International News Services’ Nigeria correspondent explores Lagos city life in vivid photographic book

LAGOS is Nigeria and Africa’s most populous city - a fast-moving and changing metropolis that plays home to both the country’s super-rich and the super-poor. It’s Nigeria’s commercial capital. It is the hub of its dynamic music industry, growing arts scene and tech startups.

International News Services’ Nigeria correspondent, Samuel Okocha, has produced a photographic book showing a candid glimpse of the city. “It’s also a product of my strong interests in street photography which has been therapeutic for me,” Samuel said. “Street photography helps me slow down in a crazy fast moving city like Lagos. It keeps me in the moment.”

So, after traversing the city streets for years, photo-shooting the streets of the Nigerian commercial capital, Okocha decided to publish a book entitled ‘From Nobody To Somebody: A Journalist’s Lagos Diary’.

The book, first self-published in February 2019, is a visual statement on everyday life in Lagos which is home to more than 20 million people hustling daily to make a living. “The tension arising from that pursuit is what the book seeks to show,” said Samuel.

The book features over 90 images from three years of street photography between 2015 and 2018, capturing unique and candid moments of everyday people in public spaces. These moments have been assembled in the book.

With an introductory written essay, the book, through its images, takes the reader right into the streets of Lagos with each photo telling a unique story. Readers holding the book should expect to feel the tension, energy and passion for life in Lagos.

Samuel Okocha has been a journalist for more than 10 years, working across various platforms – print, radio, TV, web – and publications. His work has appeared on Huffington Post, Aljazeera Plus, Radio France International, Voice of America, the Digital Journal and University World News, among others.

He started work undertaking street photography during his early days as a news reporter.

“Then, the photos were mainly to complement the texts of my reports for the web,” he said. “But I became really conscious and active in street photography in 2015.” That year was when Okocha started photo-shooting Lagos’ streets almost every day.

When taking a photo, Samuel says he looks out for scenes, people and emotions that speak to him: “I try to make memories of that experience,” he said. “And I do this by capturing fleeting moments from these public encounters between myself and my immediate environment.”

Samuel looks forward to exploring more cities outside Lagos and plans to come up with more photo book projects.

You can buy his photobook here: