Tariq Zaidi has spent the last 10 years photographing tribal and indigenous people in over 30 countries in Africa. He has just returned from South Sudan, where he photographed the little-documented Mundari tribe. It is hard to overstate the importance of cattle to the Mundari people. Their animals are everything - wealth, status, sustenance and dowry - and they guard them with their lives. They farm a breed of cattle called Ankole-Watusi – a distinctive white animal with curved horns, also known as ‘the cattle of kings’. With a single cow or bull worth up to $500, “Their cows are the most important thing in their lives,” says Zaidi. “And they will protect them at all costs.”
Tariq Zaidi (a self taught photographer) has become one of those success stories one occasionally reads about. In Jan 2014, he gave up a senior corporate position, to follow his dream of becoming one of the world’s most respected travel portrait photographers with the aim of capturing the dignity, purity and soul of people, within their environment. Over 90 of his images have already won several major international photography awards. Tariq has held numerous exhibitions and published two books. He has successfully completed commissions in Sierra Leone, Cuba, Russia, Cambodia, Uganda, UAE, Japan and recently in the remote Mentawai Islands, West Sumatra, Indonesia. He is also a Getty Image contributor and has taught courses on Photojournalism and Digital Photography, at the prestigious Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London and other photographic institutions in the UK. In search of truly unique images, Tariq continues to travel around the world. He is also working on his 3rd publication The White Building, Living in the Shadow of Modern Phnom Penh. The book forms part of an ongoing personal project to develop a visual anthology capturing the dignity of mankind in some of the poorest communities in the world. Tariq can be contacted through his website www.tariqzaidi.com, his Facebook page TariqZaidiPhotography or twitter @tariqzaidiphoto.