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Kalenga Nkonge: Not Limited By Labels

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Kalenga Nkonge, aka Bonkoti, is a Lusaka based photographer.  He is also a qualified journalist and a trained carpenter. Kalenga worked as a radio DJ for several years and was known as Daddy O, the number one psychedelic soul brother.

Kalenga began using a camera as a tool for visual story-telling by capturing his everyday experience of Lusaka. He began using his phone – taking photos of his surroundings during walks into Chainda Market, Freedom Way, City Market and Kamwala. What drives Nkonge’s photographic work is a keen desire to tell stories that we may otherwise miss or not think to document.

Often referred to as a street photographer, Kalenga doesn’t embrace that label. While he shoots a lot of street photography, he also does portraiture, documentary photography and other forms of photography. He simply wants to be known as a photographer, without labels and classifications.

There are certain things you can always count on, such as this yellow honey van. You’ll find it right outside Twin Palm Mall in Avondale every day of the week from morning to late afternoon.
“Roda’s air loon” – I don’t know what that means but I have a feeling it might be a place where women go to do their hair.
The enigmatic Mumba Yachi, just chilling. This was my very first photoshoot with my friend, the very talented singer, Mumba Yachi.
How many chickens? Honestly, how many chickens is she holding and where is she taking them?
Inauguration day – I went to the inauguration of Hakainde Hichilema, aka HH. I knew I never stood a chance of getting into Heroes Stadium so I captured the scenes on the outside.
A piece of everyday life – I took this shot with my phone of this guy in Chainda Market filling bottles with cooking oil for sale.
St Ignatius Church in the Rhodes Park neighbourhood – I grew up around this church so I have always had a special connection with the place.
It was the background that caught my attention. I told my son to pick up a mask and took some shots. I often use him and my younger son as subjects in my photos.

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