LIFE AND LABOUR IN NIGERIA 2
Work is very essential in Nigeria and a man without work cannot be trusted. My father worked hard as a salesman until he died of a stroke at the age of 53 and my grandfather died in the army at the age of 50.
Most men in Nigeria die when they are between 30 and 55 years old. Their wives usually live about 20 years longer. These men are mostly low-skilled and manual workers. They often die because of accidents associated with their hard labour.
These young men love their work and do it with all their hearts. Yet young labourers in Nigeria live dangerously. They cannot escape the vicious cycle.
For the past, about 6 years now I have been documenting young boys and men who are doing all kinds of Manuel works to survive. They work from morning to night to take care of their beloved ones and these workers did not even finish their primary education because their parents did not have the money to pay for their school fees.
My heart desire is to honour them and photograph them with both a humanistic and compassionate eye as well as a desire to dignify and embolden them through imagery.
Using the wall as a backdrop, and the leaves as a type of prop, only enhance this theatricality, and so these images as portraying very subtle drama that exists more inside the minds of my subjects, rather than outside them and around them.
I have chosen to represent these individuals with portraits because the portraits show me the vulnerability of their souls. My heart goes out to all workers who die defending their pride and humanity, earning their daily bread. If the government could take better care of all the country’s workers, our harvest would be great.
Okeye 33 is deaf and dumb but he is a well known butcher in my village Abagana in Nigeria He is married and has 3 daughters He wants them to go to school because he did not Okay kills about 5 cows every day and he sells them in the market to make money
Adam is 18 years old and he works as a laborer and is very happy with it He dreams of going to school someday
Nkem is 8 years old wants to be a laborer just like his own dad
Madu 26 is a laborer and carries blocks all day long He has been doing this work for many years He complains about the wages
Hassan 50 works in the block industries too as a laborer and he is so tired of it but cannot find another work
Ikem 38 is a welder and a laborer too He has fem children to think about He said to me that he has so much pain on his back But that he has no money to see the doctor
Jakubu 20 works as a laborer and he likes football His father work always sa a laborer
Mokolo 15 enjoys been a laborer at the market place at Abagana Nigeria
Raymond is a driver and a laborer and for 32 years he has always drove his wife to her place of work She is so happy about this
Group photo of five laborers life as a laborer is very difficult and it is not well paid
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