Cape Town based photographer and founder of Organized Crime, Thembela “Nymless” Ngayi, tackles the topic of depression in young black males, with his latest series of portraits titled, The Great African Horror Story. In most African cultures depression is a condition viewed as western phenomena. African men suffering from severe despondency are often ridiculed and labelled weak. As a result, this subject is continuously ignored in most African communities. The series shows the torment and the after effects that depression has on Africans families.
“I used to think depression was a fictional condition that people used as an excuse to get out of work. I remember when my friend told me that she’d been diagnosed with clinical depression and I dismissed her for seeking attention. I realised how wrong I was when personally suffered from minor depression, growing up it was never a topic I explored. In the hood, whenever we saw someone going “crazy” on the street, the first assumption is that they’re on drugs. When one of my peers committed suicide in 2002, the community was quick to say that he was “bewitched” because he was a straight A student and he set a great example. No one knew he suffered from Depression!”