“I shoot when something arouses my interest,” Al’audin Maherali of England, U.K
BY SULTAN JESSA
Montreal – Quebec: An Tanzania-born novice photographer never leaves home without a camera.
“I take photographs to record my day if I observe something that arouses my interest,” said Al’audin Maherali. “I do not attempt to get the perfect photograph nor do I have an ambition to seek perfection.”
Born in Arusha in northern Tanzania, Maherali, who turns 69 this December, insists he considers himself a novice photographer with no desire to impress anyone.
“I just like to capture life as it evolves around me to the best of my ability.
He stores his photographs on his computer for posterity.
Maherali, now retired, “Occasionally I used to post some photographs on my Facebook profile,” he said. “But, I don’t do that much these days as the photographs may really be of no or very little interest to my friends.”
Currently, Maherali has 15,000 street art and graffiti photographs in my collection.
“While street art was a passion, I am not restricted or defined by it. I try and take photographs of the other genre (architect, landscapes, wildlife, sports or whatever strikes my fancy.”
Maherali’s interest in photography started when he was just a kid.
His first camera was a Brownie Box Camera acquired when he was barely nine years old.
Maherali lost all his early photographs when his family left Tanzania.
At that time, he was already studying at university in the United Kingdom.
Maherali had many photos taken with famed actors when the movie Hatari (danger in Swahili) was shot around Arusha which were among his collection.
However, his interest in photography continued when his close friend Shamsh Jessa, an expert photographer, was studying in England and was responsible for kindling his interest in photography in Arusha.
Maherali took occasional photographs while attending university in the United Kingdom.
His interest was reignited when his good friend Ann-Marie Kerr bought him a Canon SLR in the late 1980s as a thank you for helping to set up her business.
Due to work and significant family commitment taking photographs was a sporadic activity.
Maherali bought his first point and shoot camera in the mid 1069s mainly to photograph his son son Javeed.
Hi wife’s name is Farah.
The advent of digital camera brought on an inexpensive way of shooting photographs.
It was also a fairly easy way to carry the camera in your pocket.
Maherali was also a dedicated sportsman and took every opportunity to shoot photos at significant sporting events like tennis and cricket, his favorite sports.
However, in 2011, serious illness reduced his mobility and he was encouraged by medical professionals to keep as active as possible.
Maherali started walking as a form of exercise.
At the time he rather fortuitously came across a section of street art in a fairly run down area of London and its incongruity aroused and led to his passion seeking and documenting the world of street art. In those days, most of the street art was undertaken illegally and therefore was often in areas which were hidden and hard to find and reach.
This “search” for hidden art led to long walks which was god for health walks which (which was often also good for well being.
Having started with a few steps a day to post surgery, Maherali now regularly walks about 10 kms a day with a camera at hand.
During his time chronicling the art of street, he made many friends the community artists and is currently a trustee of a voluntary organization dedicated to the use of art as a medium to enhance the lives of youngsters living in areas of significant deprivation.
During his trip to East Africa, he visited national parks and shot photographs of wildlife and people.
Click here to view fantastic collection of photos taken by Maherali over the years.