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The World Photography Organisation and Sony Middle East & Africa has revealed that Bongani Tshabalala as South Africa’s National Award winner for the Sony World Photography Awards 2023.

Bongani Tshabalala, Great Joy. Courtesy of the artist.

This is the second time Bongani wins this illustrious photography prize following his victory in the same category last year. The National Awards program is an initiative set up by the World Photography Organisation and Sony to support local photographic communities around the world, with 55 countries taking part this year.

Over 415,000 images from over 200 countries and territories were submitted to the Sony World Photography Awards 2023 and over 200,000 were entered to the Open competition (from which the National Awards winner was selected).

Bongani Tshabalala was anonymously selected by judges for his photograph Great Joy, entered into the Portraiture category of the Open competition. He took his winning photograph on the day that his friend’s father passed on, and the sad news was all he can remember with the picture.

Bongani was born in South Africa, based in a small town located in the Free State. He is a self-taught photographer whose contemporary style is narrating the stories of African people. He’s driven by creating a more diverse picture and inspired by the stories and faces of his subjects.

Commenting on his win Bongani said: “I am thankful for being selected as part of the shortlist for the World Photo Organisation. This is a great opportunity for me and my work to get exposed globally.”

As South Africa’s National Award winner, Bongani Tshabalala receives Sony digital imaging equipment and will be included in the Sony World Photography Awards exhibition and book.

The overall winners in the Student, Youth, Open and Professional competitions of the Sony World Photography Awards 2023 will be announced on the 13th of April 2023 and will go on display as part of the exhibition at Somerset House, London (14 April-1 May 2023). For more information about upcoming announcements and winners please visit World Photo.

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