Interview with a Photographer: Jtimdal on Photo Naija

Friend of the African Renaissance and all-round great guy Timothy Aideloje had an interview with Photo Naija. So, what did he have to say about his passion – photography?

PROFILE

Company Name / Trade Name
Jtimdal Photography

Name of Interviewed Photographer
Timothy Aideloje

Photographer’s Website
http://www.kaine.pro/test (site under construction)

Photographer’s Phone Number
+2347031806932

Facebook page
http://www.facebook.com/jtimdalphotography

Twitter Handle
@jtimdal

Photography Specialty and background
Landscape, Portrait, Weddings, Events, Theater, Travel, Fashion etc.

Your Location and Coverage Area as A Photographer?
Lagos and Abuja

How long have you been a Photographer?
3 years

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When did you first become interested in photography?
From a Young age I’ve always been fascinated by Cameras and Photography.

Who were the first artists who inspired you?
Kelechi Amadi Obi and Shola Animashaun.

What do you love most about being a photographer, and what do you find to be the most challenging aspect of the job
Being a Photographer has been a wonderful experience for me as it has taken me to places and made me meet people of different tribes and most of all made me understand and appreciate the values attached to various cultures. The most challenging part of Photography for me is the ever growing need to buy gear and equipment which in most cases are very expensive and sometimes not so easy to lay hands on, another challenging aspect and I believe most Photographers can relate to this and which is trying to strike a balance with a client to pay for your services.

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Do you think about Photography in todays society, and what do you think the Industry’s near future looks like?
Photography in today’s society creates an atmosphere for Photographers to express themselves through their works in terms of how they portray their immediate environment. The Industry’s near future looks very bright for the present and future generation to come due to the rapid rise in demand for photography coverage in the everyday aspect of life and style.

Any words of wisdom for the up-and-comers?
Never limit yourself, Explore all options.

Would you like to take up a Photography Apprentice?
Yes

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A.R.T’S INTERVIEW WITH CATHERINE LABIRAN

So we threw some questions at Catherine Labiran and the always delightful poet, author and activist shared thoughts on her new book of poetry titled Ayisat and her life as an artist. Check out the interview below.

Give us an insight into the creative journey of Ayisat.
The poems in Ayisat were written across my teenager years, so each poem gives the reader an insight to my experiences and what I was going through at that particular time. I have been fortunate enough to travel quite a bit and this reflects in different cultural references documented in the book. When I put this book together, I told myself that I was going to be as free as I could possibly be. At first, I was nervous to talk about certain topics because of how I would be perceived. However, I then came to the conclusion that my story is more powerful than my fear of perception. I then progressed to write and collate poems with a free and unchained spirit.

In what ways did you grow upon completing the poetry collection? And did this change or expand when the book got published?
Completing the collection helped me grow up a lot because it propelled me to put myself out there. Sometimes I can be really reserved with my art. Sometimes, I fall into the trap of being a perfectionist, which is a loser’s game. Making Ayisat taught me that imperfections can be beautiful. I included poems that I wrote when I was 16 to demonstrate my journey, not what the perfect poem could be. When the book was published, I grew once again because I had to make myself vulnerable to criticism and open to love. Once a book is out there, there is no taking it back. This process freed me from the restraints I put on myself creatively.

What can poetry lovers who haven’t read Ayisat be excited about?
If you know me, prepare to learn something new about me. If you do not know me, then here I am. Even though all the poems are not directly about me, they all show my thinking process.

Ayisat is dedicated to your mother and all mothers. How does that maternal mind state impact or reflect in the book?
Ayisat is my baby. I birthed this book, I have seen it grow up and go across the world. When I hand over copies of the book to people it is as if I am giving my child away to get married. The book is a collection of poems I wrote when I was experiencing the upside-down-inside-out-crazy-normal-quiet-loudness of being a teenager. This book is my journey in text.

Are there any poems or themes you’d love to revisit when you become a mother?
Definitely, when I am a mother I want to revisit the topic and idea of love. I have experienced love but never the love that a mother has for a child. I can only imagine how intense such a love is. Also, depending on the state of the world when I give birth, I am sure I will have to revisit my poems on politics. It’s bad enough living a corrupt world, but it is even worse knowing that your offspring is suffering at the cost of greed and evil.

How does your written poetry differ from your spoken word pieces?
I do not really think there is much of a difference between both forms. The only difference I can immediately think of is structure. When I write poems for the page, I have to pay attention to the structure, where I want words and the punctuation. However, when I write a Spoken Word piece, I do not really structure the poem or add punctuation because I know my mind would do that naturally.

Is there a dominant approach to your creative process or is each piece developed uniquely?
I think I approach every piece in its own unique way. When I create poems in my mind, I flip reality on its head. My mind births the abstract, filters dreams into reality and makes the reader question if there is a difference between the two. The world is a mysterious place, beyond what you and I know, and my poetry wants to demonstrate that. Also, in order to write I like there to be silence and I like to be alone.

What life experiences thus far have shaped you as a poet?
The biggest experience that shaped me as a poet was moving from the U.K to the U.S to pursue my degree. My transition made me a fish out of water. At first, I spent weeks, months, even, trying to work out how to breathe. The awkwardness of not knowing anyone, having an ocean separate you and your loved ones, drove me to pick up my pen in a way I have never done before. I have gone through isolation in the past, but this time I was not afraid of it. I connected with all that was lonely inside of me, all the little torn up pieces. I introduced my fragments to each other and then they weren’t so lonely after all. My best work has been produced ever since.

Literature lovers can get their hands on Ayisat at Lulu.com. So if you don’t have a copy click the link to see how you can get one, and if you do have a copy go ahead and get another for a friend.

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In Conversation with Jake Okechukwu of SCAF Nigeria

The Easter comedy show Resurrection Laughter will be hitting the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja this Sunday, the 31st of March. A.R.T sat down for a chat with Jake Okechukwu from the Sickle Cell Aid Foundation (SCAF) of Nigeria, one of the organizations supporting the Resurrection Laughter Easter show.

A.R.T
Tell us about SCAF.

Jake Okechukwu
Sickle Cell Aid Foundation [SCAF] is a non-profit and non-governmental organization established to amplify awareness on Sickle Cell Anaemia and to raise funds solely for the provision of quality medical care for sickle cell persons, especially for the indigent in Nigeria.

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A.R.T
What is the biggest concern about sickle cell anaemia in Nigeria?

Jake Okechukwu
Nigeria has the highest number of sickle cell incidences in the world. According to a 2006 report by the World Health Organization, more than 150,000 children are born with sickle cell anaemia every year in Nigeria. The number has definitely increased because the population of growth since then. From the report, it means that over 410 children are born with sickle cell anaemia every day in Nigeria and the troubling side to those statistics is that more than half of the children born to sickle cell will die before their 5th birthday because of the absence of access to proper medical care, nutrition and special attention.

A.R.T
And how much awareness is out there about this?

Jake Okechukwu
Permit me to say that there is little or no awareness. We conducted a survey in August 2011 in the Federal Capital Territory with 600 respondents being interviewed. 47% did not know their genotype! Isn’t that alarming? They did not know what ‘genotype’ is about, neither did they have an idea about sickle cell. That calls for an emergency intervention. Even the people that know their genotype and know about sickle cell anaemia either do not have the proper information or sufficient knowledge.

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A.R.T
Is that opportunity to create awareness part of what interested SCAF about the Resurrection Laughter show?

Jake Okechukwu
Yes. We were intimated by Pius Bluetooth Momoh to collaborate with him on the show. He has volunteered with us and has a passion concerning sickle cell issues too. We see it as another opportunity to create awareness on sickle cell and to help provide an avenue where we can conduct free genotype tests for people who don’t know their genotype

A.R.T
What does SCAF hope to achieve by supporting the Resurrection Laughter show?

Jake Okechukwu
We just want to aid. We will be carrying out free genotype testing for a number of attendees who don’t know their genotype and would want to be armed with the requisite knowledge of their genotype.

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A.R.T
They say laughter is the best medicine, do you worry that a show like Resurrection Laughter can put hospitals and healthcare agencies out of business?

Jake Okechukwu
[Laughs] Why don’t we wait and see if Resurrection Laughter can bring that on! Impossible is nothing.

A.R.T
But on a more serious note how important would you say humour is to health?

Jake Okechukwu
Well, my people say that when an only kolanut is presented with love, it carries with it more value than a whole pod of several kolanuts. What am I trying to say here? Imagine if our physicians and medical personnel in our hospitals and clinics would do their work with smiles and laughter on their faces? Patients will feel more comfortable and undergo less panic. How many doctors crack jokes with their patients? If I was ill I know I would start feeling better if I see smiles and laughter and happiness around me. Humour helps.

A.R.T
Are you a comedy man or a dancing man?

Jake Okechukwu
I choreographed professionally for 4 years so I enjoy dance. But as for comedy, who doesn’t love comedy? I love both.

A.R.T
Going back to health issues, what does SCAF offer people with Sickle Cell Anemia?

Jake Okechukwu
At SCAF, our vision is reposed on two pillars: First, to provide intense and exigent awareness campaigns to prevent new sickle cell cases. And second, to provide quality specialist health care for sickle cell patients, especially the indigent. This we hope to achieve by establishing sickle cell specialist centers in the state capitals of our nation. These centres will provide pre-marital counseling and testing and will most of all offer quality treatment to sickle cell patients. With these we can prevent sickle cell births and more so reduce the copious deaths arising from the dearth of healthcare for sickle cell patients.

A.R.T
That’s very positively ambitious.

Jake Okechukwu
Yes and we are positive these and more can be achieved. Our vision is: a Nigeria free of sickle cell anemia and an excellent standard of healthcare service for those already living with the condition. Our mission statement is: to annihilate the inheritance of sickle cell disease by a wide-spread and persuasive awareness, and to provide the best healthcare for sickle cell patients in Nigeria, by working towards the creation of sickle cell aid specialist centers in all the states of the federation.

A.R.T
Have you got any advice for people living with sickle cell anemia? Any tips? Is there any home care, perhaps?

Jake Okechukwu
Well some good tips to help people who are living with sickle cell: drink a lot of water; take your medication; avoid extreme temperatures – when too hot or too cold; eat a balanced diet; avoid stressful conditions; rest when you feel the need to; understand your body and know when to stop; for the girls, avoid heels if you can; and when your pain is building up, go to the hospital.

A.R.T
Will you, Jake, be at the Resurrection Laughter show?

Jake Okechukwu
Sure, with my friends and colleagues too! I will be carrying out free genotype tests so I will be collecting blood samples but I hope to catch on some laughter.

A.R.T
How can you be contacted?

Jake Okechukwu
Our website is http://www.scaf.com.ng and you can contact me on my number +2348029012291.

Resurrection Laughter will be live in Abuja on the 31st of March, 2013. Come over to the Lawn Tennis court at Area 3 Pro-Cathedral and share some of the healthiest laughs you’ll have all year!! Tell a friend!

Check out our interview with the organizer of the Resurrection Laughter show Mc Bluetooth. Find out more about the show here.

Want to book your seat ahead of time? Tickets for the show are available online.