By Japhet Alakam
Budding photographer, Oluwaseun Otitoola, has emerged the winner of the 2017 edition of the 9mobile Photography Competition, a talent development initiative of 9mobile, Nigeria’s most innovative and youth-friendly telecommunication company.
Oluwaseun Otitoola won the competition with his entry titled: “Fragment of CMS Bookshop Building”, beating two other finalists – Amanda Ihemebiri – “The NestOil Tower” and Taiwo Omotosho, for Lines Side by Side.
Oluwaseun was announced winner at the grand finale and award presentation ceremony, which was held on Friday, November 3, 2017 at the 9mobile Head Office, Banana Island, Lagos. An emotion laden Otitoola revealed what inspired him to participate in the competition.
According to 24-year-old Otitoola, “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 titled “Skies and Scrapers”. He won after pulling the highest number of votes online.
Speaking at the prize presentation ceremony, the Chief Executive Officer, 9mobile, Boye Olusanya said being an innovative and youth-centric company, 9mobile created the photography competition in 2014 as a talent discovery and reward platform.
He said, “9mobile Photography Competition is not about winning but about talent, creativity and innovation. The aim is to engage and empower budding photographers to fulfill 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 of 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 fulfill their passion and capture compelling images that celebrate our Nigerian heritage.
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