Sunday 25th, October 2015 was another crucial day in my photography career. I was to cover one of the big Fashion Shows in Lagos-Nigeria; The Ladies Wardrobe and Exhibition (TLWE) 2015.
The show which held at Westown Hotels, Opebi-Lagos on a rainy afternoon was started at 2pm but I couldn’t get there until 4:15pm because of a Church meeting I had to attend and the Lagos traffic (lagosians know how traffic could be when it rains). I got registered at the entrance of the event venue and made for the doorway to the Arena. The Bouncer at the door; about 5 feet tall and dark complexioned asked about what I had in my Bag and I responded that I have my Camera (Nikon D3100) in there. He shook his head and said I can’t go in because Cameras are not allowed inside.
I screamed in my head “Chineke! Which kin’ Career killer be this?” That was supposed to be my first time of covering a Fashion show. I shouldn’t travel miles and be told at the venue that an aspiring photographer like me is not welcomed. I took a look at my Invite again to confirm that photographers are invited. I approached the Bouncer and told him I would go into the hall but I promise that I wouldn’t use my camera since it will not be allowed.
He acted as if I wasn’t talking to him. He panned his eyes around the parking lot, mumbled something and I cared less of that. After about two minutes, he told me to go in but if I like I should use the Camera, that he wouldn’t tell me not to use it but whatever I do inside, whenever I am coming out through the door I should do what is right. Do what is ‘Right’? I paused a bit and he could fathom that I had no clue of what he meant by that. So he went further to say that he can’t speak with all of his mouth but as a gentle and matured man that I am, I should know what to do.
“Jeez! So this man is asking for gratification or what?” I thought in myself. I told him I am cool with that and he did let me in. When will we have a country where we won’t have humans like this who harass people because they want a form of gratification or the other? This is Corruption we are fighting! His attitude reminded me of the movie “The Meeting” produced by Rita Dominic which showcased events like the one I experienced with the Bouncer.
I got into the arena, pulled out my camera and took as many pictures I needed to boost my Photography Portfolio. The Models were great, the Designers and their designs were fabulous, the attendees and musical artistes all added glitz and glamour to the event.
At the end of the show, I never bothered to do the “Right thing” as instructed and the ungodly fellow was not courageous enough to ask me as I passed by him a couple of times at the doorway.
Kayode Gideon Balogun
Blogger & Photographer