Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Nzitu Mawakha 1973-2014

Daima Exhibition, August-Bebel-Institut, Berlin-Wedding
Photo ©2014 Ralf Steinberger

Nzitu Mawakha was, for many reasons, a remarkable woman and I will forever be grateful, that I am one of those, fortunate enough to be able to have called her my friend.

At one point during the misery of Winter 2012, Nzitu and I huggled together on her sofa and dreamed up a plan to work on the third edition of Witnessed together. It was quite literally a dream. Neither of us realised at the time how many people's hearts this project would come to touch. We didn't even know that it would really come to exist. Nzitu loved photography. It was clear that this would be a book of her photographs. Beyond that, we simply did not know.

Now, nearly two years later, Daima is easily the best selling publication of the Witnessed Series. The exhibition of same name is being constantly booked to be shown in cities across Germany. The media interest in an English language publication about Black women by Black women caught Nzitu and I both off guard. There has yet to be a book presentation where tears have not been shed. The photograph above was taken at the opening of the exhibition in the August-Bebel-Institut earlier this year. The place was quite literally bursting at the seams.

Nzitu is now gone.

She died suddenly and unexpectedly at the beginning of August 2014.
She leaves behind her partner, her young daughter and many, many grieving family members and friends.
And yet, with Daima, we have a beautiful, lasting legacy of her work, her passion and her vision.

Nzitu Mawakha

Nakupenda sana, Nzitu.
Nakupenda sanaa!

I love you with all the pieces of my broken heart....daima!

Sharon Otoo
Series Editor, Witnessed

Nzitu Mawakha (2013)

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