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Who am I? What am I? ... And how the heck did I get here?

To know how I got here, you'll need to know where I came from and my journey to where I am today. This is a pretty long story so how about I just give you the short version?


I was born in South Africa during the years of apartheid where laws passed by a racist government discriminated against where people lived, their education - and hence their livelihood, who they could associate with and even where they socialized. While I could get quite political, it is important to know that my family was part of the community discriminated against so I did not, actually could not, attend a "white" school nor could I fulfill what I wanted to do - to become a veterinarian. Being Asian, classified as "non-white" and subjected to laws that made "non-whites" feel to be"of lesser value" was what these racist laws invoked. Such was the level of racism that I was not able to vote until 1994. My life growing up in such an environment clearly did wonders for my self esteem.


An anecdotal incident: While in New Orleans, I noticed a "black" cab driver staring intently at me in his rear view mirror. "Hey, where you from?" he asked. "I was born in South Africa" I replied. "No, that can't be... you don't look like me!", he responded, "Where's your parents from?" I told him that my dad was born in China and my mom's parents were from China.

His response? "Boy you must really suffer from an identity crisis!"


After many years of being employed in a professional career in areas of financial accounting, information technology and project management, oh and 7 years of involvement in the anti-apartheid movement, I am changing course and "retiring" to pursue wildlife photography although I will always be open to reenter the workforce to do contract work to help with the purchase of another prime telephoto lens! Nor is it my goal to become a a world renown wildlife photographer although it would be nice!


Because of these life lessons, I have always worked toward and supported causes of social justice and equality - for it permeates my very soul. I have always been, and will remain, an activist to some degree. Since I'm way past becoming a veterinarian, my love for animals is the reason why I have slowly transitioned my life to photographing wildlife. If the images that I capture can influence the hearts and minds of a few toward contributing to end global warming and promote good stewardship and conservation, then I will have achieved my objective to do good - and to be kind.


I'll be posting more about my adventures under "Events". I hope to use these opportunities to meet some of you during my travels!

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© 2020 by Stewart Ting Chong

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