Harare, Zimbabwe


Photographer: Nyadzombe Nyampenza

Year of Submission: 2016 (Educators Edition) 

Chikonzero Chazunguza is a visual artist who runs Dzimbanhete Arts Interactions, an arts and culture resource centre that promotes Zimbabwean and African culture. Since its opening in 2005, Chiko’s centre – which takes its name from the Shona word for light footstep – has hosted workshops, exhibitions, performances and a host of other arts programmes and projects. The centre’s recent projects include organising its first Mbira Sunsplash festival in 2014 to promote consciousness through culture and building an All Africa Village to show the range of architectural styles found in villages across Africa. Chiko’s own work ranges from multimedia and performance pieces to paintings, prints and installations, much of it challenging what he sees as the degradation of indigenous spirituality and traditional forms of order


Jinja, Uganda


Photographer: Jan Banning

Year of Submission: 2016 (Educators Edition) 

A prisoner on death row – recognisable by his white clothes – teaches primary-school-level biology in Kirinya Main Prison, Jinja, Uganda. As no civilian has been executed in Uganda since 1999, the man, a former biology teacher, is unlikely to be killed. Kirinya Main Prison is one of Uganda’s two maximum security prisons. It was built for 336 inmates, but holds more than 900.


Kigamboni, Tanzania


Photographer: Mark Tipple

Year of Submission: 2016 (Educators Edition)

Nassoro Mkwesso and three friends set up Kigamboni Community Centre in 2007 to help children who had dropped out of school find a way back to education. Over the next four years, the centre’s volunteer teachers had a near-100%- success rate for the several hundred students who went through their Drop Out School and its programme of maths, Swahili and English. But in 2011 the Tanzanian government told Nassoro and his colleagues to stop offering courses because none of the centre’s staff were qualified teachers. For a short period, the classes were continued nearby using qualified staff. But the cost proved too much. In 2013, the Drop Out School programme was finally shut down. Once again, children in the area who had dropped out of school have little prospect of ever completing their education. 


Mingkaman Camp, South Sudan


Photographer: Andrew McConnell

Year of Submission: 2016 (Educators Edition) 

Racheal Athieng, 20, teaches eight-year-old children at a school in Mingkaman, South Sudan’s largest camp for internally displaced persons. Racheal lives in Mingkaman after being forced to flee her home in Twic East, a county in the east of the country. Across South Sudan, where around 4.5 million of its 11 million population are of school age, teachers are in great demand. But because most parents have traditionally taken their daughters out of school as early as possible, few of them are women. Racheal’s parents were an exception. They supported her all the way through her schooling. “After a certain age, many parents see their girls only as people to do domestic chores, then to be married to bring the financial benefits of a dowry to their parents,” says Racheal. “Women teachers have the advantage that they identify the slow-learners and encourage them. Men don’t do that as much. Women are more caring, not as harsh as the men,” she says.


Balule Nature Reserve, South Africa


Photographer: Julia Gunther

Year of Submission: 2016 (Educators Edition) 

The Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit is a mainly female team set up in 2013 to protect rhinoceroses and other animals in north-eastern South Africa’s Balule Nature Reserve. The unit’s 26 women are trained in anti-poaching and survival skills. On courses taught by professionals they learn how to track and identify animals and humans, blend in with their surroundings and avoid confrontations. This training is crucial as the work they do is dangerous – the animals they protect are wild and poachers often shoot to kill. In large part thanks to rising demand from Asia, the poaching of rhinos has increased sharply in recent years, from thirteen cases in 2007 to more than 1,100 in 2015. Today, only 28,000 rhinos live in the wild in Africa, 95% of them in South Africa. Other wildlife protected by the Black Mambas include wild dogs and cheetahs, both hunted by snaring. As well as their anti-poaching work, the Black Mambas also spend part of their time sharing their knowledge of Balule’s natural heritage with communities living around the reserve.


Borama, Somaliland


Photographer: ANNA KÅRI

Year of Submission: 2016 (Educators Edition) 

Fatun Ahmed Farah, 24, teaches an English conversation class for fourth graders at Borama Girls Primary School in north-western Somaliland. Less than 40% of school-age girls in Somalia attend school. Youth unemployment is 70%. Somaliland self-declared independence from Somalia in 1991. War in southern Somalia between Islamist insurgents and the Federal Government of Somalia supported by African Union forces has for the most part not directly affected Somaliland.



Kabala, Sierra Leone


Photographer: Jenny Matthews

Year of Submission: 2016 (Educators Edition) 

Samuel Koroma lives and works in Kabala, a small rural town in the north of Sierra Leone. He’s a regular class teacher at the local Roman Catholic school. He’s also blind. Samuel has been blind from birth. Because of his disability, his parents were reluctant to spend money on his education. Instead, his school costs and teacher training were funded by organisations such as Leonard Cheshire Disability. “My future goal is to be a community development worker or a social worker. I also want to take a more active role in civil service in areas other than teaching, maybe working with my fellow disabled people,” he says. “I feel lucky to be doing this, I feel as though I am doing something. I feel like somebody who belongs, doing something with the rest of the world,” he says.


Guediawaye, Senegal


Photographer: Christian Bobst

Year of Submission: 2016 (Educators Edition) 

Traditional forms of wrestling are found throughout West Africa. But nowhere is the sport more popular than in Senegal, where its version – known as laamb – even beats out football, and top fighters can earn as much as several hundred thousand dollars a year for a single bout. Across the country, Lac de Guiers is famous for his 2003 victory over the Commando, a much taller adversary who at the time was one of the country’s best-known wrestlers. Today, Lac runs his own wrestling school in Guédiawaye, a town near Dakar, the country’s capital, passing on his knowledge to young men eager to become professional wrestlers.



Kabaya, Rwanda


Photographer: Tadej Žnidarčič

Year of Submission: 2016 (Educators Edition) 

Since 2005, e-Rwanda – a project jointly organised by the World Bank and the Rwandan government – has been teaching people about the internet across Rwanda. A specially equipped bus travels round the country providing free internet and computer training in places where it is not possible to get online. The e-Rwanda project stems from the early 2000s when the Rwandan government identified information and communications technology – ICT – as a major source of development. Since then, the country has built a 2,500-kilometre fibre-optic network radiating to all parts of the country from Kigali, Rwanda’s capital.


Abuja, Nigeria


Photographer: Aleksei Akseshin

Year of Submission: 2016 (Educators Edition) 

Everyone in Mpape, a slum area in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, knows football coach Sword Umoroigwe, a former player with the Nigerian national team, and his Super Star Soccer Academy. Founded in 2000, the academy now has nearly 60 footballers on its books, aged from four to their early 20s, five of them girls. When they join the academy, everyone pays a oneoff enrolment fee of 25,000 naira (about US$85 at Nigeria’s unofficial exchange rate) for clothes and basic equipment. But after that they train and play for free. The academy’s training ground is next to a rubbish dump. When the wind swings round to the northeast, rubbish and acrid smoke blow across the pitch. Coaching takes place every day apart from Sunday, starting at seven o’clock. Sessions begin with a collective prayer shared by everyone, both Christian and Muslim. Sword has taken teams from his academy to competitions in other countries in Africa and once to Europe, to play in Denmark’s Dana Cup, a competition held every year for youth teams from around the world.


Agadez, Niger


Photographer: Matilde Gattoni

Year of Submission: 2016 (Educators Edition) 

Ajo, 92, plays her imzad at a gathering of Tuareg women and girls. The bowlshaped body of Ajo’s instrument is made from a calabash with an animal skin drawn taut across its top to create a sound box. Its single string, and that of its bow, are made from horse hair. In the Tuareg’s matrilineal culture, only women play the imzad, which can be played as a solo instrument and to accompany singing. Performances usually take place at evening parties. The nomadic Tuareg have for centuries lived across the Saharan areas of what are now Mali, Niger, Algeria and Libya. Women have traditionally been the main conduit passing culture from one generation to the next. Since the start of the 20th century, the number of imzad players has been in gradual but continual decline. Ajo is one of only three women who plays the imzad in her community.



Marrakech, Morocco


Photographer: Ali Chraibi

Year of Submission: 2016 (Educators Edition) 

Throughout Islam’s long history, mosques have played a dual role as places of learning as well as worship. Today, faqihs – Muslim jurists – continue this tradition in the Marrakech region of Morocco’s Atlas Mountains and other remote areas with few schools. In these places, overcrowded classes and shortages of books mean that regular teachers struggle to give students enough individual attention. Faqihs fill the gap, teaching children to read and write by making them repeat verses from the Quran and then write those verses out with black ink on small wooden boards. The classes are also an important means for teaching Muslim values. In return for teaching their children, villagers support the faqihs with gifts of food and other daily necessities. Sometimes they will also build a classroom and small residence at their local mosque for the faqihs to use.


Bamako, Mali


Photographer: Nicolas Réméné

Year of Submission: 2016 (Educators Edition) 

Seydou Sylla is rector of the University of Sahel in Bamako, the capital of Mali. Founded in 2011, the university’s mission is to train young people to feel at home in today’s world of rapid scientific and technological change while maintaining their traditional religious and cultural principles. The university, principally funded by Al Farouk, a Saudi Arabian non-governmental organisation, offers degrees in Islamic studies, Arabic and computing. It plans to add faculties of law, management and medicine. Currently it has around 400 students. Seydou studied engineering at the Islamic University of Medina in Saudi Arabia and has a PhD in Quran studies. As well as his university post, he is also general secretary of the Union of African Muslim Scholars.



Ndjoka, Malawi


Photographer: Bente Marei Stachowske

Year of Submission: 2016 (Educators Edition) 

Evelyin Chasweka, 14, is president of the children’s parliament in Ndjoka, a village in south-east Malawi. Chosen by children in the village, she and the twenty or so other members of the parliament meet once a week to talk about issues such as unemployment and poverty, teenage pregnancy, HIV/AIDS and child marriage and labour. As they search for ways of tackling the problems their village faces, they learn how to work as members of a group, expressing their opinions and listening to the arguments of others. Once they decide what they want, Evelyin and the other members of her parliament take their demands to their village leaders. The force behind the parliament is Daughters of Mary Immaculate, a charity based in southern India’s Tamil Nadu state. It helps establish child parliaments around the world, believing that when children have knowledge of their rights they can take things into their own hands and change them for the better


Anatananarivo, Madagascar


Photographer: Tolojanahary Ranaivosoa

Year of Submission: 2016 (Educators Edition) 

Emile Ramandimbisoa is a singer, story-teller and performer of hiragasy, the main musical tradition of Madagascar’s central highland regions. Using kabary – speech combining proverbs and stories of daily life – his tales entertain and educate. Sometimes he sings of those who lost everything to HIV-AIDS. Other times he tells of what went wrong when too much forest was felled, or of the headaches caused by corruption and other social problems. Now 56, he first performed hiragasy at 17 in a troupe founded by one of his uncles in a country town just over 80 kilometres from Antananarivo, Madagascar’s capital. In 2001, Emile moved his family to Antananarivo and founded his own hiragasy troupe.


Benghazi, Libya


Photographer: Essam Al-Fetori

Year of Submission: 2016 (Educators Edition) 

In the late 1970s, Suleiman Elshwihdi boxed for Libya at tournaments as far away as Venezuela and Nigeria. But in 1980, at the age of twenty, his career came to an end when the country’s then ruler, Muammar Gaddafi, banned the sport. It was only after Gaddafi’s downfall in 2011 that boxing reemerged from the shadows. In his hometown of Benghazi, Suleiman gathered together some old and battered equipment in a makeshift gym and began to train a new generation of fighters. Boxing still has no official support in Libya. To cover the costs of tournaments, young fighters collect donations from relatives and friends. Suleiman’s dream is once again to see Libya’s flag at international boxing tournaments and Libyan boxers winning medals.


Nairobi, Kenya


Photographer: Kelly Johnson

Year of Submission: 2016 (Educators Edition) 

Rona is team leader of Nairobi Remand and Allocation Prison’s Kanga Afrika dance crew. In his late 20s, he has been awaiting trial for more than four years. His crew dance like contenders on Sakata, a Kenyan television talent show. Watching them, it is hard to see them as prisoners, or the hall they practice in as a prison. Rona holds out his hand to show a wound. “I got this today while performing. You see? We believe in no pain, no gain. We have to keep working harder to achieve what we want to.” Kenya’s prison system is under-resourced and over-crowded. Detainees can wait up to eighteen years before being tried. Before his arrest, Rona was a member of a Nairobi-based dance group that had had some success, making music videos and TV appearances. In prison, he helps others find purpose and joy, despite the chaos and uncertainty of the environment in which they live.


Accra, Ghana


Photographer: Sélim Harbi

Year of Submission: 2016 (Educators Edition) 

Jacqueline Nsiah, 32, is a language teacher, arts curator and pan-Africanist. After studying media anthropology at Berlin’s Frei University, Jacqueline lived in Brazil for two years before returning to Ghana to teach Portuguese at Accra University. In 2014, she curated the first edition of the Uhuru African Film Festival in Rio de Janeiro. Today, she curates film and educational events, exhibitions and concerts in Accra. One of the themes running through her work is connecting the history of the two continents on either side of the Atlantic Ocean.


Boraba, Gambia


Photographer: Bente Marei Stachowske

Year of Submission: 2016 (Educators Edition

Sainey Jobarteh, 35, is a griot. He travels from village to village with his kora, a twenty-one-stringed instrument with a long wooden neck and a soundbox made from half a calabash covered with cow skin. Every evening, when people gather after work, he sings and plays for them. Often he’s an entertainer bringing laughter to his audience. But sometimes he’s a historian, telling them about their families and traditions. Or perhaps he’s a mediator, settling disputes. Or maybe a one-person broadcaster bringing news and information from other places. Now, he says, he’s working on a song about how terrorism has changed the world. Sainey was born into a griot family in the village of Boraba in inland Gambia. His father was his teacher. He plays his father’s kora – decorated with a crescent moon and a five-pointed star, a symbol of spirituality, and with a hole on one side where people can put in money. One by one, he sings to the people around him. Everyone he singles out for attention has to give him something: if not money, then maybe food or a bed for the night.


Debere Berhan, Ethiopia


Photographer: Lukas Berger

Year of Submission: 2016 (Educators Edition) 

Teklu Ashagir, 35, runs Circus Debere Berhan, one of Ethiopia’s few circuses and a home from home for fifty young performers. Teklu grew up in Addis Ababa in a middle class family. After leaving school he worked as a dancer, theatre director and writer. A friend of his founded the circus in 1998. He took it over in 2003. From its base in Debere Berhan, a city in central Ethiopia, the circus travels across the country. Funded mainly by performances, it gives shows wherever it can find a suitable theatre, hall or street. Its performers, aged from five to thirty, are almost all from poor families. A few are paid, but most have joined to learn acrobatics, juggling and other circus skills from Teklu and the circus’s five other trainers.