Uganda’s Sports Photojournalist John Batanudde is elated that his picture has made the final list of the inaugural Rugby Africa Media and Photography Awards.
On August 26, Rugby Africa announced that, John Batanudde (Uganda), Antony Munge(Kenya) and Nantenaina Rakotondranivo (Madagascar) were three photographers chosen from a multitude of entries.
Batanudde was picked for his picture entitled: ‘Heathens’ loose forward Scott Oluoch launches an attack against Warriors players during a Uganda Cup match. The picture was taken at Kyadondo Rugby Club in Kampala, Uganda.’
When contacted for a comment, Batanudde was all praise to God. He said he only did the submission but it’s “God who has done the magic so far.”
Batanudde told Sta Daily Sport, “I have won a number of awards here in Uganda and that’s why I decided to give it a try on the continent.”
To give others especially the new kids on the block a chance to win something, Batanudde “has turned down various local invitations” to take part in sports photography competitions.
When asked to say something about his competitors, he confessed to “know nothing about the two gentlemen.” He however promised to “get a way of how to start engaging them so that they can begin sharing notice about sports photography.”
In the writers category, Don Makanyanga of Sunday Mail (Zimbabwe), Dave Mwaura Scrummage (Kenya) and James Ngenga of Medium (Kenya) are the fast runners.
With applications to the awards running from 17th May to 31st July 2021, the competition was open to journalists and photographers who have remarkably captured the oval ball, green fields, and players in a display of rugby at its best. The winners will be announced on 7th September 2021 during the virtual awards, where two front-runners will have the opportunity to walk away with USD1,500 each in prize money.
Speaking about the calibre of entries received, World Rugby Chairman and also the head of the panel of judges, Sir Bill Beaumont, Said that they were impressed with the entries.
“With over 1,500 entries, it is very clear that rugby is increasingly capturing hearts and minds across Africa. The standard of entries was exceptional with breath-taking photographs and powerful reporting that perfectly convey not just the passion for the sport and its values across the media community, but the remarkable achievements of a growing and thriving African rugby family. I would like to congratulate our finalists, thank everyone who entered and thank Rugby Africa for bringing this superb initiative to life,” he said.