Date:20 July, 2017
Matthew Willman is a freelance documentary photographer, from the small town of Pinetown In Kwa-Zulu Natal, who went on an 8 year journey, pursuing his dream to meet Nelson Mandela. His dream came true as he was commissioned for official shoots with the Nelson Mandela Foundation in 2004. He had the privilege of spending a great deal of intimate, one-on-one time with the iconic man. Willman works across Southern Africa with some of the worlds foremost charitable and funding organisations that include Oxfam International, World Health Organisation and the European Commission. He has been afforded diverse and interesting photographic commissions that include places like Robben Island, Inanda Heritage, The Royal Ballet School in London, Tromso in the Arctic Circle and Red Fern Aboriginal Centre in Australia. Personalities that include from amongst others: Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Annie Lennox, FW De Klerk, The Dalai Lama and US President Bill Clinton.
To add to his already glowing list on accolades, he founded his own charity in 2011, Matthew Willman Foundation for Visual Arts. This foundation is committed to making a difference to individuals and communities through Visual Arts. They use art as an enabler and aims to change and uplift vulnerable communities.
My Definition Of Success | Success for me is the opportunity to keep exploring this world through the lens of a camera, whilst at the same time taking that new knowledge & images captured to use as visual inferences that tell stories of who we are and what we shape ourselves to be.When I look back at how I interpreted success, it honestly hasn’t changed. Ive always chosen a myriad of smaller dreams that motivated me to keep me out my comfort zone whilst constantly working towards some seemingly impossible goal. For 9 years my goal was to shake the hand of Nelson Mandela, I superseded that by eventually working for 10 years as a commissioned photographer to the Nelson Mandela Foundation.