BY OBERT SIAMILANDU
AFRICAN WILDLIFE FOUNDATION (AWF) and Nature’s Best Photography (NBP) have opened submissions for this year’s edition of the prestigious Benjamin Mkapa African Wildlife Photography Awards.
The awards are named in honour of the late, iconic African leader and former Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa, for his dedication to conservation education throughout Africa, and his passionate support of AWF programmes.
Submission of photos for consideration opened on March 3 and will close on June 1 ahead of the awards ceremony and exhibition scheduled for October 27 at Nairobi National Museum in Kenya.
Photographers of every age, background, and level of camera experience will compete for honours at the awards.
Speaking at the virtual launch of the awards last week, Mkapa’s widow Anna Mkapa said it was an honour to see the competition enter its second edition, adding that it gave her great pride to be associated with an African name that would transcend the hands of time because of the integrity and passion exhibited by her late husband.
“The Benjamin Mkapa African Wildlife Photography Awards are a true embodiment of what the late Mzee would have loved to see in every African country.
“I would, therefore, like to wish all the potential entrants the best of luck as they put their talents to good use,” she said.
“Bringing Africa to the World, and the World to Africa” defines this global competition, geared towards developing new, multi-media platforms that engage and involve Africans and those travelling to Africa in a blended narrative of conservation and visual storytelling.”
AWF senior vice-president and programme co-founder Craig Sholley said: “In alignment with our 60th anniversary celebration at AWF, we are proud to open the 2022 Benjamin Mkapa Awards competition on World Wildlife Day as it represents such vital storytelling and conservation-driven initiatives throughout the continent.”
“In line with AWF’s mission to ensure wildlife and wild lands thrive in modern Africa and Nature’s Best’s initiative to display the beauty, diversity, and importance of wild Africa, our collaborative goals are to attract photographers at all levels of expertise, while encouraging young talent to become advocates for generational behaviour change towards wildlife conservation.”
The competition is meant to enhance the visibility of African wildlife through the categories namely African Conservation Heroes, Coexistence and Conflict, African Wildlife at Risk, Fragile Wilderness, African Wildlife Behaviour, African Wildlife Portraits, Africa’s Backyard Wildlife, Art in Nature, Creative Digital, Mobile, Africa in Motion/Video, and Youth Photographers of the Year.
The Mkapa photographer of the year will pocket a grand prize of US$5 000, a stone elephant sculpture, and an interview with Nature’s Best Photography magazine.
Category winners will each receive US$1 000, a stone elephant sculpture, and be featured, along with selected highly-honoured photographs in the Special Edition and all winning images and videos will be displayed at the Nairobi National Museum in Kenya and other venues across Africa and the United States of America.
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