The world has been going nuts since a photo of President Obama was captured taking a selfie with two other world leaders at Nelson Mandela‘s memorial service. Many have called the action disrespectful and classless. However, the photographer who took the photo says to back off because it’s not that serious.


The photographer named Roberto Schmidt took to to explain that Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron and Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning Schmidt taking a selfie during the memorial service wasn’t disrespectful at all. According to the photographer, the atmosphere wasn’t as morbid as we would imagine a funeral service to be. Mandela’s memorial service at Soccer stadium in Soweto was filled with laughter, joy, dancing, and singing.

Schmidt wrote:

“Anyway, suddenly this woman pulled out her mobile phone and took a photo of herself smiling with Cameron and the US president. I captured the scene reflexively. All around me in the stadium, South Africans were dancing, singing and laughing to honour their departed leader. It was more like a carnival atmosphere, not at all morbid. The ceremony had already gone on for two hours and would last another two. The atmosphere was totally relaxed – I didn’t see anything shocking in my viewfinder, president of the US or not. We are in Africa.”

“It was interesting to see politicians in a human light because usually when we see them it is in such a controlled environment. Maybe this would not be such an issue if we, as the press, would have more access to dignitaries and be able to show they are human as the rest of us.”

“I confess too that it makes me a little sad we are so obsessed with day-to-day trivialities, instead of things of true importance. “

After hearing Roberto Schmidt’s explanation of the whole series of events leading up to the world’s uproar about world leaders taking a selfie.



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