We are pleased to announce the winners of the twelfth edition of the annual Uganda Press Photo Award (UPPA), as well as the sixth edition of the East African Photography Award (EAPA) and the eighth edition of the Young Photographer Award (YPA).

The East African Photography Award steadily grows its engagement with creators in the region. Photographers from Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda participated in this edition.

This year's top prize goes to Fabrice Mbonankira from Burundi for his visual essay titled ‘Sleeping Queens’, documenting women and their families living around landfills in Mubone and Kinyankonge in the northwest of Bujumbura, Burundi. The women earn their living by collecting charcoal, plastic and metal scrap, reselling it and earning about one US dollar per day. Mbonankira portrays them as queens: strong and resilient, managing to take care of their children and their families.

Mbonankira is a Burundian visual storyteller born in Bujumbura. His artistic practice has been influenced by the experience of living with the stigma inflicted by the war that Burundi experienced in 1993 which almost decimated his entire family. Fabrice is passionate about reportage journalism. His career as a documentary photographer took off after training in storytelling and conceptualization in photography around 2019. 

Fabrice says, “I want my work to have a positive impact on the lives of people and communities I photograph”.

He takes home a money prize of USD 1500 and other prizes. 

Joshua Victor Semaganda’s cyanotype portrait of a traditional birth attendant, Nora Nalwanga Lubi, titled “Remember Me” was chosen the winning EAPA Single Image and the winning image in the ‘Imagine’ Category. 

Semaganda is a documentary photographer and visual artist based in Uganda, working with both analog and digital photography. His work is greatly inspired by indigenous medicine and its related practices as he explores photography and materiality in an attempt to reimagine the photographic process. He holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial and fine arts from Makerere University Kampala and is currently finalising an MFA at the same university.

In relation to his photograph he says: “Historically, cyanotype is one of the oldest photographic processes usually referred to as a cameraless means of making photographs. The image is part of a long-term ongoing project, a series of experiments and exploration of photography and materiality in order to offer new perspectives on how archives are kept and made in relation to the storage and preservation of indigenous knowledge.”

Semaganda takes home a cash prize of USD 750 and other prizes.

Ruphael Wolde (Ethiopia) and Katunguka Andrew (Uganda) were recognised as the winners of the Human and Planet categories respectively. 

The EAPA 2022 was judged by an international jury comprised of photography professionals including Paul Botes, Photo Editor at The Continent (SA); Sarah Gilbert, Photo Editor at The Guardian (UK); Luis Tato, Photo Editor AFP (SP/KE), Niamh Tracey, Curator FORMAT Festival (UK); Asha Iman Veal, Associate Curator at The Museum of Contemporary Photography (US).



This year’s Uganda Press Photo Award (UPPA), continues the tradition of recognising and awarding some of the best photography and photojournalism within the country. This year Ugandan photographers were invited to submit bodies of photographic work responding to the theme ‘Beyond the Headlines’.

Through this theme, we hope to give a platform to photojournalists and documentary photographers across Uganda to introduce viewers to diverse stories through their work. Through their journalistic and creative  voices, they will delve deeper into the critical issues of our age and bring to light thought-provoking photo stories of Uganda’s shifting economic, political, social and technological landscape.

Kuloba Peter Tera’s response to the theme, titled “Basani Barura (The Men are Getting Out)”, was chosen as the best effort to picture stories hidden beyond the headlines in Uganda. Going beyond the single image Imbalu depiction, Tera’s photo essay delves further into the different aspects of this centuries-old cultural practice of the Bamaasaba/Bagisu people in Eastern Uganda. It is the initiation of boys in puberty into manhood and officially starts in August after the sighting of the second full moon.

Tera is a passionate photographer with interests in documentary, travel, nature and lifestyle photography. He loves visiting and documenting rural communities with unique cultures and traditions. His journey into photography was ignited by his cousin who encouraged him to get some photography literature and magazines and give it a try. Tera often shares his photography skills and knowledge with budding and fellow photographers.

Tera says, "My passion for photography changed when I owned my first DSLR. I photographed and experimented as much as I could and I am still doing so. I love travelling a lot and making friends. I documented the Imbalu ritual to archive and create a visual reference of the centuries long tradition that is slowly losing its authenticity, uniqueness and importance due to many factors such as modernisation, religion, like loss of habitat, cultural sites, inter-marriage with other tribes and restrictions imposed by the government and through media, often creating misunderstandings. So through my ongoing (visual) research I'm optimistic there'll be a future reference to visit and better understanding of what Imbaul has been throughout generations."

Tera takes home a UGX 3,000,000 cash prize. 

The UPPA 2022 was judged by a jury composed of regional photography professionals including Edward Echwalu, Documentary Photographer (UG), Grace Ekpu, Photojournalist (NG), Martha Kazungu, Independent Curator (UG), Ala Kheir, Photographer (SD) and Anne Nwakalor, Photo Editor (NG/UK).


The Young Photographer Award (YPA) is an educational award geared towards passionate emerging photographers looking to cultivate a career in documentary photography or photojournalism. The winner of the competition together with the runners-up gets the opportunity to participate in an intensive Mentorship Programme. The programme is designed to give young photographers a chance to learn more about photography through a bootcamp-style course and to develop a documentary photography project under the guidance of an industry professional. 

This year Kampala Lookman, freelance photographer and photojournalist, was recognised as the winner of the YPA. 

Kampala Lookman is a Kampala native and his photos have been featured on various online platforms and in publications by several media houses and the international press. He might already be known to the public through his long-term documentary project called "The Ugandans", capturing the diverse and vibrant people of his home country through portrait photography.

Lookman receives a cash prize of UGX 1,000,000 as well as an invitation to participate in the Emerging Photographer Mentorship Programme, during which he will have the opportunity to develop his project further and exhibit his work during UPPA 2024. 

This year’s edition was judged by Dennis Kimbugwe, Photographer (UG), Zahara Abdul - Photographer (UG), Martin Kharumwa - Photographer (UG), Giovanni Okot - Photographer (UG), Miriam Watsemba - Documentary Photographer (UG).

Congratulations to all the shortlisted photographers!



An exhibition presenting all the winning images from this year’s East African Photography Award, Uganda Press Photo Award and Young Photographer Award will be open to the public from October 20th at Makerere Art Gallery in Kampala until November 12th. 

The show will also include work from last year’s winner of the Young Photographer Award Isaac Henry Muwanguzi and runners-up Lyndah Katusiime and Kazoora Boaz who will present their outcomes of this year’s Emerging Photographer Mentorship Programme. 

Isaac presents his project titled “Twelve Percent Of Us” which looks into living with disabilities in Kampala. He explores some of the lesser-known aspects of the lives of differently-abled people living in the city. Through a mixed-media approach to the topic, he sought to develop a multi-sensory experience and to encourage audiences to reflect on what it means to make the world accessible.

“By the Water’s Edge” by Lyndah Katusiime is a visual exploration of the materials, shapes, construction techniques and physical forms of boats on and around Lake Victoria in Uganda. Boats have an extensive history in Uganda, and are deeply ingrained in the cultures and livelihoods of those communities residing near the country's abundant waterways.

In his ongoing project titled “We're Listening”, Kazoora Boaz explores people’s relationship with music, the memories they hold with music, and how music influences their lives. Through a series of environmental portraits and interviews, his project is a conduit between generations and different social groups.


East African Photography Award

Category: Story
Fabrice Mbonankira (Burundi)
Walaa Yassien (Sudan)
Brian Otieno (Kenya)
Hashim Hamza (Sudan)

Category: Human
Ruphael Wolde (Ethiopia)
Bereket Tassew (Ethiopia)
Immaculate Bashaba (Uganda)
4. Patrick Ngugi (Kenya)

Category: Planet
Katunguka Andrew (Uganda)
Daniel Irungu Mwangi (Kenya)

Category: Imagine
1. Joshua Victor Semaganda (Uganda) 

2. Hashim Hamza (Sudan)

Uganda Press Photo Award

Kuloba Peter Tera
Atiko Anthony
Julius Odeke
Miriam Watsemba
Vanessa Mulondo

Young Photographer Award

Kampala Lookman
Kuteesa Joseph Nathan
Immaculate Naddunga
Kirabo Serina

(HM = honourable mention)


The Uganda Press Photo Award(UPPA) is a platform for photographers and people interested in photography in Uganda and East Africa.
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