top of page

15 Emerging POC Women Photographers to Know | Part iii

Ayesha Kazim is a freelance photographer who splits her time between New York City and Cape Town, South Africa. Ayesha's work is influenced by a diverse array of cultures and experiences, and she discovers inspiration in moments of rest, introspection, and childlike wonder. This inspiration manifests in her photographs of subjects who radiate resilience, power, and a profound sense of confidence.

Boipelo Khunou, a South African photographer and videographer, engages in the conceptual capture of lived experiences, all the while motivating her subjects to embrace their personal and creative power during the process. Her philosophy, "botaki ke botshelo," reflects the belief that lived experiences serve as the foundation for creating and innovating. This outlook guides her approach to visual artistry. Operating through Botaki Studio, a mobile content studio based in Johannesburg, she crafts captivating conceptual imagery for clients, events, and businesses.

Basetsana Maluleka is a self-taught photographer hailing from Pretoria, South Africa. Committed to paving the way for herself and other marginalized voices, Maluleka is a recent graduate of the Lampost Luminaries 2020 Fellowship program. She established her photography company, Shuttterbug Diaries Pty (Ltd), a few years ago. Beyond her photography endeavors, she is also a philanthropist.

DeLovie Kwagala is a non-binary queer self-taught photographer and social activist originally from Kampala, Uganda. They studied photography and photojournalism at Photo Market Workshop in Johannesburg, South Africa. Their work delves into narratives surrounding identity, belonging, social justice, and gender sexuality. DeLovie's photography addresses broader issues related to gender and identity, using a subject-centered approach to draw attention to marginalized groups without victimizing or fetishizing them.

Esther Sweeney is an independent, self-taught photographer based in Nairobi, Kenya. Her photography predominantly centers around themes of identity, social issues, and the culture and spirit of Africa and its people. In recognition of her work, Esther was awarded the 2019 British Council's East African Mobility Grant to support her ongoing project, "Culture in Art." This project aims to delve into the influence of culture on artists and contemporary art in Africa.

Fardosa Hussein is a Somali Kenyan documentary and humanitarian photographer based in Somalia. Her work captures both humanitarian crises and the everyday life of the Somali people. Her photography is driven by a passion for addressing critical issues, including gender-based violence, climate change, economic empowerment, and education.

Olivia Lifungula, a Congolese-born, Belgium-raised photographer and filmmaker now residing in London, delves into themes of intimacy, beauty, and the portrayal of black femininity in the arts and media. Her impactful work has graced the pages of numerous international publications. Notably, she was recently featured in Ronan Mackenzie and WePresent's exhibition, "The Self-Portrait," celebrating Black female photographers. This exhibition not only showcased the richness of their narratives but also the remarkable individuals behind the lens who share them.

Saphir Niakadié, a self-taught Ivorian photographer and creative director based in Brooklyn, New York, draws inspiration from her homeland and the diaspora. Her passion lies in capturing the beauty of Africa through portrait, editorial, and conceptual photography, with a focus on celebrating Black bodies. Saphir embarked on her professional photography journey in 2017, and since then, she has formed noteworthy partnerships and earned international recognition for her work.

Samiira Wali, a Somali-born, New Zealand-based creative director and fashion photographer, skillfully combines dazzle with delicacy in her portraiture of Black women. Her goal is to vividly represent their strength, elegance, and beauty by employing exuberant colors and bold angles. Her editorial style in her portraits is distinctly celebratory of her Somali heritage. Samiira also has a passion for makeup artistry and styling.

Sianeh Kpukuyou

Sianeh Kpukuyou, a Liberian photographer based in Accra, Ghana, directs much of her focus toward telling African stories, with a particular emphasis on highlighting dark skin. She considers this emphasis significant in addressing the issue of colorism. Among her diverse projects, Sianeh, a documentary and lifestyle photographer, and collage artist, has worked on an exhibition that highlights the professionalism of Black hair and African attire in the corporate space.

Zimbabwean photographer Tamary Kudita utilizes photography, primarily portraiture, to unearth and convey an honest narrative about Black identity and culture. She achieves this by re-contextualizing, appropriating, and subverting popular imagery propagated by the West. Tamary's photographic exhibitions have graced various galleries in South Africa and Zimbabwe. Her photo series, "African Victorian," seamlessly fuses Victorian fashion with African culture and has been showcased in galleries in both Zimbabwe and New York.

Temi Lawson, a Nigerian creative director and photographer based in Dallas, Texas, who also served as a Brand Strategist for Mizizi, the official streetwear brand for the African Diaspora. Her work has garnered attention from notable publications, including Vogue, Wired, and Forbes. From ideation to execution, Temi has been involved in every aspect of her projects. With a keen eye for details, she excels in bringing creative elements together to produce exceptional work.

Photographer and writer, Tshepiso Mabula was borb in the Lephalale district of Limpopo, South Africa. Mabula’s interest in photography sparked when she was introduced to award-winning South African photographer Santu Mofokeng’s body of work, which led her to study photojournalism and documentary photography at the Market Photo workshop. Tshepiso Mabula has been awarded the 2021 Women Photograph + Getty Images Scholarship. Tshepiso believes that her calling is to produce work that promotes equity and social unity and seeks to rewrite the narrative and change the perception of marginalized communities.

Tuva Wolf is the photography alias of Merja Lileka, a Namibian creative and news editor. After finishing her multimedia studies in Cape Town, which included photography, Tuva Wolf returned to Namibia, where she refined her photography skills and established TW Studio in 2017. TW Studio specializes in conceptual fashion photography, a style that remains largely unexplored in her country. Tuva Wolf's work delves into themes of identity, race, and feminism, exploring how these subjects can be used to narrate stories through fashion photography.

Victoire Douniama, a self-taught Congolese photojournalist, combines her talents in visual and literary content creation to convey stories that revolve around culture, health, social issues, education, and human rights. Having spent her formative years in South Africa and extensively worked in Central Africa, Victoire's portfolio also encompasses stories related to travel, social justice, climate change, and migration. She embarked on her photography journey in 2017 and developed a substantial body of work centered on "les Sapeuses," women who are part of the Congolese subcultural movement known as Sapeurism, a domain that was predominantly restricted to men until 2010.


bottom of page