Sundown in Kenyatta. A supplication to hope. A prayer to a future dreamed of. In the foreground, men talk after lifting something into a car boot–Nigerians are a hardworking people, despite governments that see them as nothing but as souvenirs of conquest, each leaving them worse and disillusioned than the last. This picture is a credo to a future where women are kings and the girl child has taken [been given] the proper position she deserves–that of relevance.
Fanon Gawks at Grief is of a homeless mother and her three children. Heartbreaking. It took me a while before I got this shot and the most intriguing thing about it is that I wasn’t accosted by any of the hundreds of people using the sidewalk at that moment. Apropos of what I said earlier about the vast majority of Nigerians being averse to any form of picture-taking, it is obvious that there are certain issues of which they take no responsibility, issues about which they have no concern, issues which involve people about whom they do not care if they suffer whatever fate they believe a camera thrusts on its human subjects–a fate from which they shield themselves, and their churches. That homeless woman and her kids are nobody’s business, just like that train track, just like the hygiene of public spaces.
This picture is one of which I wish more of the world to see.
Of Rubbish and Railways shows a train track, a defunct one, passing through the market, and I see it as a testament to the mismanagement and irresponsibility of successive pseudo-democratic Nigerian governments, who render post-election lip service to a people who do not have environmental and ethical values to keep their marketplaces clean. Our country’s steady descent into disrepair has been [is being] facilitated by the collaborative efforts of the ruler and the ruled, the oppressor and the oppressed, government and citizen. And that is why I mourn her.
Onyekachi Iloh is an artist, photographer and writer from Nigeria who believes in art as a weapon of revolution. When he isn’t playing pretend guitar or dancing before mirrors, he reads poetry or mourns his country. He occasionally rants on mutemusings.home.blog and watches the world from the sidelines @demigodly_kachi