She is still so young but already making a name for herself in the photography scene in Nigeria. AfroXel takes you to the discovery of the story behind this artist in the making.
Hi, AfroXel, my name is Baruwa Abigael Adesola. Some call me Baruwa or Baby Black (nickname). I am from Ogun state in Nigeria, Ijebu precisely. My hobbies are dancing, singing, going to new places, trying new things and taking pictures *winks*. I am still a teenager.
#BabyBlackHerself | © Baruwa Abigael
How did you start photography?
My experience was kind of funny. I had a friend who was into it back then in secondary, I asked him to teach me, that I loved pictures. He laughed and said: “You don't want to do this.” I was so confused and asked why? He ignored my questions. I didn't let it stop there, I pestered him till he decided he was going to put me through. I was happy, I would have something to engage myself in because I was fresh out of secondary school. So, I saved all I could and got myself a small digital camera for a funny price. I started moving around capturing almost everything my eyes could see (I remember I took pictures of lizard, fly, birds, etc.). There was this day my friend and I went to a popular market known as Oshodi, a day I would never forget. We waited on the bridge above the railway, so many people waited too (people who wanted to board the train, touts who were smoking, market women, school children, corporate workers). In no time, the train was there. My friend told me to stay on the bridge to take pictures while he quickly ran downstairs to shoot from another angle. it was an interesting scene seeing people struggling just to get inside the train. The bad guys smoking went straight on the train helping each other get to its top. The amazing thing was that they did it like their life depended on it, I was surprised. I started taking pictures doing as if I was looking at photos on my camera, but I wasn't smart enough. One of the bad guys saw me and I did not notice. He threw a big stone at me but luckily, he missed me. I could feel the weight of the stone on my right cheek. I felt the breeze blow, it was like I died and came back to life, I was like “thank you Jesus...yes Lord!” I was so thankful but I didn't show it, I still had to pretend like I was innocent. A man beside me told me to stop but I lied "mi o se nkan nkan sir" (I didn't do anything, sir). He then defended me, that made me happy. The next thing I saw was my friend running to me talking too fast. From the look on his face, I could read we had to leave quickly.
#Smile | © Baruwa Abigael
How does it feel like to be a female photographer?
Feels good! We are respected
Are you put at the same level with your male peers in the industry?
Yeah, I think so. I get messages from people commanding my works even male photographers I look up to.
Is photography just a passion or a full-time profession for you?
Photography is my passion and I intend taking it as a full-time profession. Little things make a huge change, I always tend to do something different even if it's not possible all the time.
#Portrait | © Baruwa Abigael
The woman seems to occupy the primary role in your works. Just a coincidence or there is a message you are trying to send?
No, it's just a coincidence, I shoot both male and female.
Why the choice of black and white images? Do they add something more to your shots?
I have a love for black and white photos, it makes photos interesting and sometimes it's used to pass a message.
Any recognition or awards?
No, not yet.
#LadyInGreen | © Baruwa Abigael
Any people who inspire you in the domain?
Yeah! I have so many in the industry both home and abroad.
Do you face any particular difficulties in your profession?
I do but I get them figured out.
#UnderWaters | © Baruwa Abigael
What advice will you give young girls out there with the same passion but who are still hiding in the dark?
I don't see myself as someone who is supposed to give advice probably because I am young but anyways this is for young females out there wanting to do photography. I want you to know that you're not too young or inexperienced to start doing what you like. Come out of your comfort zone, try something new every day, never stop till you get what you want, believe me, it won't be all smooth they would be bad times get prepared for the worse. Never give up and most importantly BELIEVE IN YOURSELF.