The Fashola Photographic Foundation in honour of the late father of the Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, has been unveiled in Lagos.
CHILDREN, grandchildren and other legatees of the late Alhaji Ademola Fashola, former-Advert Manager of Daily Times, pioneer General Manager of the Times Leisure Services, avid photographer and father of the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN), converged on City Hall, Lagos Island, last Saturday to launch a foundation in his honour.
The Fashola Photographic Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation that will soon include trainings in its activities, is a thoughtful gesture by off springs of the patriarch who passed on in August 2013 at 79 years.
Focussing on his love for photography, Pa Fashola’s descendants decided that the best way to keep his memory alive is to assist young photographers hone their craft with quality training within and outside Nigeria.
Consequently, they were joined at the event, which also featured an exhibition of photographs and old Daily Times publications, by friends, associates and eminent Nigerians, including the Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu, former Inspector General of Police, Musiliu Smith and Supo Shasore (SAN), among others.
With Big Brother Naija contestant, Bisola Aiyeola, coordinating events and after guests had, had their fills of the lovely photographs produced by the young photographers that had participated in a photo workshop curated by The Temple Management Company, the evening commenced formally with a welcome address by Dr Ademola Keji Fashola.
But in ensuring that the event was not just for pleasure, veteran photographer and writer, Tam Fiofori was on hand to speak on Photography as a noble profession. In the well-researched presentation, Fiofori reflected on the roots of photography in Nigeria, the early practitioners, genres importance and gave tips on how to succeed in the profession.
Works minister, Fashola, who gave insights into the Foundation’s activities, disclosed that he and his siblings agreed that it was a good way to commemorate their father’s “simple but profound life.” Pa Fashola, he said, gave him his first camera at 13 and his first professional camera at 21. Photography, he added, runs in the family. “My father represented the fourth generation, I am the fifth and my children and their cousins are the sixth. All of us are lovers of photography. It was the sixth generation that planned this event and I’m proud of what they’ve done.” The minister assured that the Foundation would not discard good ideas that could improve it from the public.
The highpoint of the evening, however, was the announcement of the winner of the Foundation’s photography contest. Vivian Nwobi, one of the 13 photographers that participated in the training facilitated by Yetunde Ayeni-Babaeko, Lukman Olaonipekun, Sola Animashaun and TY Bello. The winner was announced by retired IGP Smith and given her gift – a two-week training in photography at the New York Film Academy in January 2018 – when a runner up, not originally in the plan, was chosen.
An anonymous guest decided to sponsor a second beneficiary with Kehinde Yusuf emerging the lucky winner. The duo, unsurprisingly, were emotional. Nwobi said: “This is one of the amazing things that happened to me this year. I had no idea I would win. I was in class with 12 amazing photographers and you should see their works. I am super grateful to the foundation and Temple Management for this once in a lifetime opportunity.”
Yusuf also said, “As a full-time event and documentary photographer, I can tell you that women in photography put in that ‘extra’ to make our work stand out in a male-dominated field.”
Earlier, a traditional band, Inufele and singer 9ice had entertained guests while a speed painter, Fola Davies, painted Pa Fashola’s portrait right there on stage. CEO of Temple Management Company, Idris Olorunnimbe, later presented the painting to the Foundation.