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Lidudumalingani is a 2016 Caine Prize shortlistee. His beautiful story titled “Memories we Lost”—which you can read here—has him on one of the most coveted shortlists in the world.

We did a little bit of digging and discovered that Lidudumalingani curates an Instagram page. To those of you who have read his story, he is an amazing writer. But on Instagram, he leads this other life built around telling stories through photography.

The page offers so much more than just your usual handful-of-selfies-and-the-occasional-meal Instagram feed, but rather a gallery of skillfully taken photos that prove that his creativity is beyond words (pun intended).

Lidudumalingani is part of a growing collective of young African writers—which includes the likes of Wana Udobang, Warsan Shire, and Akwaeke Emezi. These writers are multi-disciplinary in their approach to storytelling. They take the work of chronicling African life beyond the literary sphere.

In over 1200 photos which he describes as being “at first concerned with beauty and second politics”, Lidudumalingani displays his ability to create meaning out of the seemingly mundane. His photos are breathtaking stories in themselves: stories of melancholy, stories of reflection, and stories of stillness. More often than not without captions, his images stand well alone, open to your own interpretation. When there are captions, the text is drawn from a literary work.

Lidudumalingani aims to counter the popular tourism focused narrative of Cape Town by focusing on smaller, oft-ignored details like the hand that holds the cigarette, the bright and colorful peppers crushed and discarded on the street, the sloping of skyscrapers into stark blue skies. His images force you to slow down and observe all the various ways through which life unravels itself in the little things. To him, a taxi is not only a taxi, but is rife with political meaning in “…its location..who has access to it..who makes use of it.”

A number of his photos seem almost surreptitiously captured, from the back seat of a bus or from the other side of the road. There are silhouettes, shadows, tall buildings and blue skies.

To Lidudumalingani, his writing is as visual as his images, both intersecting in their concern with “how and why to frame an image or to begin a sentence.”

He may have only a handful of followers, but the sheer beauty of his images and the magnitude of his Instagram archive makes Lidudumalingani a star to us.

Whether he’s writing or creating images, Lidudumalingani makes some beautiful art, and obviously, we’re here for it.

We’ve assembled a small selection to introduce you to Lidudumalingani’s world of images. Head on to @Lidudumalingani to see more.


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All images taken from the instagram page @Lidudumalingani


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About Tiwaladeoluwa Adekunle

View all posts by Tiwaladeoluwa Adekunle
Tiwaladeoluwa Adekunle is a creative writer and a student of International Studies and English. Some of her work has been published by Shale, Limestone, Indiana Review and Brittle Paper. She is passionate about language, stories and Chipotle, and would almost always rather be writing.

7 Responses to “Meet the Instagram Photographer Shortlisted for the 2016 Caine Prize” Subscribe

  1. Mikeinioluwa 2016/05/23 at 5:40 am #

    This is beautiful.

  2. Joshua Fakunle 2016/05/23 at 8:19 am #

    This is beautiful and very well written!!!!!

  3. Tomskie 2016/05/23 at 8:44 am #

    Who knew an article could be based on someone’s Instagram account but yeah- beautifully written!!!

  4. Viv 2016/05/23 at 10:02 am #

    Interesting article.

    You omitted the word ‘a’ in the ninth paragraph. There’s a typo as well: ‘is’ instead of ‘his’. Proofread the entire text.


  1. Four African writers you should be reading right now | For Naija - 2016/05/25

    […] to storytelling. They take the work of chronicling African life beyond the literary sphere, writes Tiwaladeoluwa Adekunle for Brittle […]

  2. Lidudumalingani, el transcriptor de imágenes | LitERaFRicA - 2016/07/05

    […] las palabras. Al igual que el colectivo Jalada o, como los otros escritores que se mencionan en Brittle Paper: Wana Udobang, Warsan Comarca y Akwaeke Emezi (sin olvidar a Teju […]

  3. El Caine de este año nos trae | ONG AFRICANDO SOLIDARIDAD CON AFRICA - 2016/09/24

    […] las palabras. Al igual que el colectivo Jalada o, como los otros escritores que se mencionan en Brittle Paper: Wana Udobang, Warsan Comarca y Akwaeke Emezi (sin olvidar a Teju Cole ) también Lidudumalingani […]

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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