07 September 2020

A Closer Look at the Young Generations of Africa

07 September 2020 - Written by PhMuseum

Ugandan photographer Esther Ruth Mbabazi documents several stories from Africa’s rising generations as a way of sharing the hopes and challenges facing her peers while envisioning what the future will hold for the continent.

Uganda: In 2017, Uganda had the world's youngest average age with: 15. Now still, the country has one of the world's youngest populations, with 78% of Ugandans under the age of 30.

South Sudan: What is life like growing up in South Sudan, a country that has been in conflict since it's Independence in 2011 and for decades before. I wanted to explore and see how young people stay sane amidst all the insecurities and conflicts that have affected their lives directly for so long.

South Africa: What does it mean to be a queer youth in South Africa today? In a place where you have legal rights to be who you are, but at the same time, where many people in the communities are homophobic and not as open-minded.

Belgium & Germany: Documenting the daily lives and experiences of young Africans in Europe. Through an intimate lens, we are invited into the lives of young people that moved from their home countries in Africa for different reasons and at different times of their lives.

Every other person I know is young. Yet in many ways, the continent remains stubbornly inhospitable to our rising generation. This project is a way of both collaborating with my peers, and exploring my own reality of growing up in Africa - our hopes, our challenges, our future. After all, we will be the ones to define the next chapter of this continent's story.

Words and Pictures by Esther Ruth Mbabazi.


Esther Ruth Mbabazi is a photographer based in Kampala, Uganda. She uses storytelling and photojournalism to address issues in her society. Coming from a humble background, her work explores changing conditions on the African continent, with a focus on the social, economic, physical and emotional aspects of daily life. She is a National Geographic Explorer, past VII Photo Agency Mentee, and Magnum Foundation Photography & Social Justice Fellow. Esther participated in the World Press Photo Masterclass East Africa. Find her on PHmuseum and Instagram.


This feature is part of Story of the Week, a selection of relevant projects from our community handpicked by the PHmuseum curators.

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