Zanele Lebaka is a self-taught photographer from Aliwal North in the Eastern Cape. Her work aims to evoke emotion and tell authentic stories about from her community.  Zanele aims to capture raw moments, provide multiple perspectives, and the inherent beauty that often goes unnoticed in Aliwal North. Her goal is to own a gallery that uplifts black artists. Lebaka wants to create space where photography and art can be celebrated and appreciated by global audiences. Lebaka is sending out an invitation as she navigates the beautiful world through her lens, sharing stories and making a lasting impact one frame at a time.

Religion and Spirituality

Religion and customs:

In many African cultures, religion plays a huge role in shaping customs and traditions. Many traditional African religions are based on the belief of a spirits, and ancestor. For example, most Africans have a belief that their ancestors can intervene in the lives of their descendants. Such religions practice various customs such as giving offerings to ancestors during important ceremonies. All these ceremonies are not conducted without the belief and respect of God’s existence, a prayer is usually said to open way for blessings.

Colonialism and Spirituality:

The impact of colonialism on African religions is undeniable. Colonialists brought their own religion with them to Africans, leading to the oppression and demonization of traditional African religions. This, in turn, led to a loss of cultural identity for many African people. For instance, Christianity and Islam which were brought by European and Arab colonizers respectively, played a major role in shaping African spirituality to what we know today. The images I have prepared on this series are a display of how Easter week and Ramadan are practiced. This shows how different religious groups can co-exist.


In conclusion, religion has played a major role in shaping African customs and traditions. The impact of colonialism on African spirituality cannot be ignored and has led to a loss of cultural identity and traditions. It is important to continue to explore traditional African religions to better understand the rich diversity of African spirituality