|Amin, Mohamed (1943-1996)|
|Mohamed Amin ("Mo"
to his friends and colleagues) was one of Africa's leading photojournalists.
Over a 40 year career he won many awards for his work, but he will best
be remembered for helping to bring the attention of the world in 1983
to the famine in Ethiopia. His harrowing pictures were seen on television
broadcasts throughout the world and helped provide the impetus for famine
relief operations - notably "Live Aid" in 1984.
Amin's trademark was fearless photojournalism, often involving considerable personal danger in pursuit of the best pictures. In June 1991, working as bureau chief for the television news agency Visnews, he was badly injured in an explosion at an ammunition dump in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. His injuries made it necessary for his left arm to be amputated. However, an artificial arm made it possible for him to manipulate his camera equipment and he was able to continue with his work.
Born in Nairobi on August 29, 1943, the son of a railway worker, Amin completed his first assignment at the age of 13, covering the East African car rally. Amongst his many subsequent awards was one for British Cameraman of the Year in 1969. He was made a Member of the British Empire (MBE) by Queen Elizabeth in 1992. Amin also devoted his energies to publishing books and magazines. He established, and was chief executive of, a picture agency called Camerapix.
Amin died tragically in a plane crash in November 1996. He was returning home to Nairobi after a business trip to Addis Ababa when his flight was hijacked. The Ethiopian Airlines plane, under the control of the hijackers, ran out of fuel and crashed near the Conoros Islands, off the coast of Ethiopia. Among the sixty fatalities were Amin and Brian Tetley, a long-time colleague who provided the words for many of Amin's films.