THE BUZZ: On Tuesday, September 17, 2013 I attended Mo & Me: A Film Screening and Conversation at Tribeca Cinemas – sponsored by the World Policy Institute and Fireside Research. Salim Amin (CEO, Camerapix and Chairman of the Mohamed Amin Foundation and A24 Media), Chip Duncan (filmmaker and president of The Duncan Entertainment Group) and Riz Khan (journalist and founding director of Al-Jazeera English) were on hand as speakers. I met fellow Young Global Leader Salim Amin a few years ago at the World Economic Forum meeting in Africa. This film is the powerful story of his father, Mohamed “Mo” Amin – undoubtedly Africa’s greatest photojournalist.Kenyan-born Mohamed Amin made the news as often as he covered it. In a career spanning more than 30 years, he covered every major events in Africa and beyond – including exclusive photos of the fall of Idi Amin and of Mengistu Haile Mariam. To get the winning photo, he endured 28 days of torture, survived bombs and bullets, lost his left arm in an ammunition dump explosion and emerged as the most decorated news cameraman of his time. His compelling coverage of the 1984 Ethiopian famine inspired a collective global conscience and a groundbreaking philanthropic wave resulting in Band Aid, USA for Africa, and Live Aid. His early death at the age of 53 was as dramatic as his life. He was on board Ethiopian Airlines Flight 961 on November 23, 1996 when hijackers stormed the cockpit, causing the flight to crash land off the coast of the Comoros Islands. Mo died along with writer/colleague Brian Tetley.
In the film, Salim – Mohamed’s only child – takes us on a very honest journey retracing his father’s steps and giving us an inside human view of his extraordinary life. I knew of the legend of Mohamed Amin but this film gave me an even greater respect for his keen eye and deep commitment to photojournalism. The documentary, co-produced by Camerapix Ltd. and Al-Jazeera International, has won numerous awards globally. If you get a chance to view it, I highly recommend it. Chip Duncan is working with Salim to produce a feature film so look out for that as well.
Contributed by Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy, Ph.D., MBA.