Earlier this month, I was invited by the leadership of Daystar Christian Centre to render one of my poems at their forthcoming Excellence in Leadership Conference. It was a privilege to be given the opportunity to bless thousands of people with a 5-minute rendition that was composed almost a decade earlier in my time of pain.
November 6 arrived and I found myself on the “pulpit” at approximately 10:58am. After reciting a poem that was appropriate for the theme of the conference (Corruption-Free Leadership), the applause and “congratulatory” messages I got was overwhelming. All of a sudden, it SEEMED I had become a celebrity overnight. One of my colleagues at work later told me that he got up at the end of the recitation and shouted (to the “pretty” lady beside him) “THAT IS MY BOSS RIGHT THERE”.
With Pastor Sam Adeyemi giving me a handshake, Pastor Nike Adeyemi giving me a thumbs up, Fela Durotoye asking for my contact details…..I wondered what was it really that I did that touched their hearts. Whatever it was, it was titled “Corruption: Not an Option” and it resonated a determination within the hearts of the audience that it was possible to live a life void of corruption in a corruption-congested society.
And so it happened that as I attended Day 2 of the conference, I met one of my photography protégé at the entrance of the church building. Before I could say “Hi”, she hugged me and gave me a kiss on my right cheek. I was shy, I felt nervous, I was awe-struck. “That was the first time I’ll see you recite a poem on stage and I just want you to know that I’m proud of you and I’ve missed you”. Those were her words.
If you were eavesdropping on the 40 seconds encounter we had together, you would have thought that Seun Akisanmi was having an affair with someone who couldn’t make it a secret anymore. It all happened so fast that I didn’t see it coming. “Thank God” was all I could say to her. Perhaps it felt more awkward because I was carrying my 235-days-old daughter and she was staring at this aunty that just gave her dad a kiss. I could have sworn that my daughter thought she was my girlfriend.
In a way I could sense the state of her heart….the lady’s heart, that is. She was proud to be associated with someone she would consider a success & role-model by her definition. I knew she had no “corrupt” motives. But then it got me thinking. With this level of fame, it would be easy for me to get into an extra-marital affair with a lady that holds me in such high esteem. Afterall, some of our leaders in church & society seem to be doing it. Instead of saving her real name on my phone, I’ll probably just save it as “Akeem Battery-Charger” or “Gas Cooker Messenger” so that my wife will not be suspicious. Infact, with a church of this size I could easily have 7 girlfriends that will be servicing me for each different day of the week. It will be so easy.
And then it occurred to me that “whatsoever is hidden shall be brought to light” and that it will only take a matter of time for the thing I do in the “secret places” to be made manifest to the world. Just like the poetry recitation was able to reach over 10,000 people within a 5minute time frame (though no one saw me when I was composing it in October 2004), my act of “corruption” would reach a greater number at a faster rate. I made a decision that in my marriage, corruption will not be an option.
Subsequently I realized the burden & pressure that is being placed unconsciously on people that are regarded as stars, role-models or celebrities. People expect a higher standard of living from their role-models. Consequently, I now have to think twice (& sometimes thrice) before doing things like beating the traffic light, urinating in public places or “fighting” with a driver that just collided with my 2012 BMW 540i ActiveHybrid car. That really got me thinking.
Consequently, I made a resolution that no KISS or LADY or JOB or PERSON or SITUATION will be given the authority to mar the great destiny that awaits me. I know it won’t be easy and that’s why I’ll deliberately surround myself with people and resources that will help me to declare BOLDLY without any compromise that CORRUPTION WILL NOT BE AN OPTION.
- A Poem Called HONESTY (elophotos.com)
- A Farewell Tribute to a Great Writer, Photographer & Friend (elophotos.com)
- My Journey BACK into a PHOTOGRAPHY ACADEMY (elophotos.com)
- 92 Days of Adventure in Photography (elophotos.com)
- Shola Animashaun Photography vs eloPhotos Studios (elophotos.com)
- A Day in My Life in 2020: Awosanmi Emmanuel (elophotos.com)
- Time to Say GoOdByE (elophotos.com)
- Introduction to PHOTOPRENEUR 101: A Lecture by Dangote’s Photographer (elophotos.com)
- Why Your Best Client May Be Your Last Client (elophotos.com)
- Sentenced Without Being Arrested (elophotos.com)
So I had one of the best times few days ago when I shot Ewoma & Rotimi. Usually before any shoot I get a little nervous because most clients expectations of me seems too lofty for me to achieve. After cooling myself down with Gala and Ribena, the session started around 3:30pm after the last service in my church (Daystar Christian Centre). The major reason i decided on using the church compound for the location was because i was having a mild headache (perhaps from my nervousness) and I didn’t want to postpone the shoot or stress myself or the couple.
Rotimi who started out as a shy “groom” ended up performing beyond my expectations. I was assisted by my able colleague and Aliko Dangote Photographer, Michael Babalola and together we were able to come up with the pictures below. The camera i decided to use was one that i got in 2008 (Olympus e330 with a 50mm – 200mm lens) in an attempt to reaffirm to myself the idea of whether or not great pictures are made by a camera or by the camera holder. In this situation, i think the combination of my assistant (Michael) and the couple resulted in the following pictures. Let us know what you think.
- Shooting Aliko Dangote’s Daughter (elophotos.com)
- 604800 Seconds In The Life Of A FEMALE Photographer (elophotos.com)
- My Best Pre-Wedding Shoot Yet: ELOZIE & ROTIMI (elophotos.com)
- Dee hOuSe of CrEaTiViTy (elophotos.com)
So for the past 9 weekdays, we’ve been busy training a class of 67 students that decided they wanted to be professional photographers. Together with Mr Leke Adenuga (QF), we were able to teach what we felt would be enough for a good foundation in photography business.
Daystar Christian Centre started this project in 2010 in an attempt to reduce unemployment in the society by teaching people “how to fish” instead of giving them “fish.” For Mr Leke & I, this was an opportunity to impart on the next generation of photographers in Nigeria. I can only hope & pray the students would make good use of the opportunity they were blessed with. Time will tell.
Attached are a few of the pictures taken we were in class. I’ll really appreciate it if you just acknowledge how handsome I look in the pictures 🙂
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I had fun at the just-concluded carol concert at Daystar Christian Centre. My back aches too. Was so excited about uploading the pictures that I figured they did not need any extra editing; they look just fine to me. Multiple award-winning music guru/professor Kunle Pinmiloye really did a great job in partnership with the best choir in the world, HEALING STREAMS of GOD. Well done. I took about 5900 pictures & after 4 hours of sorting them out, I was able to narrow them down to about 160 really nice ones. Equipment used: Olympus e520 with 50-200mm lens, 14-54mm lens (ISO 400) & Nikon D2X 85mm lens (ISO 250). Enough written, enjoy viewing