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Prominent photojournalist dies

MAPUTO: One of Mozambique's finest photojournalists, 48 year old Alirio Joel Chiziane, died in Maputo Central Hospital on Friday evening, 11 May 2012, the victim of a sudden illness.
Chiziane was among the journalists covering the visit by president Armando Guebuza to Britain from Monday to Wednesday. He started to feel ill in London, and his condition deteriorated on the plane journey back to Mozambique. On arrival at Maputo International Airport on Friday, he was rushed to hospital, where he died at about 6PM.

Chiziane was born in Manjacaze, in the southern province of Gaza in 1964. After concluding his secondary education in Maputo, he embarked on a career as a photojournalist. In 1984 he began to work at AIM, then under the leadership of the late Carlos Cardoso.

The agency was expanding its photographic department and Chiziane worked under Swedish photographer Anders Nilsson, as part of a team that included Alfredo Mueche, Antonio Muchave and Sergio Santimano. In the darkest days of Mozambique's recent history, this group produced a remarkable photographic record of the war of destabilisation and its impact on Mozambican society.

After the constuitution of 1990 abolished the one-party state and guaranteed press freedom, Chiziane was among those who left the state-owned media and founded new publications.

He joined the first cooperative of journalists, Mediacoop, and in 1994 he was among those who founded Mediacoop's weekly paper Savana. He has been one of the mainstays of the Savana photographic department ever since.

His professionalism was such that he was asked to cooperate with various international media, including Associated Press, Agence France Presse, Reuters, and the Portuguese news agency Lusa.

Chiziane leaves a widow and a daughter. No date has yet been announced for his funeral.

Source: allAfrica.