At first glance, a friendly couple, in the market place in the Malawi capital, Lilongwe. Then, at second glance, a “Sugar Daddy“. Most research has suggested that this inter-generational phenomenon has contributed to the spread of the HIV virus – indeed many countries, including South Africa, run public health awareness and education campaigns on the issue. There is some recent evidence that actually it’s not all a negative – as there is more awareness of the virus threat amongst such couples. But generally the consensus is that it is a rather sad and widespread social trend.
It is from a 2002 visit I made to Malawi, in my then-role as Board Trustee of Save the Children. The advisory group was there to study the HIV/Aids challenge, and ways that Save could do more. The “historical record” of the trip is here.
Fuller photo essay is here.
UPDATE: Whilst this is an old story, the basic truths of it still persist. There is a emerging culture of “blesser” and “blessee” in some countries, where effectively the young woman is “blessed” by a (usually) older man – money for favours.
See South Africa’s Sugar Daddy Culture from SBS Australia, 2016
And Fighting The Curse of The Blessers from the BBC, 2016
There is even a Facebook Page … of course there is …
From a photographic point of view, the image was taken with the Nikon D1X, and 17-35mm zoom – at 35mm, 1/160 sec and F/6.3. To remind everyone, the D1X, Nikon’s “professional” digital SLR at that time was not a full frame camera, as it had a 1.5 crop factor. In fact it also only had a 5.9 Megapixel sensor … One more proof that the megapixel wars aren’t everything.
The image and the story is the key.