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‘How I became President Buhari’s official photographer’ – Bayo Omoboriowo

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Seye Joseph

@seyetweets

Life has been said to be in phases and men in sizes. For Bayo Omoboriowo, the official photographer of President Muhammadu Buhari who follows him all around the world in the same flight, perhaps if anybody has told him that he will be among the presidential team that will work in the presidency, he might have disputed it because of time and seasons he has gone through in life.

Omoboriowo who was once skipping meals when he was at University of Lagos just to save and buy a very small camera revealed to our correspondent that he never taught of working with a local government chairman let alone working for the president of federal republic of Nigeria.

“When I was in school, just because I wanted to buy camera, I was eating sixty naira bread, thirty naira beans with two pure water making it 100 for a meal and if I take that in the morning, it would sustain me till night.”

He said that he started his photography business as everything photography, from taking wedding photographs to burial, naming ceremony, graduation, and all sorts which was very frustrating for him because  of lots of junk offers he got which never made him a professional photographer.

“When I returned from NYSC, I wanted to work with Chevron and all these big companies but I knew photography was calling me so I said to myself that all these everything photography I’m doing will not take me anywhere. I chose photography; it does not choose me so why will photography be frustrating me.

“I said to myself that I will be a wedding photographer and I don’t know that I was adding more challenges to it. I said to myself again that I want to be a documentary photographer because inside documentary photography is photojournalism. I said I will be doing documentary journalism and I will be working for agencies and companies”.

On how he started working for President Buhari, Omoboriowo revealed that he went to the last All Progressive Congress (APC) primary election where he was not invited nor had any media accreditation to take the picture of the event.

According to him, “I was taking pictures and when Buhari was casting his vote, I lost my phone worth 120,000 Naira. I said to myself that I came here, nobody is paying me and my phone is gone. With that, I promised myself that I will stay till the end of election which was more than two days.

“But I said something after the whole program that God must pay me back from all what I am doing here because no man can really pay me for this and that take me to the place of God that people should never take God out of the whole picture of their life.”

After the primary election, he said he started sharing the pictures on Instagram and all other social media platforms where it got many likes and sharing.

When it got to the time of building the campaign team for the presidential candidate, Omoboriowo mentioned that the former governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi got a social media agency which was Red Media to handle social media communications for the campaign.

“They needed a photographer for the whole movement for the presidential candidate and they were looking for who was the best person that can do the job and one of the criteria for getting the job was that the person must have story pictures, and I have the pictures. I showed them what I have done at the presidential primary, they called me,  gave me the job and that was how I was invited to be General Buhari’s photographer for the campaign and from the campaign I was able to deliver what they wanted and we can thank God from there.”

He also recalled that being with the President on the same flight all around the world is an interesting thing.

“It is a big honour, I appreciate him for giving me the privilege. Maybe I am the youngest person on his team. He’s a loving person; he is someone everybody wants to relate with”, he said.

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