From Photographer to Bus Conductor

Let’s call him Mr. Dee. I met him 7 months ago at the church I attend, Daystar Christian Centre. I was priviledged to be one of the facilitators that coordinated a skill acquisition project that was bent on reducing unemployment in the society. Skills that were taught included fashion designing, generator repairs, cake making & website designing among others. I was one of those that taught the photography class. Twas in this class I met Mr. Dee. He’s married with 3 wonderful children. He decided he needed to learn a skill that will ultimately help improve the standard of living of his family. He concluded that photography was the answer. His plan was to forsake all and follow the gospel of photography. The passion with which he performed during the 9-days training was impressive. So impressive that I even made him a leader on the first day of class. PASSIONATE was his middle name. I invited colleagues in the industry to help inspire the class on this adventurous journey they were about to embark on. Great photographers like Michael Adebiyi (, Shola Animashaun (, Damilola Elliot (, Yomi Siffre (, & Leke Adenuga ( poured out their hearts in an attempt to wholeheartedly motivate the new set of photopreneurs. We got them loaded and inspired and ready to turn the world upside down photographically. The 10th day of training arrived and after exhibiting the wonderful pictures they had taken, they were to begin their photography journey. Mr Dee and the remaining 50+ students vowed to make a difference in the photography industry. Fast-forward to 4 months ago. I boarded a bus that was to take me to Ojota. To my surprise, the bus conductor was the very Mr Dee that had vowed to photographically impact the world. I sensed he felt ashamed that I saw him in the line of duty of his new job. He was shy. So shy that he initially refused to collect my bus fare. I insisted that if he came to my office to hire my photography services, I would not hesitate at all to charge him my complete fee; so he better collect his bus fare from me. I insisted and he eventually complied. Apparently the photography journey had not worked out for him as he had intended. He settled for being a bus conductor. At least he was guaranteed an income at the end of each day of working as a conductor. I wish he could see my heart clearly. I was proud of him. I was super proud of him. I am still very proud of him. The important thing was that this man refused to be BOUND by the spirit of “unemployment”. Yes I know some of us might think he ought to have been persistent in photography and eventually it would have worked out for him. But he had a family to take care of. He had to pay his children’s school fees. He needed to feed and clothe them. He eventually settled for a job that at least brought him daily income; enough income for him not to be a candidate of the benevolent department in church. He decided to get a job that might seem “demeaning” to some of his photography colleagues and church members. I am proud of him. Very proud of him. Truth be told, he’s probably making more money than some of the photography colleagues that graduated with him. He’s working. He’s doing something. He’s making money. And he looked happy. I was happy. I am happy.
So this is dedicated to the Photographer that became a bus conductor. I’m proud of the fact that you’re doing something that enables you take care of your family. I know that if the fire of photography still burns within you, you’ll eventually turn out to be a great professional photographer. I’ll be waiting to be of support. I’m very proud of you.