Major General Ike Nwachukwu retd. (wearing red cap) admiring the works on display during the 1st National Conference ofPJAN held recently in Lagos.
By Prisca Sam-Duru
The exhibition of over 100 photographs by members of Photojournalists Association of Nigeria, PJAN, as well as the Conference and Gala Night/Award ceremony, marked the end of the 1st National Conference of the Association.
The display of over 100 stunning images, selected from past and present works by PJAN Members, was a huge milestone in the history of the association. It attracted hundreds of photography enthusiast, art lovers, government functionaries, PJAN members from all over the country and the general public; including Chairman of the occasion, Major General Ike Nwachukwu Retd, former President of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Chief Mrs Nike Akande.
The photographs covered diverse areas of life and sector; culture, arts, politics, music, health, lifestyle etc. This according to the Chairman Photojournalists Association of Nigeria, Ademola Akinlabi is a major improvement in the history of the Association.
He said that “In the last few years, PJAN has recorded tremendous development professionally, through seminars and workshops and our knowledge of photography is increasing. This year, we received over 175 images compared to 2018 that only 30 photographs were received for exhibition.”
The concept of the Association he pointed out, was to facilitate exchange programmes, provide enabling environment for members to grow and nurture younger ones through workshops, exhibitions, training.
During the Conference, two famous and highly revered veterans in the industry; Sunmi Smart Cole, who was also the Keynote Speaker, received the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’; and AdeboyejoOganbule, were presented with recognition Awards for their invaluable contributions to photojournalism in Nigeria. Also, DCP Olatunji Disu received award during the Gala Night that marked the end of the National Conference.
In his Keynote address, iconic photojournalist, Sunmi Smart Cole, noted that there is problem with people who think that phone can be camera, adding that “There’s no way that phones can replace cameras. It is sad that some photojournalists have not seen a Dark Room before.”
The veteran photojournalist who held his first solo exhibition at Stanford University, California in 1978, with two books to his credit, also revealed numerous hazards he encountered in the course of his duty while celebrating his achievements which included; a recent exhibition of works of 43 years at Terra Kulture, Lagos, trained 17 photojournalists across media in Nigeria free of charge, among others. While encouraging members to get the adequate training required to be able to excel and meet challenges posed by social and multimedia, he said, “Outside Nigeria, Black and White photographs are making a come-back. Black and White photos can last for 100 years if preserved well but coloured can only last 12 years, and this calls for proper training to be able to stay relevant in the profession”