Jide Alakija

01 Jan 2007 6,052 views
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photoblog image Taken forgranted
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Taken forgranted

Lots of time has gone into this one (well with a phone chat as well, I guess these things take your time). This is not strictly an HDR but from a RAW file many exposures have been used to make this one and I'm very pleased with the result.

It's a shot of three kids laying down underbridge with one crying. This is what some people live through in Nigeria, poverty is quite rampert in many parts of the country particularly in the big cities like Lagos.

Right yesterday Skee and I covered a big wedding and I did something really stupid. I walked around yesterday with everyone asking me a really embarrasing question regardingmy attire. No I wasn't wearing pink trousers. Somehow I managed to leave the house without noticing that I had on two different shoes on, my left trainer on one and my smart show on the other. Ok Jide what where you thinking....it's true. I didn't even notice it until I was 30 mins away when I realised that one shoe was looser to walking than the other. On the train to the wedding, I noticed that members in the carriage were all hiding their laughter about it. When I got off this lady followed me to my train changing and said this....."Excuse me sir, Are you Nigerian?".....I said "Yes I am"....then she asked..."I've been meaning to ask you as it's been bugging me, you're not a poor man, you look sane, so is this a new style or what?"....I immediately replied..."I know i'm wearing two different feet, No it's not a style, I made a mistake this morning"....she then asked...."That's what I thought....what were you thinking? Did you have a lot on your mind?".....I chuckled.....


One more thing, I've chosen this shot because it's not what you'd expect to see in the NEW YEAR CELEBRATIONS but it's REALITY, what about these people. How about their NEW YEAR? I'm sure you didn't think about them.

comments (27)

  • Dammie
  • United Kingdom
  • 1 Jan 2007, 00:03
Lmaoooooooooooo, and Jide u couldn't have possibly been wearing 2 different FEET *sigh*....


p.s; Y would u choose this image for the new year?!...SHEESH!!!

Jide Alakija: I chose this image because it's REALITY. Life is not always about the lovely things in the world....let's not forget about these kids in the New Year. I'm sorry but it's the true.
  • Petra
  • 1 Jan 2007, 00:31
Happy new year Jide!
Jide Alakija: Thanks Petra.
  • Exquisite Eminence
  • 1 Jan 2007, 02:26
I don't like this shot for the new year...it's too sad and thought provoking...brings down my spirits....on another day it would have worked...not today...happy new year anyways!
Jide Alakija: Maybe you could turn it around a bit. Why not think about these kids in the New Year...what about their future? Life is also about them too. It's reality.
Hiya Jide and a very happy new year to you. All the very best for 2007 and keep up the great photography. I like this photo, it is a super follow up to my Christmas week series!!!! The only difference being, you will probably end up getting a whole lot more recognition.
As for the shoe issue, well whar can one say, at least you have 2 or more pairs of shoes to be able to make the mistake!! Many kind regards, Neil.
Jide Alakija: Thanks Neil. Funny joke.
  • shiv
  • India
  • 1 Jan 2007, 09:58
haha,what a way to start the new year eh...two different shoes..! hhehe,
sometimes they show in bollywood movies that the actor parades out of his house in his boxers,forgetting to wear his trousers with his tuxedo..!

anyhow,yesterday when we were all dressed up and ready to go for the party,we had dicsussion in the car about how we are so lucky to be able to live this way,there were sooo many beggars on the road,so many people working on new years eve,sheesh its quite a sad sight,
really like how you have chosen this image for today,even though many people dont,its good to think about such things,we take sooo much for granted its not even funny,especially me,i'm still 17,dont earn money yet...! great job,LOVE this shot,its very thought provoking and STARK.
Jide Alakija: That's exactly what I mean...thanks Shiv.
  • micki
  • United States
  • 1 Jan 2007, 13:21
Great story about the shoes, and obviously after seeing this scene, two different shoes doesn't seem to matter when you put everything into perspective. This is a most heart wrenching and sobering image and one that is very appropriate for today. We must remember to care for one another and help those who cannot help themselves. How many lives can we touch this New Year?
  • Ellie
  • England
  • 1 Jan 2007, 13:22
wink You'll have a new set of checks for before you go out of the house in future ... money, phone, camera and shoes!

I don't think this picture is at all inappropriate. Very many people celebrate the New Year for themselves and forget the change is only symbolic, only a different number. Life's a lottery, how we live often depends solely on who our parents are and how they can help us. Some of us can make things better for others as we move through our lives, and pictures like this one can help, it's good, use it and your skill to make that difference.

I wish you and yours a bright, happy and successful New Year.
  • nkemo
  • 1 Jan 2007, 13:30
happy new year. great shot. still inspiring us for the new year- thanks
  • Louis
  • South Africa
  • 1 Jan 2007, 14:51
Absolute great shot, doesn't matter what time of the year. Crack ya Ribs and Vote for Me on the pole with the 3 kids, great compilation.

Shoe things happen grin

Best of the new year to you too!
This pic makes me miss Naij. Happy new yr
  • Toun
  • United States
  • 1 Jan 2007, 17:12
Very very touching shot. The less privileged, forgotten, voiceless ones in our society need to be remembered during this time especially. Great story about ur shoes. lol. Happy new year.
powerful image. good work.
when you see images like this,it makes one realise that we take so much for granted.
Though we wish ourselves a happy new year,it will be very bleak for the many less fortunate ones.
Pictures like this put us in check,for we are no better than the unfortunate.
what a way to start 2007.i hope i learn something special from this picture.
  • Sorcha
  • Alba Nuadh
  • 1 Jan 2007, 18:05
this photo pisses me off. not that it is a reality, because i know it is, but because you took it and put together with a funny story about your SHOES.

if you want to be an urban photographer, a sense of detachement would be necessary. life can and IS pain. i for one know such.

if you want to be a humanist - don't post pictures like this without you listing what YOU did for the child at your FEET.

i wonder if you will let this comment stand?

Jide Alakija: Now why would I delete such a great comment. You have a point though I don't think I'll stand with it. I don't think my story says anything or has anything to do with the picture afterall this is my photoblog and I can put what I want on it. The picture is just a wakening to the rest of the world that these people do live and exist, I doubt that they do care about us the way we do about them (and we do care). I have done my part by alerting someone out there (who is probably not going to make a comment) about these peoples existence, what is the news afterall, they report what they see, others who can help hear their message and help. I believe that I have helped by alerting someone about this. What are YOU doing for them?

Thanks Sorcha for your comment please keep it coming and don't let anyone stop you from speaking your mind...it's is afterall just your own opinion.
hey jide,

happy new year! an extremely powerful, yet really disturbing image. the power that this shot carries certainly indicates that you were largely successful in your capture and processing of this shot.
  • Laurie
  • United States
  • 1 Jan 2007, 19:30
Oh this is such a tragic and absolutely heartbreaking photo. I wouldn't be able to contain my horror at this scene if I were to have been there myself. What can one person do? Is there hope for children like this? My tears are stinging my eyes..my heart is in tatters for these poor children. What can one person do? Is there any hope for children like this?
  • Ovo
  • UK
  • 1 Jan 2007, 21:53
Picture - thought provoking...will come back to comment more.
The Story - what were you thinking...you know I am going to use this story some day, more likely on stage or something
  • Jamey
  • Great Britain (UK)
  • 1 Jan 2007, 23:27
Very nice documentary photo and good story.
GOSH Jide! I'm speechless....
This man, when are you going to settle me??
  • FL
  • 2 Jan 2007, 11:43
This is a great shot. Also agree with you on the theme. Sad to see the rashes on the babies but though but I guess that's reality
that really is touching, hard-hitting reality.....here's to a new year where, hopefully, there's hope for these children as well...
  • Sorcha
  • Alba Nuadh
  • 2 Jan 2007, 17:21
how exactly is posting this picture "doing your part"? that is a crime to think you did anything constructive by posting these childrens pain. if you are going to use a photo of people in a sphere of pain and poverty - war and turmoil - either state the FACTS -

#1 i.e. these children are "orphans in the town of ... and the city does not support them because... 26,000 children die here from ..." ect THAT is photojournalism.

#2 i.e. my shoes are funny becuase these kids have none. i am more forturnate than them. i take pictures of less fortunate souls and use it to prop up my photoblog.

#3 i.e. i saw these children and wanted to remind the world that although you are safe and home - these children and more are not. please consider donating your time or money to www.warchild.com www.amnesty.org -- because i used this photo i donated money to one of those charities. i am doing my part.

Do you see now what i am saying? taking pictures of people in pain needs to be objective. i can have my own "opinion" as you say - and this IS your photoblog - but your eyes need to have some responsibility for the images you project.

at the end of the day -- what did this post accomplish?


Jide Alakija: Good points but again very subjective. I agree with all three points.

Now to cut thing short and get straight to the point, what has my post accomplished? Well I'll leave you to read the remaining comments above yours and see what others have said about the shot. I think you'll see that it's has at least put it on their minds.

Again instead of fronting against my post what are YOU going to do about this situation.

Just to let you know a bit more about this shot. These kids aren't orphans, their mother made them cry by smacking them for not making enough money from the traffic. Now I you can say that that is terrible but that would again be a very subjective remark because that itself could be the culture of the land.

Thanks Sorcha, please keep it coming.
  • Ovo
  • UK
  • 2 Jan 2007, 21:04
It is quite sad what you see in this picture but it depends on what you are seeing. I see hope...now Jide you may not have done intentionally. On the pole, there is a poster of a show called "Crack your ribs". It is the next generation of young people using comedy to make a living...people who are not just complaining about the government and doing something productive to make aliving.
  • Gary
  • 2 Jan 2007, 23:05
excellent an sobering image, the blurred figure sitting in the background seems to symbolize indefference to the plight of these children
  • Ngozi
  • 6 Jan 2007, 06:41
Ditto... everything Micki said....

Technically, this is a fantastic image. I spent more time reading the comments than I did looking at the image... and now the more I glance back at it - the more I think, the worse I feel.... It really is sad and oddly painful to look at... but it must not be ignored...
This is nothing to "CRACK YA RIBS" over. SAD!
  • Osime
  • London
  • 15 Aug 2007, 13:57
I find an irony in the poster above these kids that's meant to read "Crack Ya Ribs", even more so "Register To Vote". Vote for what??? It's sad. The expression on that child's face is moving. Is he crying in his sleep? It appears even sleep does not offer him a getaway from the horror he's living in. :-( You have captured an image that raises so many questions. Deep!

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