Nikon Fails Racial Equality Test Amidst Black Lives Matter Campaign


Nikon, a name trusted by millions of photographers around the world has failed the racial equality test in its latest advertisement according to the South African populace. The company is known for its cutting-edge innovations and relentless pursuit of quality in digital imaging and optics.

Nikon announced its new Z50 South African influencers on Twitter on the 24th of July 2020. The company stated that over the next few months, these influencers are expected to share their adventures and the moments they capture on their Nikon Z50’s.

The sin that Nikon committed is that the composition of their batch of creative influencers does not reflect the general composition of South African society. The sample is not representative of the racial composition of the country’s digital imaging and optics community. This failure by Nikon to be contextually aware is what sent Twitter ablaze.


Of the seven “influencers”, six are White and only one is Black. There are no Indians or Coloureds on the list. The individuals are:

  1. Kyle Goetsch – white
  2. Pieter Buckle – white
  3. Nicole Capper – white
  4. Liezel Volschenk – white
  5. Austin Malema – black
  6. Izelle Hoffman – white
  7. Simone Pretorius – white

“Given South Africa’s history, this is unacceptable and Nikon has to come out and explain the logic they used to choose average a and unknown white people over some really amazing black Indian and coloured folks”, said Rhulani Rikhamba, a human rights activist and board member at The Education Support Forum (TEDSF).

The fact that all the white creatives on this list had a turn to speak and the only black creative did not even get airtime literally added salt to the injury. Nikon seriously has to explain itself. Is Nikon so racially biased that they have no problem publishing such a damning video?

Writing for Swisherpost, Avuya Walters has a hypothesis. Avuya wrote:

Outrage marketing is a highly emotive strategy that plays on our heartstrings. Marketing firms use strong reactionary tactics to draw high levels of polarising engagement on a product. The end-goal is to attract brand advocates and achieve high conversions, at the cost of widening the lines of segregation.

More significant, according to The Signal, the true value in engagement and conversion comes from black outrage.

Nikon SA may or may not have known that by editing Malema out of the promo video, they would pull at the emotional strings of black people on social media.

The subliminal messaging was clear to many people who saw the video. However, Nikon SA and, in fact, Malema has yet to address the matter.

We at MathsGee are committed to inclusive human development thus our appetite to report and question any acts that are deemed retrogressive  in our quest for an equitable society. Its is our hope that Nikon will come out and explain its logic and the data they used to arrive at this absurd decision to exclude the majority of the inhabitants of South Africa. The MathsGee Data Police is waiting to review those numbers.