Khwela Womxn Photo Walk in Cape Town, South Africa

How We Launched Our Charity in South Africa By Joining With Khwela Womxn

Last week, I had the pleasure of teaching photography to 10 females from Khwela Womxn in South Africa.

Khwela Womxn is an organization located in Cape Town, South Africa, similar to Cameras For Girls. Our shared goals are to empower females to reach higher and accomplish more through diversified training programs.

The women from Khwela Womxn and I met during a competition called the Social Entrepreneurship Competition in Tourism. We were both finalists in the competition but also competitors. 

Zoom training for South African Women with Cameras For Girls

Zoom training for South African Women with Cameras For Girls

Collaborating with other female-led organizations is the key to success

However, in the spirit of collaboration, I approached them to provide photography training to the females in their programs, and they jumped on the chance. They immediately went to work with recruitment and collecting cameras while I developed a new curriculum, which I could easily teach online.  Collaborating with other female-led organizations is the key to success!

For Khwela, they provide training programs to females endeavouring to work in the tourism industry, and for us at Cameras For Girls, we train females who seek to work in the journalism industry. Regardless of the industry, we are making a difference through photography as it is a skill that trains these women to see their worlds differently and also equips them with skills that they would not necessarily be able to afford otherwise.

The 2-day Training Went Off Without Any Technical Issues

Over 2-days from 10 am – 2 pm, using Zoom, I met with these young women, some of whom are in school and some who are married with children.  

We got off to a quick start after introductions. In these young women, I was able to see their hopes and dreams, and it reminded me of the girls I am working with in Uganda. These young women might come from two very different countries, but they are the same at heart.  

On day one, we went over the basics of photography, including the exposure triangle, which I then broke down into its individual parts; aperture, shutter speed and ISO. I also went over composition, exposure compensation and camera sensors to understand the difference between producing photos on the phone vs on a DSLR. 

Thankfully, Canon South Africa donated four DSLR cameras to Khwela Womxn for our use. 

Some of the students either had their phones, small cameras or borrowed one from a friend. I could not travel because we are still struggling with COVID, but we managed to pull off the training with no technical issues.

On day 2, we went into storytelling using photography as a tool. 

Many of these girls endeavour to work as tour guides, while some want to own a studio working with clients for headshots and family portraits.  

Knowing how to tell a story is an essential skill I am exploring through my photography, and it’s something I enjoy teaching, above and beyond the technical aspects.

Khwela Womxn Photo Walk in Cape Town, South Africa

South African Women with Khwela Womxn on their photo walk

We Topped Off The 2-Day Training With a Photo Walk In Cape Town

The training also included a photo walk on Day 3, led by a local South African photographer Ray Potterill, who goes under @RayWrench on Instagram. He graciously took the girls around for a 5-hour photo walk. He helped them through the assignment I provided, which covered aperture, shutter speed, perspective and my favourite exercise for beginner photographers, called “Hula Hoop.”

Hula Hoop is a great exercise to stretch one’s understanding of photography. The idea is to either place a real hula hoop or an imaginary one in front of you. Step inside the Hula Hoop and take photos of everything around you in a 36o degree view. I asked the girls to experiment using aperture, shutter speed and perspective, and I was very impressed with what they produced, especially since many of them had never touched a camera before.

I completed the training by providing a video review of their images, including those they took on day one.

Below are some of the images from the photo walk. 

The ladies from Khwela Womxn Training on the photo walk in Cape Town, South Africa

Khwela Womxn Photo Walk in Cape Town, South Africa

Some of the students at the photo walk with photographer Ray Potterill in Cape Town, South Africa

Khwela Womxn Photo Walk in Cape Town, South Africa

Some of the ladies getting ready to go on their photo walk in Cape Town, South Africa

Khwela Womxn Photo Walk in Cape Town, South Africa

Students practicing on the photo walk in Cape Town, South Africa

Below are some of the images from the photo walk.  

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