14th August 2025
“Yaaaawwwnnn.” I deserve a rest, don’t I?
My body had to let out the fatigue that had built-up within her. The yawn was a testimony to the fact that my body needed a break from all the activities it had been through that day. I took a lazy look up at the wall clock in my hotel room and I realized my thoughts have actually not been in “today” but in “yesterday”. The time on the clock read 01:27 hours and I began to wonder what time I returned to my room. I picked up my diary to pen down the events of today, I meant of yesterday and as I wondered where it all started from, everything came right back…
My day had started quite early as usual at 04:15 hours of the 13th August. The alarm had sung her usual melody for me as I dragged myself out of bed into the bathroom to wash my face. I returned to my study table to have a look at my files and get them ordered in readiness for the day. I would be speaking at a conference organized by the Ministry of Environment of our dear country on a topic titled “Industrialization; its Impact on our Environment and the Restoration Process.” I had been invited based on my documentations that I had put together, in motion and in still photographs, which the government had come across.
“How did I get here?” I asked myself. As I recollected and reconnected events, I permitted myself to enjoy the golden moments of the past that put definition to the present.
It all happened five months ago when I got contacted by National Geographic in the United States of America due to some of my works in images that had been observed over time. The voice, which belonged to the Head of Environment and Conservations, Mrs. Joanne Praiser, discussed about hiring my services for a photo experience that they felt was going to be out of this world and she added that “we really do not wanna miss this moment because we have waited for it for four years.” “What could this moment be?” I thought within myself. I was humbled. I was told to make preparations as I would have to be flown in to discuss the brief. When the brief was discussed, I realized it was really out of this world. We were going to have our photoshoots on another planet, planet Mars! Whoa!
National Geographic had partnered with NASA, such that the latter would assist the former with her spacecrafts to get to Mars as a result of the timing of the closeness of Earth to Mars all because this doesn’t happen often: just once in every two years. I could go on and on with the collaboration but then, it was an awesome experience for me. On the team was renowned photo-environmentalist, Joel Satore as well as the Engelman brothers, Charlie and Kirby. How these guys have grown!
I took a quick look at the time and realized it was 06:47 hours. Well, I felt I still had some time on my hands; the conference was not going to start until 09:00 hours. There was enough time to sieve through the prepared scheduled list for the day aside the conference; it prompted me to make that quick business call to my planner on one of my exhibitions that would be coming up in two weeks from now. And having gotten assurances on the flow of the process, I returned back to my preparations briefly before I went into the showers to make myself ready physically. By 08:30 hours, I was en route the conference centre at the High View Spaces at the nation’s capital, Abuja.
As a national event, it was graced by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; the minister and state commissioners of Environment; other ministers in the federation; environmentalists and environmental photographers alike.
I did not have to mount the podium until about noon. My presentation was purely based on my documentations in pictures…motion and still. It comprised of my trip to Mars, how marveled the crowd was!; pictures of Mars from the distance was observed but all in all, the climax was stepping out of the spacecraft, to take pictures of the sandy-rocky surface of Mars. As part of our assignment of saving our world, we took as many thriving plants from Mars to be cultivated on earth since it had been proven that they would also thrive so well on earth and do much better than the plants we have on earth in terms of carbondioxide usage. Well, that’s biology. I ended my session; it erupted in hall wide applause. It was really cool to be a success in environmental photojournalism.
True to plans, we ended at 14:30 hours and thereafter went into an hour meeting with the top echelons of the nation. Afterwards, we stepped out to assigned areas of the environment to cultivate the plants in turns. The environment would be safe again and fitter for life.
At 20:15 hours, there was the capstone event, a cocktail party that had works of photographers exhibited, albeit, a tip of the iceberg for the coming exhibition that was going to hold in Lagos in two weeks.
I returned to my hotel at about 23:18 hours. Could I pick up the phone to call her now? I gave it a try…it rang, and kept on ringing. Just as I was about to hang up, my wife picked up the call at the other end. I was excited to hear the voice of the one who had backed me up and given every inch of her support to a man who has been away of late more than been around. Is this the price of being successful in my profession as a photojournalist? She seems to understand but then, I knew I’ll have to work on this to make my home front continue to thrive. Our kids have been bedded, my regards I did forward to them. “My Choice, I will be home again in 24 hours, thanks for your support all along, I love you real big.” “Love you too and see you soon”, she responded.
I went back to work afterwards, sifting through files.
“Yaaaawwwnnn.” I deserve a rest, don’t I? And the time was 01:27 hours of the 14th of August, 2025. Happier than ever was I as a photographer!
My name is Ojo, James O., C.E.O, Kim Canon Photos.