“The letter is to Alf Khumalo. He is a South African photographer/photojournalist who welcomed me to his home and shared his photographs from the apartheid period along with others of Mandela, Muhammed Ali etc. –Alf is one of my African inspirations! It was a wonderful afternoon I will never forget. He kept on taking pictures even at the threat of death, punishment and persecution on every level during apartheid. What a courageous man! I have tried to get some of his photos for our new home, but so far no luck getting them here from Africa without picking them up myself. I do have a book of his works that is signed by him from our meeting.
“Dear Alf ,
“One of the great moments in my life was meeting you, hearing your stories, and seeing the humbling photographs in your home of your life’s work. Your documentation of the apartheid period in the history of South Africa made me realize how fortunate I have been on one hand, and how much of a bubble I live in on the other.
“How do I say thank you to someone who impacted my life forever? They say, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” let me just say that for me, your pictures were worth a thousand feelings. Alf, our meeting was all too brief. Your photographs will remain with me for the rest of my life and our meeting is stamped on the memory of my soul, along with the haunting images that I will never forget.
“It is in our suffering that we determine the value and the meaning that we place on human life. How much we can endure and how we choose to endure it, defines our human experience. Your photographs and our brief meeting showed me that I have not suffered at all. My trials and tribulations are mere bumps on the road of life, but no great tragedy to be lamented.
“Thank you for sharing your stories, your photographs and your life. But most of all, thank you for instilling in me a renewed compassion for the sanctity of human life.
“With utmost respect and admiration,
“D’Andra C. Simmons”