By Ruth Nnonyelu
When the grand finale and award presentation ceremony of the 9mobile Photography Competition was held recently at the 9mobile Head Office, Banana Island, Lagos, the limelight fell on an up-and-coming photographer, Oluwaseun Otitoola, who won the year’s edition with his entry titled, Fragment of CMS Bookshop Building.
He defeated two other finalists, Amanda Ihemebiri with her entry The NestOil Tower and Taiwo Omotosho’s Lines Side by Side.
Otitoola, 24, revealed what inspired him to participate in the competition. “I didn’t have a camera of my own but I love photography so I borrowed my friend’s camera to participate. I chose ‘Fragment of CMS Bookshop Building’ because of the symbolic status of the building and its environment which tells the story of Lagos in the past and the Lagos we know today.”
Ikenna Ogbenta emerged winner of the voters’ choice category with his entry Skies and Scrapers which recorded the highest number of votes online.
Boye Olusanya, CEO, 9mobile, 9mobile created the photography competition in 2014 as a talent discovery and reward platform.
Said he, “9mobile Photography Competition is not about winning but about talent, creativity and innovation. The aim is to engage and empower budding photographers to fulfil their passion by using the power of digital media, online, social and mobile technology to capture compelling images that tell authentic Nigerian stories.
“Over the nine years of our existence, we have consistently been at the forefront of promoting talent and creative development among the youth across different sectors such as education, art, literature, science, sports and entertainment amongst others.
“A bold new generation of Nigerian photographers is emerging to capture the changes and challenges people are facing across the country and we are glad to see young people participate. It gives us pride that we are playing a crucial role in nurturing their dreams.”
Olusanya thanked the judging panel, comprising Hakeem Salaam, Kola Oshalusi and Kunle Awolowo – who are all accomplished international photographers for doing an excellent job in ensuring that the entire process was fair and of the highest standard.
This year’s edition of the annual 9mobile Photography Competition kicked off on August 7 with a call for entries, which closed on September 11. The competition serves as a platform to discover, reward and empower budding photographers to fulfil their passion and capture compelling images that celebrate our Nigerian heritage.