MUWANGUZI ISAAC HENRY: My Photography Journey to winning UPPA Best Project 2022

I’m Muwanguzi Isaac Henry a graduate from Margaret School of Industrial and Fine Arts Makerere University. I’m a photo journalist and at the moment i work with as head of content photography at Next Media.

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I was inspired by my elder sister who is deaf and physically handicapped. My intention was to tell her story but later I decided to make it a community project so that I document and tell a transformational story of people living with disabilities in Uganda. I got to know UPPA in 2016 when I saw the winning image of that year, it inspired me to submit the following year. I didn’t participate until 2018 but my work that time didn’t make it anywhere.

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Grace Nagawa making crotchets under the tree.

At that time my photojournalism skills were not the best it’s now that I can understand why I didn’t stand a chance then. In 2019 in had a chance of participating in Foto Foundry an international photography workshop in Kigali Rwanda where I got to learn from different photographers around the world which was an eye opener for me because almost all the photographers, I engaged with were photo journalists a genre I wasn’t familiar with since I wasn’t even working for a media house at that time.

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MUWANGUZI ISAAC HENRY

After the mentorship from that workshop, I came back to Uganda and the first thing I did was to look for a job in a media house and I looked no further than NBS TV and I was privileged to get the job a week after that training.

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Irene Nanyanzi is deaf impaired, works at a Cafe (Silent Cafe) in Nakulabye owned and run by colleagues who are also deaf.

I submitted again for UPPA in 2019, 2020 but I was never shortlisted. In 2021 I decided not to participate because I wanted to reinvent my style and purpose in my photography career. I was again privileged to enroll for Canon Miraisha workshop which was organized by UPPA in 2021 and it at this point that I decided to do photography that transforms communities.

I was inspired by my elder sister who is deaf and physically handicapped. My intention was to tell her story but later I decided to make it a community project so that I document and tell a transformational story of people living with disabilities in Uganda.

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Nelson Bugembe carrying a bag full of five litre jerrycans on his back and one in his hand on his way to deliver to his clients in Bukoto

In 2022, I submitted some of the images from this particular project and here we are it has emerged as the best project this year.

I believe we a can make our communities a better place to live in if we work together, support each other and to be particular strive inclusion for people living with disabilities both visible and invisible.

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The Paralympics team training at Namboole National Stadium in preparations ahead of the Commonwealth Games.
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