Memory against Forgetting, by Ranjith Kally

In conversation with Ranjith Kally, an Indian photographer from South Africa from the 1950’s. A dynamic photographer who captured the events & struggles of people involved in South Africa’s struggle for democracy.

Kally who was born in 1925, bought his first camera, a Kodak which cost just sixpence and his work was showcased in the Drum magazine in the 1950’s.
Pictures included those of anti-apartheid leaders like the late Monty Naicker, Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo and Chief Albert Luthuli.

In 1967 he was admitted to the Royal Photographic Society in London

Kally’s pictures date back over 60 years and at the age of 79 he held his debut solo exhibition in 2004.
If he had to live his life again, Kally says it would as a photographer because
“there’s no profession in the world like it ”.

The picture is titled ‘Grandma gives a bath’.

A photographic journey through SA . Emotions & struggles captured through the lens by Ranjith Kally.

Chief Albert Luthuli photographed here in the 1950’s when he was a sugar cane farmer. Chief Albert Luthuli, Africa’s first winner of the Nobel Prize for Peace


Miriam Makeba photographed seated in the middle. This photo was taken in Durban  at the  City Hall foyer during a break, of the theatre production of King Kong.


Sewsunker “Papwa” Sewgolum (OIS) (1930-1978)  a South African golfer of ethnic Indian origin. Seen here after beating Gary Player. Papwa was not allowed into the clubhouse to receive his trophy. Apologies for the poor picture quality. This is a pic of the photo. Please check the book for some amazing unseen pictures.


Ranjith Kally’s book aptly titled: Memory against Forgetting, is available at bookshops and online.


I learnt a bit of history tonight just by viewing these photographs. There is a whole lot more to discover .

Happy reading friends 🙂

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