Social media was agog someday in Might 2017 when the time period InaBayo grew to become a trending subject. President Muhammadu Buhari had been out of the general public eye for some time till a video of him on the Aso Rock Villa Mosque began making rounds. The president couldn’t assist however discover the absence of a selected younger man: his private photographer, Bayo Omoboriowo. Because the president appeared round and requested the buzzing crowd, “Ina Bayo?” in Hausa, loosely translated to “the place is Bayo?” social media erupted.
I first encountered the enigma, Bayo Omoboriowo, about 8 years in the past. I had been working in a department of a high industrial financial institution in Abuja for about one yr. On a kind of mornings, whereas I ready to go out, looking for new enterprise, I noticed the favored private photographer to the newly elected President Muhammadu Buhari. Approaching him and providing to help with what had introduced him to the financial institution kicked off what has change into an never-ending journey of friendship.
Bayo and I had been Fb pals however by no means met. I found his profile in the course of the 2012 #OccupyNigeria protests like many others, who scoured the web and social media for photographs, movies, and information that documented the progress of the seething protests. As soon as I discovered his web page, I grew to become glued, swiping by means of previous works and looking out ahead to new stuff from him. As Instagram grew to become a most well-liked photo-sharing platform, I simply appeared for his web page and adopted him. I’m a lover of images myself, having eked out a dwelling as a pupil photographer, albeit with a movie digicam, so seeing a younger man passionately reside my ‘now rested’ dream was a thrill for me.
As we chatted within the financial institution’s ready room that humid morning, I confirmed him one in every of his photographs of PMB in a automobile in the course of the election marketing campaign, which I had edited, written a poem on, and shared in his DM. He didn’t reply once I despatched it to him, however he on the spot acknowledged that he had seen it beforehand and we might go on to snicker about it.
For 8 years that I’ve identified Bayo, there are a number of attributes I’ve come to admire about him. His convivial nature; there’s nobody Bayo can’t relate with. His ardour; I’ve by no means met a extra passionate photographer. His love for folks; serving to many younger photographers get employed by public workplace holders, non-public residents, and organisations with out asking something in return. His unmatched power; unsure he’ll develop a paunch like me as a result of he’s at all times on the transfer. His ingenuity; he at the moment holds the Guinness World Document for the biggest photograph guide. Regardless of conceptualising and implementing new tasks typically, extra inventive concepts are ready within the wings. Bayo is a person of goals and artistic concepts.
I recall vividly when the dialog a few Grasp’s diploma began to creep in. Like many different concepts, he kindled it. Having beforehand earned a Bachelor’s in Industrial Chemistry, I noticed first-hand how he passionately made a case to be admitted into King’s Faculty, London for an M.A. in Arts and Cultural Administration. After the preliminary pleasure of being admitted had fizzled out, the subsequent fear got here: how would he make time to attend courses, regardless of a loopy schedule with the president, in addition to balancing commitments to household, pals, tasks, and a rising group of mentees? Belief Bayo to make a meal of probably the most troublesome duties, toy with new concepts (together with a now-rested cooking present try), and simply typically have enjoyable alongside the way in which (clowning on his social media pages as we joined him by means of some components of his faculty journey on-line). I may inform it was a frightening activity each time we encountered however he by no means stopped, going all the way in which to finish this system in common time.
On the twenty fourth of January 2023, my good friend and brother, Bayo Omoboriowo flipped the hat, holding in tandem the commencement scroll, from the celebrated Kings Faculty, London, celebrating his conquest over fears and self-doubt. I’m greater than assured of the good strides this new diploma would spur.
Bayo, you encourage us all. Such as you launched your self on the first LEAP Africa coaching you ever attended as ‘Daring Bayo’, might your audacity proceed to start many extra unrivalled successes.
I can’t speak about how my path crossed with Bayo with out mentioning my good friend, Oluseyi Adebiyi. However this isn’t about Seyi. It’s about one of the vital significant friendships I’ve deliberately solid with somebody inside a brief house of time.
After our assembly and introduction in 2019, Bayo had playfully alluded to his intent to pursue a postgraduate programme. There’s a manner impossibility dispels when somebody inside your circle achieves a coveted objective. Throughout my MBA programme on the College of Surrey, I brazenly shared the highs and lows of the journey on Instagram. I assume that impressed Bayo to take motion. There’ll by no means be an ideal time to smash your objectives, it’s both now or by no means. With the professional steerage of Yejide Akiode of Eduspace, Bayo was on his method to commencing what turned out to be an ideal studying expertise at King’s Faculty, London.
Bayo does nothing in half measures. He places his all into every part. It’s both all or nothing. I noticed him show that doggedness all through the one-year programme at KCL. Combining this and an astounding profession because the president’s private photographer was no imply feat. All these whereas being a supportive husband to Lola Omoboriowo and his youngsters.
We regularly overlook the toll ambition takes on our vital different after we pursue them. Their unwavering help spurs us. Bayo loved the cheer of a whole village throughout his tutorial odyssey, one which was masterfully chaired by his spouse who made sacrifices, confirmed up and divided her time between Nigeria and the UK.
His agile method and humility got here to reveal as he didn’t deny himself the chance of immersing himself in your entire expertise. Bayo attended his courses in individual. He burnt the midnight oil to make sure he delivered on the numerous essays and displays. “The true studying is outdoors the classroom,” he typically enthused whereas he dragged me alongside on many fascinating expenditures to see London in its full essence.
In lower than three months, I may contact the transformation taking place in his thoughts. Theoretical data was morphing into tangible actions and visual impacts. Bayo was buzzing with disruptive concepts on tips on how to change the world by means of artwork. In opposition to the backdrop of the success of his award-winning guide, Uncover Nigeria, he was hosted to a one-of-kind photograph exhibition by the college.
On the Intertwined: Vogue, Textile and Heritage in Nigeria exhibition, Bayo dazzled a global viewers with fascinating photographs and tales a few nation he loves dearly. Very quickly, his compelling narration obtained quite a few white folks donning some Nigerian attires with delight and admiration.
Who would have thought that Nigerian festivals generally is a veritable software for development past aesthetics? This was the main focus of Bayo’s art-based analysis and dissertation. A testomony to his inventive prowess and patriotism.
The message of hope and love for Nigeria is one Bayo Omoboriowo by no means tires to share. How do we alter the narrative about Nigeria? How can we export our tradition and skills? How can the world expertise the fantastic thing about a nation so blessed? Bayo’s life, particularly in the course of the programme at KCL, embodies solutions to those questions.
We would not have to attend until an unlimited platform presents itself earlier than us to vary the world. Our on a regular basis dwelling can cumulatively make a distinction even after we are on a sojourn removed from residence, pursuing private goals and betterment. That’s my greatest studying from Bayo as he bagged an MA in Arts and Cultural Administration on the prestigious King’s Faculty London.
Oluseyi Adebiyi writes from Abuja, Nigeria, and Tobi Eyinade writes from London, United Kingdom.