Vivian Nwobi and Kehinde Yusuf on Saturday emerged winners of the maiden edition of “The Fashola Photographic Foundation Exhibition’’ which held at City Hall in Lagos.
The foundation, which is expected to transform into a training institute soon, was evolved to help young photographers and film makers to grow their careers in photography.
Ms. Nwobi emerged as overall winner out of 13 finalists. Ms. Yusuf came second and the two winners are to enjoy an all-expense paid trip to the New York Film Academy.
While receiving her award, Ms. Nwobi, a lawyer, said “it is interesting how you see things when you are a photographer.”
Ms. Yusuf, who said her emergence as first runner-up came as a big surprise and an opportunity to explore her dreams in photography, said “photography is about my environment and everything I see.”
Francis Adeoti, a development specialist and Eyitoyosi Onadipe, who were among the finalists, said that photography was an interesting and lucrative skill, as well as a business other youths should venture into.
Yetunde Ayeni-Babaeko, a freelance photographer, who trained the finalists, expressed satisfaction at the opportunity the foundation offered to groom youths in photography.
Mrs. Ayeni-Babaeko said that the finalists, who were chosen out of 1,000 contestants, all demonstrated skills in line with global standards.
In a keynote address, the guest lecturer, Tam Fiofori, who described himself as a lover of photography, said that photography had been around for over 100 years and had continued to “serve humanity by preserving visuals and creating jobs’’.
He said that photography was a noble profession, which was important in the preservation of history, culture and the image of a nation.
“Photography is very important in preserving the cultural values of a nation,’’ he said.
Mr. Fiofori said it was an art, a form of business and an employment generation venture, which practitioners should hold in high esteem and get requisite training for, to meet up with global trends, adding that the first photographers were scientists and highly-educated people.
“Photography is not about making money alone but about promoting the positive aspects of our cultural heritage.
“I urge you to use photography to tell the visual stories of Nigeria,’’ he said.
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, in his remarks, said that the foundation was being inaugurated as a memorial for his late father, Ibrahim Fashola, who was passionate about pictures and groomed him into the art.
He said that the entire Fashola family reached a decision that photography was the best way to honour the memory of their late father.
The minister said that his dad left a legacy of photography that he, his siblings and their children have carried on with a passion and a zeal.
“My father represented the fourth generation, I am the fifth and my children the sixth. All of us are lovers of photography.
“So far, the line of photography remains unbroken in our family,” he said.
Mr. Fashola said that he placed a high value on photography and urged practitioners to distinguish themselves, both in its practice and in their conduct.
The minister also called on members of the public and other professional photographers to send their contributions which would always be welcome, to the foundation.
The Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu 1, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that photography spoke volumes that words could never capture.
Mr. Akiolu lauded the inauguration of the foundation, which he noted, would help to preserve Nigeria’s history and cultural heritage.
“Photograph will help us in remembering the past, I support it,” he said.
Pa Ibrahim Fashola was born in Lagos in 1933. He was a former Advert Manager of the Daily Times Newspaper and a pioneer General Manager of Times Leisure Services. He was a lover of pictures, and a politician, who passed on at the age of 79 in August 2013.
The programme is designed to be an annual event of the foundation.
Highlights of the event included an exhibition and the sale of some of the works of the finalists.