Amina Mohamed, founded Cameras For Girls to change the lives of girls and women in Uganda, through the power of photography.
As a part of our initiative to keep the girls and young women in our Cameras For Girls program moving forward, I am interviewing photographers, photojournalists and documentary photographers worldwide to gather different perspectives on what motivates them in their work.
I want our ladies to see that anything is possible as long as they have a dream and are willing to put in the hard work.
Mbabazi Makes Huge Strides In a Male-Dominated Setting
Mbabazi uses documentary-style storytelling and photojournalism to address societal issues in the rural communities of Uganda. What is most impressive is that she is self-taught and has won numerous accolades in her short career. Even more impressive is that she has outshined many of the more experienced male photojournalists in Uganda.
This is quite an accomplishment for a modest young woman in a country where women are often overlooked.
Esther Ruth Mbabazi got her professional start through an initial workshop provided by Uganda Press Photo Awards (UPPA) in Uganda with support from Canon Africa. From there, her career quickly grew to where it is today.
Her impressive resume reads like a photographer who has been around for years; however, all the accolades earned have happened in a brief period of time.
Esther Ruth Mbabazi Continues To Grow Her Talents As a Photographer in Uganda
Esther Ruth is a National Geographic Explorer, a Magnum Foundation Photography & Social Justice Fellow and contributes to Everyday Africa. She is one of six photographers in the 2020 cycle of World Press Photo 6×6 Africa. Her work has received support with grants from the Pulitzer Center, National Geographic and the IWMF. She has published in The New York Times, TIME Magazine, The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and El Pais. Various NGOs and international organizations have commissioned her work both in Uganda and abroad.
We met over zoom as that is the only way to meet from afar, and during COVID, how everyone seems to be meeting these days. I am grateful that Esther Ruth took the time out of her busy schedule to talk to me. This interview between myself and Esther-Ruth happened in November 2020 – almost a year ago. Since then Esther-Ruth has been busy both locally in Uganda and abroad and recently had an exhibit with Photoville in New York, entitled ” As We Are: Collaborative Portraits with Uganda’s Gulu Women with Disabilities Union“
In the video, you will learn how Esther Ruth is a confessed reserved person with a genuine interest in the human story. She was in school for journalism, and after close to 2 years in, she realized that it was not for her. She then found a photographer willing to teach her and started taking photos at various events in the breakdance scene. This led to stints volunteering with local NGOs in Uganda, which then transpired into paid work.
I won’t give the story away – so watch the video to learn more about this fantastic young photographer. I can only imagine where her work will take her.
Cameras For Girls Interviews Ugandan Photographer Esther Ruth Mbabazi