It was Maduna’s PDP coursework that attained her sponsorship to cover the World Cup. The course was launched in September 2005 by MPW with the aim of creating a new breed of homegrown photojournalists who could tell the stories of a changing nation while documenting South Africa’s rebuilding effort.
“In a not-so-literate country, images are important to express meaning,” said MPW Director John Fleetwood at the course’s outset.
One of Maduna’s projects was documenting a bodybuilding club. “It was in Alexandra, which is close by Sandton, one of the most expensive suburbs of Johannesburg,” she says. “They had no equipment. It’s like a squatter camp. They had no weights, no space to practice in the shack they were using. They were making use of nothing, making it into something.”
Another project entailed viewing the city in a different way. Maduna took images reflected in water puddles. “It was about the mysteries of the city,” she says, “but also if we had a proper piping system, the water would be carried away.”
Fellow student Masimba Sasa worked on a documentary about recycling. While following the men to their jobs, he met their wives who accompanied them to cook and sell ‘mealie pops’, maize-based snacks roasted on large drums of coal.
“How these women lived, there’s an amount of heroism there that has to be admired and shown – the way they live their life, where they’ve come from,” says Sasa. “They have to depend on selling this food.
“I was there for one day and I had a problem with the husbands, and the women were tough at first. But when they could see what I was doing, they started showing a lighter side to themselves, smiling and posing for the camera.”