When I stop taking pictures I’m dead


1989. Visiting a Koevoet army camp while carrying an ANC membership card was not a good idea. But that’s exactly what Obie Oberholzer, a photographer with a taste for adventure, found himself doing one day in Angola. When the apartheid-era militants discovered the incendiary tag they made Oberholzer stand with a book raised above his head, and shredded its pages with bullets. Oberholzer survived, left with a cheese grater for a book – and an incredible story in a life filled with them.

Oberholzer was born on a small farm outside Pretoria. He left South Africa as a teenager to study graphic design in Munich, Germany. It was there that he developed his love for photography. Returning to South Africa in the 1980s, during the height of the political turmoil, he worked as a freelance photographer, turning his camera on the country’s people and places.

Oberholzer loves photography. Pictures are a way to capture the human essence that connects us all. His camera gives him freedom – an escape that the photographer with a bent for adventure has utilised to its fullest degree.