Bongani Ndlovu, Showbiz Correspondent
MHONDIWA “SaDee” Mhepo has been documenting the arts through his camera lens for the past eight years and feels that he and his fellow photographers are not being recognised for the tiring work that they put in.
SaDee was this year nominated for the Roil Bulawayo Arts Awards (RoilBAA) in the Outstanding Arts Photographer category along with Mgcini Nyoni and Jaison Makara.
This nomination, he said, was a reward for his tireless hard work for all these years.
“I’ve been documenting the arts for the past 10 years and this nomination is good. It shows that some powers recognise the work that we’ve been putting in as photographers for all these years,” said SaDee.
At almost all arts events that take place in Bulawayo, SaDee, with his camera, will be a permanent feature.
He has covered all editions of the Intwasa Arts Festival koBulawayo, the Kalawa Homecoming gigs, most music shows in Bulawayo and theatre shows at the Bulawayo Theatre to mention a few.
At all events, he has taken beautiful shots that have been admired by many and made those who will not have attended feel left out.
He said documenting the arts was very important and urged people, especially artistes and show promoters, to pay them for their work.
“Documenting is very important and hopefully, people will one day realise how important we, as photographers, are in the industry. We’ve been overlooked for too long.
“Some of the shows that we cover, we do so for free. Those who pay us, it’s not that much,” said a concerned SaDee.
“We’d like people to do more in terms of supporting us like paying for the photos that we take and the hours that we put in.”
SaDee started learning art as a student at Amakhosi Cultural Centre some eight years ago and during that period he developed a keen interest in photography.
“I was trained in arts administration at Amakhosi Theatre by Cont Mhlanga. But before you do anything there, you’re trained in theatre. Thereafter, I started gaining interest in photography when I travelled with a group called Hot Hause to Hifa. It was a requirement that we document whatever we did there and I put my photography skills to the test,” he said.