstanding African Female Photographer, her unique way of looking at a painful time for the African community and being able to create such beautiful art, earns her the the Female Specie pride award.

POLLY IRUNGU

A Kenyan born multimedia journalist, digital editor, and self-taught photographer. She founded the Black Women Photographers, a global community and online database of Black women and non-binary photographers to showcase their works. She’s also responsible for the #hireblackwomenphotographers movement founded to spotlight and showcase black women photographers who do not get enough recognition and opportunities to disport their talents. During this tough times where racism is apparent in an enormous scope, this movement has allowed the voices of black women photographers and the non binary to be amplified and recognized.

Polly is not shy to advocate for the black community and through this platform she’s done an outstanding job of fund-raising a COVID relief fund for black women photographers and the non binary photographers. As a photographer, Polly’s work has been published in numerous publications such as Global Citizen, BBC News, The Washington Post, BuzzFeed, CNN, HuffPost and OkayAfrica among others. Her passion for women and non binary photographers is commendable and her efforts cannot go without notice.

An outstanding African Female Photographer, her passion makes us privileged to absorb her world and her advocate for black females makes the Female Specie very proud.

Yagazie Emezi

She’s a multi-talented artist and self-taught photojournalist focused on stories surrounding African women and their health, sexuality, education and human rights. Her work projects her passion for social justice. She’s worked on projects like “hereproject” which highlighted on the realities of violence against women and the vulnerable young. Yagazie was also at the forefront covering SARS and other atrocities the Nigerian community. She’s worked with the likes of Al-Jazeera, New York Times, Vogue, Newsweek, Inc. Magazine, TIME, The Guardian, Washington Post, National Geographic, Bloomberg Businessweek, The Weather Channel, New York Times Magazine and several not-for-profit organizations.

An outstanding African Female Photographer, her bravery makes us privileged to absorb her world and her talent makes the Female Specie very proud.

Delovie Kwagala

A non-binary self taught African female photographer, whose not afraid to push the boundaries on sexuality, beauty, gender identity, social activism, human rights and advocacy for women equality. She uses photography as a medium to navigate the different aspects of her passions, giving a voice and awareness to them.

She’s a rising star, a visionary and an advocate of the queer community, especially in African where the conversation is still not as welcomed or embraced. We look forward to see what more she has in store for us.

An outstanding African Female Photographer, her bravery makes us privileged to absorb her world and her talent makes the Female Specie very proud.

Conclusion

We can all agree that women in the photography industry deserve to be praised, based on their biographies and incredible work they do. Women empowerment! We are proud of you. Sign up on Picha images to find out more ways you can grow as a photographer.

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