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Misika vows to showcase splendour of Botswana nature

OLEOSI KGOSI
The motive behind Misika amazing work is sharing his happiness, peace and freedom PICS: JOE MISIKA
Joe Misika is a wildlife and landscape photographer based in Kasane who captures enthralling pictures of nature.

His objective is to showcase the beauty of Botswana’s fauna and flora, culture, people and also inspire other people to appreciate nature and art. The stunning photos he captures can beautifully adorn walls, cushions, calendars, screen savers and galleries.

He embarked on the photography journey in 2018 after spending more than a decade as a web developer. “I have always had an interest in photography being from a culture and wildlife rich area but never got started, I guess staying in Johannesburg might have had an effect on that,” he told Arts & Culture in an interview. Upon realising he was misplaced from his passion, he finally took the plunge in 2018 and bought his first camera. He began shooting pictures of people, wildlife and landscapes but he stated that his interest has always been nature photography.

Misika added that he did not possess any formal training in photography, therefore he is self-taught from watching YouTube tutorials. In pursuit of his photography drive, the lensman joined Pangolin Photo Safaris as a photo host intern where he goes out on boat cruises and game drives capturing remarkable moments.

“This is where my photography grew in leaps and bounds as I got to really learn the different techniques of photography,” he revealed.

The motive behind his amazing work is sharing his happiness, peace and freedom. He believes that when one is out in nature, a certain level of happiness is reached. The snapper hopes that with his work at the point a person sees it, they can feel what he experienced at the time the photo was captured.

He mentioned that the time has arrived for local photographers to tell their own stories and show the beauty of Botswana through their eyes.  In regard to powering

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tourism, Misika believes that wildlife and landscape photography provide a platform to showcase Botswana to the international market hence attracting visitors. He highlighted that tourism is one of the biggest employers in the country and currently the effects of COVID-19 on tourism are deeply felt.

The environmentally informed snapper have absolute confidence that if one gives animals their space, they will also give one theirs. “You also have to know animal behaviour so that you can anticipate what they are going to do thus avoid danger or sense it,” he said.

He further stated that currently he shares most of his work on Facebook and he is looking forward to launch his website soon.

“Looking at the fact that I have been in the market for under two years, I think the support and reception has been good,” he added. His current highlight is having his work shared on the BW Government page, hence getting to be seen by the majority of Batswana instead of just his friends, family and few people on Facebook photography groups.

Moreover, his dream is to exhibit at a gallery anywhere in Botswana and internationally. He aspires to win awards as well as attain a platform that carries a lot of weight and ensuring that he gets a lot of assignments from local and international organisations like Botswana Tourism Organisation, Nat Geo and more.

In his opinion, the government can empower photographers by supporting arts and purchasing their work that will ensure that they generate income. He suggested that a policy could be passed that might ensure that any advertisement done locally and requires photography, the photos should be sourced from local photographers in Botswana instead of either getting stock photography or using photos from international photographers.



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