You may not know the name Ranjith Kally, but you will definitely be familiar with his work, and there’s no doubt that the names of the countless political personalities that Kally photographed will ring a bell. Kally, who worked for some thirty years as a photojournalist for Drum Magazine and its sister publication, Golden City Post, was responsible for some of our most iconic images of apartheid-era South Africa, including possibly the most famous photograph taken of former ANC president, Chief Albert Luthuli, shortly before he was awarded the Nobel Peace Price. Kally’s work was not limited purely to political news, and some of his photographs show the lighter side of life in South Africa, but as Kalim Rajab notes in reference to the book, Memory Against Forgetting, Kally’s photographs became far more focused and serious after the Shapreville Massacre in March 1960.
Other notable events covered by Kally over the course of his 60 year career include the the anti-pass campaign of 1960, the Rivonia Trial, and the reunion of former president Nelson Mandela and IFP leader, Mangosuthu Buthelezi, in 1991. The list goes on and on.
Ranjith Kally died at the age of 91, on Tuesday the 6th June 2017 at his daughter’s home in Johannesburg. With the passing of Kally South Africa has lost a great man and a supremely talented artist. Our deepest condolences go out to his friends and family.
Images courtesy of mg.co.za