Hello Hello guys, it’s so good to be back on this space. My absence was largely because this website was undergoing some renovation. Its finally done now and I think I like the feels. I hope you guys do too. I plan to do more travel and content writing this year so you guys be sure to stick by because definitely loads of interesting articles coming. So what better way to start the year I thought, if not to recount on some of the amazing moments from last year — 2018. let’s go!!
First in 2018. A trip to China. This was an amazing experience. It was a first travelling such a long distance. Think it was about 13 to 15hourrs long. To be experiencing a whole new culture was just amazing. The cityscapes were beautiful.
The food was a lot and the tea was even a lot more. I remember saying after that trip that I had more tea than water while we were on the trip. One thing I could never forget was the frog meat. It was the best. Yes, trust me! There wasn’t a lot of tasty food but the frog meat was on point.
I was on this trip with some other Nigerian tech heads. Special shoutout to TECNO Mobile. They made the trip possible. And we also got to experience the company’s facility – Transsion Holdings in Shanghai(parent company to TECNO Mobile, Infinix and Itel. I made a VLOG capturing the entire experience, you can watch it HERE
Also READ: TECH, FOOD, AND TRAVEL: MY SHANGHAI EXPERIENCE AND A VISIT TO TRANSSION HOLDINGS
Social Media Week Lagos: Attending Social Media Week has always been a dream and what’s even more? Attending social media week as a speaker. It was a legit good experience. Social Media Week lived up to all the hype. With such a massive avenue for networking and collaboration, it’s definitely where everyone in the creative industry would like to be. You catch brand and company’s here pitching ideas about their products and services. It’s just really cool place to be at.
The event I came to speak at was the Wakafire Smartphone Photography Masterclass and it was very exciting sharing my tips and experiences shooting photos professionally on my smartphone and just generally creating online contents using just my smartphone. The event was sponsored by African Mobile Giant, TECNO Mobile.
TEDx Ganaja(Kogi State): I had goosebumps when I first received the invite to come be a speaker. It was in my state and it was the first TED event in the state.
We all know the TEDx platform is a big one so I was really pumped about it. I immediately started preparing for my talk but the day came and I realized you can never be prepared enough for such a stage. Having people come to listen to your talk for motivation and inspiration can be one of the most fulfilling things ever. It was an experience. One of gratitude and joy. I had my mum and dad come in on the day. You guys know not all parents get things like Travel and Photography. To them, it almost feels like you don’t have a job and the worst, you don’t have a purpose. But on that day, seeing their son on stage brought them some clarity and understanding. You could see it in their eyes.
Abuja Int’l Photo Festival: 2018 was definitely that year of speaking and appearances. The Abuja Photo Festival was one of them. The festival typically took a week but unfortunately I could only attend the first day where I had a session on Smartphone Photography.
A good one too. Having to engage with enthusiastic audiences on photography is something I always look forward to. Abuja Photo Fest is the biggest Photo event in Abuja and I was grateful that the organizers recognized me having that I do most of my work in Abuja.
Inter-tribal marriage: A pretty interesting one. So my elder got married to his wife who is from Akwa Ibom state. Now am from Kogi state and you can already imagine the dramas that went down. But in light of all the seeming impossibilities, love conquered all. It was a match made in heaven. The traditional marriage was epic. I had never experienced anything like it. It was a like a festival. The entire village knew a foreigner was coming to take their girl so they were keen on knowing who the people were. Even the weather wanted to be involved because it continued to rain on that day.
I tied a wrapper. I was snapping photos and making videos for my Vlog. I was feeling like Khalid Obong Abasi when all of a sudden, my stomach started to run. I was sweating profusely under the showery weather.
That’s when I started to figure out that I might have had way too much Afang soup earlier in the day. Plus the wrapper brother Efiok tied for me was way too tight. I spent a better time of that traditional wedding running to and from the bush. It was a crazy situation. I’m still angry at brother Efiok but not the Afang soup. I brought that upon on myself. wink*
At the end of the day, it was a really a good one. Love won. Both families became one. Personally, I love the idea of inter-tribal marriages. I like to think I am on to one myself and it’s definitely one way to strengthen our unity as a people.
I Travelled More: I did more local travel in 2018 than ever before. I hardly stayed in Abuja for a complete month. Been on the road gave me amazing new experiences. I worked on a documentary with a team that got us traveling from one state to another. We were in Sokoto, we were in Kebbi, we were in Gombe amongst others. Some of these states I had been to before but nonetheless, there’s always something new to learn and discover every time and this had me deepen my knowledge of Nigeria while Exploring Nigeria.
Lagos Photo Week: As always, I love the vibe in Lagos. It is always mad. Except for the traffic that is madder. Kai! It was good to be back in Lagos for the Photo Week where I facilitated amongst other facilitators yet another smartphone photography masterclass sponsored by TECNO Mobile. This was based off on the launch of the Camon 11Pro which is currently my daily driver by the way. An amazing experience.
Had a great time with the participants. We had a Photowalk session after the class where participants were given the Camon 11Pro to create images with. The best images were exhibited at the launch. My excitement came when I saw the quality of images the participants were able to create after the class. I was really blown away.
About time I give kudos to TECNO Mobile. They really had a lot going on for me last year. Let’s do more this year.
WakaSnap NG: One thing I’m also very passionate about is building communities and growing the culture of collaboration. Finally, a dream came true. I was so glad I could bring this to life especially in a place like Abuja where the culture of collaboration is lacking. WakaSnap is a community of Professional and Beginner photographers where we learn, share and collaborate.
This community was able to come to life with help of some amazing friends and colleagues and I really appreciate that a lot of photographers in the city — Abuja that is, really came on board with the idea. Before the end of the year, we were able to hold hangouts and photowalks’ within and outside Abuja. The community is still in its earliest stages but we have continued to grow since inception. Really looking forward to all that’s to come this year.
So if you are a Photographer and you are looking for a community to share and connect with, please make sure to join us.
So, guys, these are just some of the moments I could touch on. Had a couple of other interesting stuff in-between. And now that I think about it, I couldn’t thank God enough for all I was able to achieve. And to you my friends, I hope your 2018 was just as fantastic as mine. Thank you all for the support. I know most of you are here from Twitter and Instagram. Thank you. My YouTube Channel is just beginning to catch on. Please, I need your support. Check me out over there and Subscribe. Watch some videos. More travel contents coming.
Thank you guys once again and I’d see you in the next post.