“No one has caught the pain and passion more incisively than Mohamed Amin, photographer and frontline cameraman extraordinaire.”
Mohamed Amin (b.1943- d.1996)
He was the second son of a poor railway worker and soon faced racism, an inevitable product of colonialism. He never forgot those underdog years and fought against prejudice for the rest of his life.
From the time he acquired his first camera, a second-hand Box Brownie, Mo’s future was determined. He quickly learned photographic and darkroom skills and was already applying them to commercial use when he went to secondary school in Tanganyika. Before he was 20 years old, he was a recognized force as a freelancer in Dar es Salaam and his works appeared in all the Fleet Street national newspapers.
In a career spanning more than 30 years, ‘Mo’ was our eyes on the frontline in every situation and his honest unwavering approach to photojournalism earned him the unconditional respect of both friends and enemies alike. Mo covered every major event in Africa and beyond, braving 28 days of torture, surviving bombs, and bullets, even the loss of his left arm in an ammunition dump explosion, to emerge as the most decorated news cameraman of all time. Mo’s remarkable life was tragically cut short in November 1996 when hijackers took over an Ethiopian airliner forcing it to crash in the Indian Ocean killing 123 passengers and the whole crew. Mo died on his feet, still negotiating with the terrorists.
Mo’s life was truly extraordinary: action-packed, full of pain, passion, and inseparable from the troubled chronicles of emergent Africa.