It was unlikely that South Africa’s best kept secrets would remain in Soweto forever. David Westhead and John Cole have come in and snapped up some prodigal works from fresh talent in and around Soweto and exhibited them at the Oxo Tower on London’s Southbank in a concept entitled Wembley to Soweto.

The Umuzi Photography club in conjunction with David Westhead and John Cole from Wilton Pictures recently exhibited the works of eight talented young photographers at the Oxo Tower on London’s Southbank. The exhibition named Wembley to Soweto is a collage of life for these eight young adults interspersed with photos from the 2010 Fifa World cup. The exhibition stands as a terse reminder that service delivery in many parts of Africa is still a pipedream.

While the images speak for themselves I had the chance to interview three of the photographers who are emerging as a talent to be reckoned with. First was Thapelo Motsumi, he stands nervously with hands in his pockets, a camera slung over his shoulder, Thapelo graduated high school last year and is currently on a gap year doing freelance photography for places such as Marie Claire and Vice. His philosophy on photography is simple, ‘I like pictures that have an impact, pictures that show peoples lives.’ His pictures at the exhibition sold out within hours and it’s not hard to see why, the simplicity and beauty in the still images stands in contrast to the subject matter, life in the township.

Shonnez Cassim knows what she wants and is on her way to getting it, a 19 year old student at the University of Johannesburg, Shonnez small frame may fool you but her personality and enthusiasm dwarf her pint size physique. She would like to integrate photography into child psychology and create a learning program for children who in turn would teach other children in the community. As she explains, ‘I’d just like to make a difference.’ For Shonnez there is something powerful in photography that highlights how little things people take for granted can have such a powerful impact on others.

Last up due to her shyness is Patience Ndhlovu, even though her hands flutter nervously and her voice comes out just louder than a whisper her photography speaks volumes, she explains that, ‘ If I want to tell people something I always know that it doesn’t have to be verbal, I can do it with pictures.’ A sixteen year old student with ambition, Patience is not just happy doing photography but also wants to be an accountant whilst continuing with her photographic work.

The Umuzi Photography club started with disposable cameras and a handful of students in 2009 to the present where they run courses from introduction to photography to advanced photography. Their successful model of teaching young disadvantaged children to show their world in photos is one that is going to see photography changing. With Wilton pictures involved in projects in other countries with similar backgrounds such as Brazil, with children from the favellas against the backdrop of the 2014 Fifa World Cup, this mode of photography could effect change that governments have failed to.

Umuzi in the meanwhile is set to expand their current model within South Africa, having already had over 150 students in Johannesburg pass through their learning centre in Bramfontein they are now looking towards expansion in Cape Town. One thing is for certain, the photographers from the Umuzi Photography club have taken a subject bled dry by the media and introduced a fresh new perspective into it. For more information on the exhibition check out their homepage or go to