Caught In A WEB


He just stood there still as a rock. He should fight for his life, struggle his way out of that unfavorable situation; I expect that he’d at least give it a try. Still he was still; I stopped to ponder for a minute, he didn’t seem to be worried about the situation he was in.

Why wasn’t he worried? Why wasn’t he devastated? Why wasn’t he struggling his way out? Why? Why? Why?

I had been in this place called Akonko, somewhere in south-western Nigeria, since the day before and seeing the lifestyle of the people in this village I was marveled; nothing like I’d ever seen before. They were so carefree and not tensed unlike the city I live in where even the oxygen we breathe in is tensed. I’ve said it times and again that if there’s a reason to worry, then these people had more than enough reasons. Where there is no electricity, no good drinking water, no health care facility, no internet or mobile network source, school fees worth less than N1k seems unaffordable, schools are equal to a dead end and a lot more that can’t be written; I think there’s no better definition for misery than these but ironically these people didn’t see it as that but were even more carefree than people that had all that and more.

This butterfly was caught in a web and when I expected it to be worried and struggle its way out of the web, it just stood there and watched in patience. I’m guessing it had earlier been struggling and fighting to get out of the web and that didn’t seem to be working so he opted to try a calmer and stress-less method, it’s just a guess but I suppose the worry-free spirit was abundant in the village called Akonko where I captured this butterfly.

Relating this to our lives, as long as man lives there will always be reasons to worry and when you try worrying does it work? I can say 99% of the time it doesn’t work except you’re banking on the negligible 1%; so I was thinking why not emulate the Akonko approach and try the calmer method. It’ll cost you nothing to try anyway; let’s reduce the hypertension in the world and loosen the web easily, it all begins with you.

Just so you know I released the butterfly afterwards.

butterfly caught in a web in akonko

butterfly caught in a web in akonko

The Journey to AKONKO


I was already on my way; it was 7:02am on Monday morning and like any other part of Lagos, there was traffic due to the bad state of the road and a myriad of motorists plying it. I had never plied this road before and unlike me I wasn’t interested in looking at the road. There were a few things on my mind at that time that needed quick attention; I had not submitted my weekly assignment and I needed to do so soon plus I wanted to read an editorial in a magazine I just borrowed.

It all started last week Thursday when Mr. Seun asked if I’d like to come along to Akonko; in my mind, while I answered in the positive, I’m like sir are you still asking. I’ve heard an earful of Akonko gist and was longing to see and experience for myself what I’ve heard, of course I wasn’t going to let this opportunity pass me by. The trip was actually planned majorly because of an electrical engineer based in the US who was interested in providing this community with electricity to meet their basic electrical needs.

We got to the acclaimed Akonko village and it was just as I had heard- horribly looking school, dirty water to be drunk, no medical care, no mobile network or internet source, no electricity and of course terrible road network. The sight of the only nursery and primary school in the village made me chilly, the environment terrible enough for the children to learn almost nothing. We had to meet with the Baale (traditional leader) of the village so the engineer could make his intentions known; the Baale informed us about the several challenges they went through daily as a community, the most devastating for me was the lack of a medical centre in the village and the journey children took to their secondary school. There isn’t any secondary school in the village so their children had to trek a long distance to school since their parents couldn’t afford a daily transportation fare of about N800, all that ran through my mind at that point was that some children who have better opportunities misuse it and complain over trivial things while these children who have less opportunities value the little they have and go the extra mile to get the most out of it; the irony of life.

The engineer in turn told the Baale of his plans and how he intended executing his plans, the Baale who seemed to be more interested in a Medical centre set-up was still glad about this proposition although he stated clearly that funding was going to be a major hindrance due to the fact that most of the villagers live off their farm produce which isn’t worth much. The meeting ended on the note that the Baale would convey the message to the villagers and get back to the engineer via a middleman.

As soon as the engineer left, the journey began for us – eloPhotos team; the team comprised of Seun Akisanmi, Busayo Alabi, Temitope Adeniyan, Mosope Onanusi and I. First of all, we had an intensive meeting concerning eloPhotos’ now and future (I’m certain Mr. Seun can hold a meeting in the desert if need be) then we had a quick lunch before we moved to the farm. En route the farm Mr. Seun asked that we take as much macro pictures as we can to build our portfolios, thanks to this advice the journey to and fro the farm was not as tiring as it should be.

The trip slated for one night got extended to 2 nights and save for the annoying insects that kept stinging me and the discomfort (wasn’t expecting it to very comfortable anyway), the trip was worth it for me and wasn’t as bad as I envisaged. Thanks to the unadulterated air, fresh vegetables and fruits, it made our stay quite refreshing.
The trip opened my mind to a few things; the people in this village seemed very carefree and happy despite the state they were in. Of course they had worries and it was obvious that they should be worried but the case was in opposition to this fact, in my opinion they lived in a manner that was optimistic, expecting nothing but good. I caught immediately that happiness is not based entirely on your status or the wealth you have, but on the state of your mind; what’s going on in your mind and what are you feeding it with? Positive or negative? God help us all to worry not and be happy.

Enor Izomor is my name and I’m proud to be a photographer.

Here are a few pictures I took in the course of last week
flower macro

praymantis in akonko

spider

My 11th COMMANDMENT


What gut do I have to be ungrateful to God or to complain?

This resurfaced several times in the week ended; I had another episode of experience and learning. A visit to Akonko, a village in the outskirt of Ogun state, almost linking Ibadan in Oyo state was a big one.

I loaded my bag with leggings-socks as we have been told that mosquitoes there are weight lifting and we possibly may be coming back with mosquito bikes like boil. For me, that is the scariest part.  Other expectations were that there is no electricity nor telecommunication network and we are going to be there for about three (3) days documenting the village and its residents. Hmmm, God help us.

We set out early and kept going and going like we were travelling to the east, but we eventually got there and wow! It’s for real.  I have been part of village outreaches, so the village setting; the mud houses and bushes were really not concerns for me (though doesn’t sound like where I would naturally want to be).

Then the lessons began. After resting some few minutes, we visited the farm. I noticed on our way to the farm, everyone we met gave us a well composed greeting with a Big Bold Smile, children and adults alike. For real! or are we riding on the goodwill of our host? I thought. My mind flashed back to what transpires in Lagos and I was quick to conclude this People are indeed courteous and hospitable. There are some places you live in Lagos that you just automatically lose your morals, everyone rides their own horse. These people are obviously tagged the poor, but they’ve got what money cannot buy.

My presumption was confirmed as I further interact with the residents of the village.  They were much more open than I thought, they seem not to have a choice, they just wanted a better life and feel our presence and mission could enhance this.

Looking at the people, they were not different from us, just that they don’t have the opportunity and hope we have. No good water (We didn’t take our baths for three days, only necessary areas with sachet water), no electricity, no good roads, and most pathetic, no single good healthcare centre and no good school. The sight of the school breaks my heart, a dilapidated building that has just three teachers taking from Nursery to Primary. Those attending a better school trek one hour to school and back every day as transportation is another huge issue there. Wow! How can people be subjected to such life, I see a great level of neglect on the part of Government especially when I heard they had voters’ cards. Now that is hell crazy if you understand what I mean.

Reminiscing on where I am coming from, where I am, my high hopes of the future, I sighed and said to myself;

“Thou shall never be ungrateful. By any form of complain or unseemly countenance.”

That sounded like a commandment. Yea, for me, it is my 11th, as being ungrateful or allowing situation affect one’s countenance seem now like a sin. A colleague buttressed, “if God would not further do anything else in our lives, I think He has tried.”

I thought to myself, “We and these people cannot definitely have the same prayer points”. We have hopes alive, cannot explain what their state of mind is (definitely not what you would wish). But if the people in Akonko can live happy, there is then no excuse for someone like me.

Wait a minute, sorry I forgot to mention they made very sumptuous meal with little or no ingredients. The village called Akonko is one I’ll definitely not forget.