Bayo Omoboriowo And The Rest Of Us By Sikiru Akinola
If you have a dream and follow it, everything is possible and doable.
For introduction sake, Bayo Omoboriowo is the official photographer to President Muhammadu Buhari. He volunteered himself during the last presidential campaign of PMB and today, he has goes everywhere the President is.
Narrating how he met Omoboriowo, who was born in Mushin, for the first time, a PR consultant, Chukwudi Iwuchukwu, disclosed: “I met Bayo for the first time on February 14 this year at Buhari’s Valentine dinner here in Lagos, I did not know who he was, he was dressed in an impeccable manner, with suit and tie and then was carrying his camera like a baby. I thought he was just one of those “I just came back to Nigeria” guys who like over dressing with their camera not until he told me to stand for him to take a snap shot of me, I did and after the shoot, we got talking, when he mentioned his name, I remembered I had read his interview 3 years back, in which he was talking about his passion for photography, his dreams and where he want to be in the years to come using the instrument of his camera,”
“My respect for him grew higher that moment and I told myself: “Indeed Dreams come true” Bayo Omoboriowo was born without silver spoon, he tasted poverty, experienced the low esteem poverty inflicts on its victims but never allowed his past to define him, he decided to change his story and that hehas successfully been able to do looking at what he has done for himself within a space of 6 years,” he revealed.
I will be 30 in few months time. Am I too old or young? My parents told me I was born on the dot of 12 a.m on August 28, 1986?. But have I achieved anything in life? Yes and no but Alhamdulilah. Though I am not where I envisaged but I am better off than most of my mates. So, b’aoku, ise o tan!
My parents were not educated to the level we refer to as ‘educated’ in Nigeria but at least, they have succeeded in raising me, their first child, to this level. But one thing most people, especially those in my age grade, lack is mentorship.
Right from childhood, I had wanted to be educated. Yes, University education, but it was stalled. I had to go to the Oyo State College of Education before getting admission to the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife after over 5 attempts.
It was during my final days that I discovered that ?education was nothing without entrepreneurial education/connection. For somebody like me who studied Political Science, there were limited opportunities. I later realised I should have studied environmental courses like building, surveying, architecture etc but do I know mathematics?
I envy successful people but they were limited when I grew up. Imagine somebody who grew up in Oje area of Ibadan!
However, my sojourn at OAU and the advent of social media exposed ?me to many opportunities. Right from school, I have been dining and wining with influential people.
I have a host of people who I follow on social media and in real life, especially those within my age bracket. Indirectly, I get empowered through the actions of these people.
Bayo Omoboriowo, who was born on 13th March, 1987, is the personal photographer to President Muhammadu Buhari. How did he do it? Did he study photography?
He simply too?k his destinies by into his hand, turning his passion into a business. Omoboriowo who graduated from the University of Lagos in 2009 has never allowed anything to distract him.
Bayo, whose father is a photographer, was said to have developed interest in photography during his undergraduate days that his ?Camera became his faithful companion throughout his National Youth Service programme in the city of Portharcourt where three of his photos were featured at the Niger Delta Fototales photo exhibition in 2010.
He was a finalist in two categories (Still Life and Lifestyle) at the Nigeria Photography Awards 2011, second runner-up at the AAF-Etisalat Amateur Photography Competition 2012 and won first prize at the NACCP Climate Change photo contest in 2012. He is also a graduate of LEAP Africa’s Youth Leadership Programme and Fate Foundation’s Samsung Real Dreams programme.
Since he left school, he has been doing only one thing, photography. Anywhere PMB goes, he follows. For example, he was? in the 20 man delegation that followed President Buhari to Germany to G7 Summit on June 7.?
Hear him further: “I never dreamt of venturing into photography even though my father has always been a photographer. I had always loved to use the camera, but I took photography seriously in my final year in the university (in 2009). People were impressed with my shots and kept encouraging me. I would borrow camera from my friends at church programs, take photographs, and return their cameras the pictures. Not many had the courage to move around at events like me. In year 3, people started asking me (a photographer with no camera) to cover their final year dinner and church programs. I ran helter-skelter borrowing cameras for use. A friend later gave me a point-and-shoot camera which soon got spoilt by another friend. I replaced it with a Sony DSLR, and have since bought at least three DSLRs amongst other gadgets for my business. In 2009, I became the NYSC (Rivers State) official photographer since I had a Sony DSLR, the best around, at the time. The Corps members always loved my shots. I got on the streets and photographed everything and anything.”
“You don’t need capital to start, you just need few people who believe in your passion and would do anything to see it come to fruition. Your network determines your net worth; those friends around you have a lot to do with your tomorrow, more than you know,” he concluded.
Bayo who finished with 4.26 in Chemistr has never applied for a white-collar job. ?He is currently studying for a postgraduate diploma in Educational Administration and Planning in UNILAG and hope to obtain a Ph.D. in Education Management.
Don’t let us sit idly at home thinking that everyone of us will be employed. We can all be job givers if we can lay our hands on something. Everybody has a God-given talents; pursue it with vigour.
Sikiru Akinola, co-founder of The Vendor?, writes from Otu, Oyo State, Nigeria