“He was a father figure,” journalists pay tribute to renowned photographer Peter Magubane

todayJanuary 9, 2024 163

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Veteran South African journalists have remembered the renowned photographer, Dr Peter Magubane, as a nurturing figure who always had a word of encouragement for up-and-coming journalists.

Magubane’s friends and relatives yesterday held a memorial service in Soweto for the late activist, who played a vital role in documenting and capturing the struggles of Black South Africans under the apartheid regime.

Magubane was part of a legacy of brave photographers whose images helped expose the horrors and lived struggles of apartheid South Africa. 

He documented critical events in the country’s history including the 1956 Women’s March, the 1976 Student Uprising’s and the dawn of democracy. 

Famous for travelling the world as Nelson Mandela’s personal photographer, Magubane died peacefully at his home on New Year’s Day. He was 91. 



 Johannesburg Mayor, Kabelo Gwamanda, and International Relations Minister, Dr Naledi Pandor, were some of the notable figures at Magubane’s memorial service.

Speaking at the memorial, world-renowned photographer Ruth Motau said young journalists who met him were struck by his humility.


His daughter, Fikile Magubane, remembered her father as a legend, who was passionate about his work. 

Magubane will be laid to rest in a special provincial funeral tomorrow.

The service will be held at the Bryanston Methodist Church in Johannesburg.

Written by: Naomi Kobbie

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