Freedom Day 2015- Henry Nxumalo Tribute

The establishment of Drum Magazine in the 1950s, notwithstanding the newly-elected Nationalist Party’s policy of Apartheid, reflected the dynamic changes that were taking place among the new urban Black South African – African, Indian and Coloured – communities.

The magazine became an important platform for a new generation of writers and photographers who changed the way Black people were represented in society.

– Obtained from

Freedom day is a day on which we South African’s reflect upon our hard earned freedom. The individuals that come to mind on this day tend be our political or struggle heroes. As a young adult who did not experience Apartheid it is difficult for me to imagine what living during those times was like. Through the photography of Jurgen Schadeburg and the writings of Henry “Mr. Drum” Nxumalo I have been able to transport my mind to those difficult times. The stories that Henry Nxumalo reported on were about the everyday lived experience of the average non-white citizen in South Africa at the time. After reading some of the stories in the book, Drum Decade: Stories from the 1950s edited by Michael Chapman, I was inspired to create this portrait of Henry Nxumalo. The portrait serves as a reminder on this freedom day of the everyday heroes that took part in fight for freedom. Another book to checkout would be Six Decades which features Jurgen Schadeburg’s photos of the apartheid era. The original photo that was used for the portrait is by Jurgen Schadeburg and it was obtained here.

Below are some of the DRUM vintage covers that inspired the design. More can be viewed at Africa media online.

This post was inspired by: rise and fall of apartheid

The magazine is still in print and it can be viewed online here:

Vinatage Drum cover July 1956

Vintage Drum Cover July 1956. Obtained from Africa media online


Drum vintage cover - November 1970

Drum vintage cover November 1970. Obtained from Africa Media Online



Drum Vintage Cover June 1957

Drum Vintage Cover June 1957. Obtained from Africa Media online

This cover was not commissioned by Drum magazine and Bloemonday has no relation to the magazine whatsoever. The portrait was not created to make profit, but rather for interest’s sake. Should any copyright issues arise than please contact the blog ASAP.

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