By Elizabeth Uwandu
It was indeed another excursion into the unknown as guest were treated to the rich cultural heritage sites during the public presentation of Dayo Adedayo’s new book entitled Nigeria 2.0, the first indigenous photographs and documentation of Nigeria’s cultural and historical artefacts and sites. The event which was attended by many lovers of photography and culture at Quintessence Gallery, Parkview, Ikoyi Lagos was a demonstration of hard work that affirms the made in Nigeria campaign.
The work which is a follow-up to Nigeria 1.0, showcased some of the unexplored culture of Nigeria in which the audience was shocked to see that in Nigeria lies cultural heritage that little are known about of which if well explored can boost the tourism industry and serve as tool for revenue generation and a source of employment for Nigeria teeming youths.
Nigeria 2.0 is a compendium of photographs that depict and tell the stories of great arts, people and sites in all the 774 local governments in Nigeria. Some vivid and mind- blowing photographs captured were that of the stool of Queen Sheba of Ethopia in Ogun state; the Mambilla mountains in Taraba, Ojukwu bunker in Abia state; the site of Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade era in Badagry: remnant of Mungo Park’s wreckage in Kogi State and more.
Speaking at the unveiling of the book anchored by Titilayo Oyesan of Inspiration FM, Adedayo said “ It took me 11 years of handwork and labour to capture important sites in all the 774 local governments in Nigeria. The reason to make a story of Nigeria was borne to tell the beautiful stories of Nigeria through pictures. As my travels outside the shores of Nigeria showed the significant pictures and moments of these countries are captured for posterity and tourist attraction. Yet, in Nigeria, not a single information of picture is known of Nigeria presidential villa.” noted the soft spoken artist.
The photographer added that the need to show the world the boundless beauty in Nigeria; preserve the cultural heritage of a people blessed above her counterparts and change the negative perspective about Nigeria were reasons that compelled him to put the compendium together.
His words, “ This is second edition of this book. The first was titled Nigeria 1.0 . My aim is to use photography to sell Nigeria to the world. As it high time people came out in their own fields to project Nigeria well. Again , I embarked on this journey as a token to my country and to lay an example for the future generation to project the beauty and cultural heritage of Nigeria.”
Recounting the challenges he faced while putting monumental sites of the world’s populous black country in pictures, Adedayo said he was nearly shot at the pilot gate to Aso Rock while trying to gain access into the presidential villa and access to these sites, and funds to bring the pictures into better perspective were the major constraints he faced . “ I faced lots of challenges especially in the areas of access and fund. For instance, in the process of wanting to take a picture of the Presidential Villa, I had challenge to get access into the villa which was very difficult. This is because, most politicians see themselves as gods. I was nearly shot at the pilot gate to the presidential villa. This was after I wrote letters five times to get access to the villa all to no avail. Not until I sent a picture I took of the president before I was allowed in. Also, I have to appease people for me to take shots of some sites.”
Calling for a revamp of the tourism industry in Nigeria, the artist whose stay in America spanned over 20 years said the sector will fare better if people who have passion for it are trained in act of preserving the cultural heritage of the country.