Could you introduce yourself to our readers?
I’m a documentary photographer and curator based in Lagos, Nigeria. On the side, I like creating cartoons and rant videos
How your studies on Cultural Anthropology and African Studies influence your work as Photographer?
Studying Cultural Anthropology and African Studies expanded my view on Africa. Yes, I grew up in Nigeria but my view on Africa was limited to just my country. It’s ironic that I had to leave my country in order to learn more about her and her neighbors. It was with my studies that I realized the importance of preserving cultures through stories. I use photographs as a form of story-telling, images that I keep in hope of retaining what we currently have and what we may lose.
Photographer, cartoonist, you’re a complete artist. Tell us more about your job?
Being a freelance photographer in Lagos which gives me so much freedom with travel and adventure. I get to hear incredible stories of human perseverance and I get to work with other talented creatives. My job is unpredictable. There are days where I can find myself dusty and sweaty on streets, clutching my camera while being shoved around and there are days of finding myself in the most luxurious of settings that it almost seems unrreal. My work gives me deep satisfaction because I get exposed to all manners of human behavior and that in a way, shapes who I am.
My cartoons keep me happy because they never fail to bring smiles to peoples’ faces and that’s good enough for me. I recently completed a book for my cartoons and I can’t wait to share it with people when the time is right.
About your return in Lagos? hasard? necessary or evidence?
My return to Lagos was absolutely necessary. It wasn’t well thought out and I suffered the consequences of moving to a new city with no plans, but I have no regrets. While studying in the States, the goal was always to return hope and contribute in some way to Nigeria. The creative industry is an important but unappreciated part of Nigeria. By living a life of creativity and succeeding in it, we are changing the perception of a creative can be in Africa.
How can you describe african creativity?
I would describe it as a massive living creature stretched over the continent. It is constantly reproducing and touching everything, no one is left out
Who are your Favorite african photographers?
Andrew Esiebo, Mambu Bayoh, Joana Choumali
How was the Lagos Photo Festival?
It was inspiring to see the works of so many creatives and their unique take on life and their art. The highlight of it was having the Instagram team come down with some photographers whose work I have admired for quite some time. It was a trading of experiences and art across cultures.
You love to travel. Where do you think that passion comes from?
Both my parents traveled extensively in their youth. My siblings and I grew up listening to their stories and seeing pictures of places we could only dream of visiting some day. My parents wanted us to be well traveled and educated on the ways of the world outside our environment and we grew to desire that for ourselves.
How would you describe Lagos to someone who has never been?
Lagos is a maelstrom of people striving to provide for themselves and their loved ones, and it’s a lot of them. You have people from numerous cultures and socio-economic backgrounds living their lives all around you. You can feel the energy and the rush and it’s easy to get overwhelmed here so be ready!
Any secrets to navigating the Lagos streets?
Just be alert and aware of your surroundings. I think this is a trait that everyone should have with them regardless of where in the world they are
What is one restaurant you must eat at while in Lagos ?
Terra Kulture in Victoria Island.
Where do you like to go out with friends?
My friends and I have a lot of movie nights in with wine, but our one consistent outdoor activity would be going for a cup of coffee at Art Cafe which is a very warm and friendly space to get some down time.
Where do you go to get in a good work out?
At home. The gyms are ridiculously expensive and the cheaper ones are too far off. I’m all about making some savings! Lagos keeps me fairly active!
Any tips for getting the true local experience?
Don’t ask for a ‘local’ thing to do! Just walk outside and immerse yourself. Most of what is around Lagos is the truth as you see it, from the raunchy bars to the glitzy hotels, it’s all Lagos and it’s all local.
Describe your ideal day in Lagos :
It might sound terribly boring, but my ideal day would be a productive one spent working and traveling for my photography projects.