THE DUNNS OF MANGETE and EMOYENI

Back to the archives! I’ve just come across this tract I wrote back in 2012 on the occasion of the reunion of the Dunn family in that year. My grandmother Elizabeth Nunn, was a daughter of this illustrious and controversial ancestor. John Dunn, secretary and diplomatic adviser to Cetshwayo, King of Zululand (1873-1879); labour recruiter and Protector of Immigrants in Zululand for the Natal colonial government; political and military intelligence officer under Lord Chelmsford in the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879; principle political adviser to Sir Garnet Wolseley on the post-war settlement, and chief of the largest and wealthiest of the thirteen districts carved of the subjugated Zulu kingdom. Having married 49 wives and sired 120 children, the gathering was large indeed!

Dunns Unite 2012 – John Dunn’s Descendants Reunion

On 2 December 1856 on the north bank of the Lower Tugela river, one of the largest military battles ever to take place on South African soil happened. This battle, the ‘Second Battle of Ndondakusuka’, between two of King Mpande’s sons, Prince Mbuyazi, the favoured heir to the throne and his adherents, the Gqoza, and Prince Cetshwayo, contender for the throne and his Usuthu, resulted in the deaths of Mbuyazi and five other sons of Mpande, as well as an estimated ten to fifteen thousand of his followers, women and children included, in a single day. John Dunn, who loyally fought on the side of Mbuyazi, along with a contingent of about fifty of his men, narrowly escaped with his life. Continue reading

Photographing KwaZulu-Natal

This article was published in the December 2011 issue of Umlando which is the heritage publication of Ethekwini Municipality, to coincide with the showing of my exhibition ‘Convergence’ at the KwaMuhle Museum, which falls under the municipality. Follows:

The exhibition ‘Convergence’ consists of two bodies of work from my photographic career; ‘The Hidden Years’ and ‘In Camera’. ‘The Hidden Years’, consists of a series of images which show aspects of society in KwaZulu-Natal, which I felt was ignored or given little attention. The exhibition was shown at the KwaMuhle Museum in 1995, and the entire show was acquired by the museum at the time. It has been my great pleasure to have this work in KwaMuhle’s collection since it has been given exceptional exposure through the museum.

‘In Camera’ was produced in conjunction with the Apartheid Archive Study Project (www.apartheidarchive.org) in 2009, and looks at South African society, focusing particularly on KwaZulu-Natal and elements of apartheid which continue to manifest in our society to this day. Continue reading