On Wednesday, 7th August, the Street Shooters NG held their first photo-walk at Oshodi. The time was 3pm. And the theme was Chaos.
By 3:40 PM, the Street Shooters were gathered and the photo-walk commenced. From under the bridge, we moved towards Bolade bus-stop.
You should see how excited Oshodi people were. The usually hostile people (pedestrians, commuters, traders, conductors, agberos, area boys etc) smiling for the camera & feeling like celebrities.
Needless to say, the trick worked. We had no hitch for a long time.
Until Surutu came.
By this time, we were back to the bridge, but instead of staying under the bridge, we decided to climb the pedestrian bridge. Surutu and some other area boys grabbed some of our cameras and threatened to break them. We were scared. Some of us ran away, some hid their cameras. But we had a plan.
A member of the Street Shooters who lives in Oshodi has links with the Task Force and top people in the NURTW. Another member has links with the police. We had also retained a lawyer, just in case we get into serious trouble. Whatever Surutu wanted to do, we were prepared.
What Surutu did however was “reporting” us to the police boss on ground. The police boss who was taken aback by the whole thing at first, told us to calm our nerves and gather at their usual spot in Oshodi.
The police checked the cameras to see if we had taken any shots of them but they found none. We had made it a rule not to photograph the police and I was glad he didn’t find any. So, our cameras were returned. The police boss then address us. He explained that when anything goes wrong in Oshodi, Surutu is the one they will ask to produce the culprits. Hence, Surutu was only doing his job. He also warned us not to photograph policemen on duty. That was like preaching to the congregation but I guess hearing it from him helped sunk it in some of us.
After getting approval from the police, we felt untouchable and we resumed with new-found gusto. We posed for group photos with Surutu and the police.
The people of Oshodi got even more friendly with us and posed for more photos.
One guy even brought out a dusty, vintage film camera to pose with us.
As it turned out, we brought the chaos.
Despite the little hitch, it was a great outing. We had lots of fun. So much so that some of us didn’t want to go home even after it got dark. It was evident that the Street Shooters have a great passion for street photography.
We believe things couldn’t have turned out better than it did. Wednesday’s event was a trail; an indication of better things to come. We learned some new tricks that’s gonna help us organise more successful events in the future. To this end, we will be going on future photo-walks in branded t-shirts. We are also working on providing identity cards for our members so that even if they go out on their own and run into problems, they can easily identify themselves as Street Shooters. Hopefully, that will make things easier for street photographers in Nigeria.
It can only get better from here. Why don’t you join us today?
*Over-sized shout-out goes to the police for the peaceful way they handled the issue. We have more faith in the police as a result.
*Kisses to the two lovely ladies who are not photographers but massive supporters of the Street Shooters NG. They not only helped us with publicity but extended their support by joining us for the photo-walk. Thank you ladies for sticking with us through it all. Having you darlings in our company was highly motivating.
*Finally, a big THANK YOU goes to photographers (those who made it & those who couldn’t) for their overwhelming support. We do this because
The Street Shooters NG… coming to a street near you.
You can find us on twitter: @StreetShootasNG
facebook: Street Shooters NG.