The Bang-Bang Club


God’s Thoughts to Me

What sorrow awaits those who look to Egypt for help,trusting their horses, chariots, charioteers and depending on the strength of human armies, instead of looking to the Lord, the Holy One of Israel. In His wisdom, the Lord will send great disaster; He will not change his mind (Isaiah 31:1-2, NLT).

Hungry Hearts


In 2010 the movie, The Bang-Bang Club was premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival.

It portrays the lives of four photo journalists active within the townships of South Africa; Ken Oosterbroek, Kevin Carter, Jaoa Silva and Greg Marinovich.

They captured the low intensity war within the South African townships during the time of apartheid, especially during the period from 1990 to 1994.

The movie was the result of the political intolerance between the ANC supporters and the supporters of the Inkhata Freedom Party.

Greg Marinovich's Pulitzer Prize winning Photograph

Greg Marinovich’s Pulitzer Prize winning Photograph

In 1991 Greg won the Pulitzer Price for his photo of the murder of Lindsaye Tshabalala and Kevin was the photographer of that tragic picture of the little girl dying of hunger in Sudan while a vulture was stalking her in the background.

In 1994 Kevin also received the Pulitzer Prize for this heart wrenching photo. He was a man with a gentle, soft heart and in the same year he committed suicide.


Ken Oosterbroek was caught in friendly fire from the UN Peace Corps in Soweto in 1994 and died in hospital. Greg was also wounded but survived.

in 2010 Joao accompanied US soldiers on a patrol in Kandahar where he stepped on a land mine and both his legs had to amputated below the knee.


Being a South African, I was deeply touched by this movie. I want to honor these four valiant men for recording this specific period in the history of our country. I dedicate this poem to them.


Am I poetically correct
Clinging to tatters of sanity
Deliberately distancing myself
From a Tokoza, Soweto, Boipatong
A genocidal, massacred Marikeng
From frivolous political commentary

From rotten broken bodies
Offering up their life blood
Gushing a solitary sticky river
Feeding the greedy god of death
Some already grinning eerily
The cruel, crying rigor mortis smile

From the heat and smoke of battle
From a thick, impenetrable wall
Of naked hatred, of tangible fear
An unlawfully occupied dust road
Built with granite rocks of terror
And tarred with human excrement

From assegais and machetes
Broken humanity, black and white
From fields being prepared
To serve as a dance floor
For rubber tyre necklaced dancers
Dancing the fire waltz of death

From puppets manipulated by Evil
Who clutches the strings of power
From the spiflicated mother hearts
Emaciated, drained of comfort tears
Mesmerized children dodging bullets
Flickering like swarms of fireflies

Will I be socially correct
When I hear the gentle voice of the wind
Sighing softly through pine needles
Singing subtly of my Beloved
Calling as I seek and I seek
And I’m found

Much love and sweet blessings


Please visit my Tea Time and Link-Ups page and meet all the friendly ladies I link with during the week!

50 thoughts on “The Bang-Bang Club

  1. I’m at a loss for words, Mia. As always, you capture with great precision the wrenching pain and horror of evil’s many manifestations, including war, prejudice, and hatred. I can only imagine the things those photographers saw and endured. What a high calling, and what a high price they paid. Thanks for sharing your heart and introducing us to those brave photojournalists.

    • Dear Alison
      Yes, these four guys saw things no man should ever go through and without their valor, this truth would have remained hidden!
      Blessings XX

  2. Mia…my words are tangled in reading your post. Those men. Their courage. Their photos. A story of truth that pain and suffering are very real for others and daily. By sharing their story and photos, you have honored these men and their journey. Thank you for sharing at WJIM’s Monday’s Musings. Blessings.

  3. My husband and I just watched the movie a few weeks ago, tears flowed…
    yes you have been found, forever found, dear one…

  4. WOW Mia…so very moving. Thank you for being brave and writing hard words about such great sadness. Michael and I recently watched Invictus, about the world cup soccer, and then followed it up with a documentary on Mandela and that time period. Your words stir my heart this morning…Blessings.

    • Dear Sheila
      I also saw the movie Invictus. Mr Mandela and Mr F W De Klerk truly deserved their Nobel Prizes for peace!
      Blessings XX

    • Dear Rachel
      I was touched so deeply by how this movie shows how man is not created to have power apart from God! Power in the hands of man corrupt!
      Blessings XX

  5. Mia, this is a raw but so needed reminder of the pain and horror that is the norm for so many around the world. Thank you for not being politically correct and for honoring these men.

    • Thanks for your kind words and you are so right. So many people suffer daily all around the world in useless violence!!
      Blessings XX

  6. Mia,

    Wow, those photographers documented and bore witness to heart-wrenching situations and to brave people. Thank you for sharing with us here your inside look at South Africa. My kids and I watched some documentaries on South Africa’s history this year for homeschooling. Moving.

    Stopping by from the IP link up,
    Jennifer Dougan

    • Dear Jennifer
      South Africa is such an incredibly beautiful country! I am honored that you guys are studying about our history.
      Blessings XX

  7. What a post sister. When I was in high school I went to an academic camp and we saw a film about SA and apartheid. We saw a woman burned with a tire necklace and the horrors that were happening at the time. I have since visited the country myself and I am always moved by such a recent history in such a beautiful land. Thank you for sharing.

    • Dear Debi
      Yes, it is just inhumane the way they burn people alive while they are trapped in a tyre! I am thankful that our Pappa has saved us fom a civil war.
      Blessings XX

  8. It was amazing what they did and the photos clearly show their bravery as well as the horrors they endured. Thanks so much for this beautiful tribute to their courage and selfless devotion, Mia. Now, if I can just have an ounce of their bravery, I’ll be doing well today!

    • Dear Beth
      Yes, we would all do well with such bravery, but we have the honor of living in the brave One! That makes all the difference in the world.
      Blessings XX

    • Dear Tanya
      Thanks for your visit, dear friend. I hope you are doing better and I appreciate your comment when you are not well!
      Blessings XX

    • Dear Lisa
      Thanks for your kind compliment. I find the written word a much easier way than the spoken word to bare my soul.
      Blessings XX

  9. Quite an interesting poem, etc. Sounds like so many hearts have been touched, broken, in a tough stretch of time. Uganda began to turn the right direction shortly before your portion of Africa and Sudan AND Rwanda went through so much sorrow Expect your heart has been heavily touched,

    Thank you for sharing so clearly.

    • Dear Joannne
      Yes, Africa has and is still going through so much violence and suffering! I am so thankful that our Pappa God has saved my country from a civil war!
      Blessings XX

  10. Yes, I echo the words and sentiments of every comment here. The images are powerful and gut-wrenching, and the story behind them moved me to tears. Bless you, dear Mia, for having the courage to share the deepest part of your heart.

    • Dear Tanya
      My heart breaks for the pain, poverty and suffering so many of my fellow countrymen are still going through. Thanks for understanding why I felt the need to write this.
      Blessings XX

  11. I’m rarely at a loss for words… Those pictures are horrifying. My heart in punctured… This fallen world is just about too much to take… It makes me angry and deeply grieved all at once. Thanks for the soul shaking poem.

    • Dear Floyd
      Oh, the ignorance of man to think that we can rule ourselves. We cannot and we don’t. It is either satan or our Pappa. But we know Who has already been victorious.
      Blessings XX

  12. Mia, Thank you for your words here. It was an honour to be sure to read your heart – but more importantly I want to thank you for the reminder of a time that can too easily be forgotten.

  13. HI Mia! I give you all the credit in the world for seeing this movie, and for telling us all about it.

    I tend to shy away from violence in movies, but you know, the truth can be very violent (just look at Jesus). You are a proud countrywoman, who loves her land. What a beautiful tribute to these brave people.


    • Dear Ceil
      Yes, I love my beautiful South Africa!! Thanks for seeing my heart for writing this post. But there is only one Truth, our Lord Jesus. The rest I see as true facts.
      Blessings XX

  14. Dear Mia,
    Such sorrow…such risks these men took to record what happened and to hopefully, help bring about change…how God’s father heart must break…thank you for sharing this tribute….love to you, and I pray your son’s hand is better.

    • Dear Dolly
      Our Pappa saved our country from a civil war and I am so grateful. We are taking my son to the orthopedic surgeon tomorrow. Thanks for your prayers.
      Blessings XX

  15. This is heart-wrenching…to think of some of the things people experience, and I get so wrapped up in the little things that frustrate my day. It puts things in perspective. Thank you for this brave post, friend. Blessings to you!

    • Dear Bev
      I had to honor these men for their bravery and am glad you were touched! Our country went through so much horror and still do!
      Blessings XX

  16. I was deeply moved by the pictures…especially the one of the starving little girl being stalked by the vulture. It’s so easy to get caught up in our trivial suburban problems when others are fighting for their lives. Thank you for telling a story that needs to be told!

    • Dear Bev
      This little girl died very near to a feeding scheme camp! But I know she is happy and safe forever in heaven with our dearest Lord!
      Blessings XX

  17. Wow Mia, when I read things like this and see those photos I feel many different emotions. Thank you for reminding me of what goes on in our world and how God is the only one we can truly lean on to save us.



    • Dear Sarah
      We can only look to our Lord and realize that these people are puppets in the hands of satan! God loves each one of them so much.
      Blessings XX

  18. Thank you for your tribute to those brave reporter who wrote and took photos that endangered their lives as well. We often feel so far removed from terror and hunger, but truthfully it is just around the corner and near to our door step. Thank you for sharing at “Tell Me a Story.”

    • Hi Hazel
      Yes, we oftentimes have no idea of the terrible horrors that happen around us. I feel so sorry for the women and children that live daily in such circumstances. Thanks for your visit and kind comment!
      Blessings XX

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