Day three, blog post one at the cadet school. And after hearing what we’ve been told about the programme, I admit it’s only at this point that it sinks just how privileged I am to be here. Our group, comprising of 10 truly amazing people of various backgrounds, is the cadet school’s fourth batch since it was launched in 2010. Guests, all specialists in their fields, are coming thick and fast imparting what will hopefully guide us in this seemingly demanding field. From super sub-editor Dave Chambers, head of the 102-member strong IP (Independent Production) department, to investigative journalist extraordinaire Ivor Powell (I’m hoping to discuss the session we had with him soon).
And then there was the lanky, foul-mouthed yet extremely energetic and award-winning lensman Andrew Ingram. His hour long session has probably been the most captivating yet. As the presentation commenced swiftly the oohs and deep gasps from the cadets grew louder with every photo. Andrew has a catalogue of pictures that, in a nutshell, encapsulates his career spanning well over 25years. He’s treaded murky waters but attributes his apparent survival to his “thick skin”. From fleeing brutal police as an exuberant novice in the late 80s to covering raging fleinboos and shack fires; gruesome road accident scenes and to capturing newly released Robben Island prisoners reuniting with their loved ones. He’s done it all.
A large section of society considers journalists, including photojournalists, to be selfless empathy lacking bastards who care about nothing but getting the story not giving much regard to the victim.
But Andrew proves this notion wrong. His passion for both primary health care and photography saw him give up his job as chief illustrations editor three years ago. He then literally merged the two spheres when he took up take up the media liaison officer role at the National Sea Rescue Institute after previously serving the organisation on a voluntary basis for numerous years.
Andrew Ingram is the quintessence of daring and dedication. During the next nine months as I embark on my own journalism voyage, I’m hoping to take a leaf from his book.