My name is Bayo Omoboriowo, I spent the first 15years of my life in Mushin, a suburb of Lagos state, rough and tough. I am currently a post graduate student of the University of Lagos, the same institution where I got my first degree in 2009. I graduated as one of the best student in my class, even though I started relatively poorly, but I was able to pull through somehow. I studied Chemistry not because I wanted to, but because my parents advised me to as against Food Science and technology because they thought it was a feminine course. Growing up for me was not child’s play, I did not have a silver spoon in my mouth, I remember my family going through a major trying time while I was in the primary school and I had to hawk pure water to aid my family’s survival; I was well known with it to the extent that some people branded me “Bayo Pure-water”. I remember seeing some of my classmate in cars while I hawked. I hid from them to avoid the embarrassment of being seen. Looking back now, the experiences helped me build a strong inner man obliviously.
As a teenager in the secondary school, I was academically poor because I was very playful. All I wanted was to flow with the latest trend, roll with the most popular students in school and to form “big boy” even at the expense of my academics. I was so bad that I almost failed my WASSEC (West African Senior School Leaving Certificate), but I realized passing WAEC was not the main point, but whether I was an excellent student, who could be able to succeed going through higher institution? It dawned on me that even though I had a good foundation which I did not maximize, I could not go into the higher institution with the foundation I had built for myself and succeeding in the university would be difficult. Fortunately for me, I gave my life to Christ during my first year in the university. It was at that point that my life got a direction; that was when I realized I had to pass with good grades with no form of examination malpractices; I simply started life from the scratch. This made me study really hard, as I spent all the spare time I had studying, all day, all night, on the street, in the bus, anywhere I found myself free enough to pick my books and at the end of the day, God really helped me. I became so brilliant that I started taking my classmates tutorials. As an undergraduate, my dad gave me an allowance of two thousand naira (2,000) per month, out of which I would pay my tithe, give my offering, pay cab fares, buy school materials and still help others; it was a very meager amount while I had friends who collected fifteen thousand naira a month (15,000)but thank God I was a Christian and I had contentment fortunately for me, so, no funny ideas of making money through illegal means crossed my mind. This taught me how to manage money and be strong irrespective of what situation I found myself. There were times I felt so bad about my lean pocket, there were times I cried about it, there were times I simply had nothing to eat. I had people laugh at me because I didn’t have fine cloths and I just could not blend into the current trend. But all these never pushed me to do anything illegal in order to make money. Someone once requested that I be their examination machinery because I was brilliant. Honestly, the money was attractive, I gave it a thought, but my love for my heavenly father did not allow me break his heart, I declined the offer. I was even an executive in my school fellowship at that time.
As we all know, necessity is the father of all inventions. I have always had photography as a hubby although I had no camera; I borrowed cameras from everyone I could borrow from. Soon, I had people invite me to their events in school to come take pictures for them and before I knew what was happening, I was making good money from photography with which I was able to sustain myself through my University days, enough to buy me food and groceries. Looking back now, I will tell you I do not regret those days, even though they were not good days, but they were the days that built the man I am today. I am grateful to God I was not born with a silver spoon, the experience I had molded me, if I did not have them, maybe I would be doing a white collar job somewhere while my talent rots within me. It built in me a strong inner man, it made me dogged, so much that now I can take my photos anywhere no matter how rough the terrain might seem. I have this strength that makes me pull through anywhere or anything!
I got my first camera right after my graduation. I used my father’s money to buy it and I took it with me to the NYSC camp. Youth corpers loved my photos, so, I made money taking photos while in the camp, I was simply on top of my game. The truth is I wanted to be a cooperate guy with a white collar job wearing suits and feeling good with myself, not a photographer, but by the grace of God, I got some accidental mentors that made me fall in love with photography and made me see a future in it. It was at that point that I started thinking of going professional. I partook in exhibitions like Nigerdelta Fototales, Rivers State and Delta Fototales Photo Exhibition, both in 2010 during my youth service year and people loved my pictures. That marked the major beginning of my professional photography and God has since being blessing me. By His grace, I have the following nominations and awards so far:
· 2 categories Nominee (Lifestyle and Still life) Nigerian Professional Photography Awards 2012
· AAF Etisalat Amateur Photography Competition 2nd place
· National climate change photo contest 2012- 1st position
· Future Awards Creative Artist of the Year 2012.
My advice for teenagers from some lessons I have learnt so far: God has a plan for you and He will like you to trust Him with your life, do His will and He will crown it all with His success. Do not let hunger and poverty drive you into crime, your maker has already deposited in you what will feed you, all you need to do is to follow your inner man and do everything you do with diligence. You are not a dullard, you are born brilliant, you only need to focus more on your books and ignore the abundant distraction that abound. Sky is not even a limit for you, it is a stepping stone for you and with God on your side, you have all you need to go through life. And also, never hate your parents for not giving you a silver spoon; u can always carve out a platinum spoon for yourself. God bless you!
Enjoy viewing some of Bayo's award winning photos....