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Faces of Zambia

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By Chona Mwemba

I am a 25-year-old self-taught Zambian photographer. I love shooting everyday life photos because they cannot be replicated or faked. The rawness and richness of my subjects and the environment they’re in is a personal reminder to myself to always see the beauty of life no matter where I am. Through my work I strive to portray Zambia in a positive light. This series of images brings to life the beauty and strength of the Zambian people across the country, as well as their gracious and amiable nature.

I met this wonderful lady out in Kalumbila while on assignment for FSD Zambia and Ufulu. This woman is head of her house and looks after more than eight people. She exuded both humility and regalness. Her smile brought me joy and reminded me to appreciate the little things in life.

In Mwansakombe Village in Luapula Province I saw this little girl who struck me with her innocence and composure. Her friends were hyper but her energy was calm and pure. It is important that we preserve our country for her generation and those that will come afterwards.

Cyclists

I was out in Chipata on assignment when I saw these men practically cycling in formation. Many people may have easily overlooked the moment but for me it was a spectacle, especially because Chipata is the ‘bicycle capital of Zambia.’

I captured this game ranger in Kafue National Park for Game Rangers International, which has partnered with the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) on various conservation initiatives. A game ranger’s work is tasking in general and even more so in Kafue National Park due to its vastness and the road networks within the park. However, they still manage to make an impact on their environment and the communities around them.

When I saw this elderly man while out and about in Lusaka I was intrigued by his look, including the John Lennon-esque sunglasses. I had to approach him and ask for a portrait. On any given day in this beautiful country you will come across an individual worth capturing, even if you didn’t intend to. To me he represents a Zambia that challenges the norms and I appreciate that.

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