Abel Kutoane, affectionately known as ABK is a legend in using the camera. His love for photography came to fruition after entering competition in Soweto which was entitled,”Project I See”.
The initiative, Project I See, was aimed at teaching learners to have an eye in photography. ABK was a learner at Orlando High School, Matseke.
The project has seen more than 100 learners from Soweto and East Rand high schools competing for the top position. All the participants of the competition attended their classes on Saturday for two month at FUNDA Centre. Learners were provided with Instematic Cameras Throwaway. Learners were given assignments of taking pictures from home.
The best 30 learners were selected from amongst the hundred learners who was send to Sunnyside, Parktown Hotel to evaluate all the students and to nominate the best. Each learner’s work was displayed after which they nominated the top ten (10),top six (6), and top 3 where the best learner was selected.
After been crowned the winner of the competition I was interviewed by all the media houses such as , The Star, Sowetan, City Vision, etc.
Another instruction was for us to head to Museum Africa where we continued taking pictures. We also moved to Carleton Centre to attend John Hoeben, Peter Magubane, and Alf Khumalo as our coordinators.
Our intention to confront Movie Mondo for sponsorship resulted in us in the house of Alf Khumalo who “transformed it into an Institute and Museum”. Alf Khumalo chose three best photographers that which he sent to Mozambique to do Water and Hygiene Project.
“A boy opening a pipe with is mouth”, was my best picture which was bought by FUJI during the exhibition, said Abel.
additionally three best students were chosen to go to Italy to present their work. The information about going to Italy got to me only three days before departure. The trio left for Italy in 2004 with Movie Mondo paying for all the costs. In Italy we met a lady who wanted to grant us Internship, but it did not work as we did not have our passports with us then.
The intention to head to Vaal University of Technology did not materialize following the money that was needed to get us enrolled with them. Afterwards we have seen a split of the group with Paballo (going to work with Pretoria News), Kwame went back to farming, and Abel continued with photography as a Freelancer.
Lastly, things did not work well and I decided to follow a career in bouncing until 2012. After the same year I went to do “DARKROOM” with Victor Matomo at Kliptown. I learned a great deal under the supervision of such an experienced teacher. He also owns a photography studio at Nomzamo Park.