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New Africa Photography: Andrew Esiebo

Andrew Esiebo | THIS IS AFRICA   in 
September 14, 2014

Football pool-betting, a cultural import from 1920s Britain, is a popular activity among old men in Nigeria. The gambler attempts to forecast the results from 49 league matches played across all divisions of the English Football League in the hope of winning the jackpot of up to 400,000 Naira – the equivalent of the average annual wage in Nigeria. Most walk away empty-handed but find consolation in the company of friends who gather at the Lebanese or Syrian-run pool houses to relax and play card games, draughts or ayo. ©Andrew Esiebo

Sometime in 2001, Andrew Esiebo was asked by a friend what he wanted as a gift. “A camera”, he replied. And so Eseibo (1978) got a camera and started to teach himself photography. Photography, like music, fashion, and the arts in general aren’t things most of us grew up hearing encouraged as “proper” professions, and it was the same with Andrew growing up in Nigeria. Nonetheless, camera in hand in his early twenties, Andrew began to pursue his dream. “But I quickly got stuck, because the ones that did earn money with it, did so by doing commercial work: weddings, portraits and such. That didn’t really inspire me, so I started browsing the internet to get in touch with foreign photographers and look at photography books to get inspired.”

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