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Africa’s First Blind Photographer, Taiwo Lawal

Africa's first blind photographer
Written by Chioma Gabriel

Ever heard of a blind photographer?

It is beyond inspiring the things people wake up to believe they can do in this part of the world.There’s not a day that people do not pray to be out of the painful lives they were born into, but there are only very few days when we see people who have all the excuses in the world not to push themselves but they push so passionately, even with no one cheering them up.

This woman is no regular woman with a physical disability, she is out here proving to life that it doesn’t matter how many eyes you have or don’t have, if you see a future for yourself, you shouldn’t let a thing get in your way.

Imagine being born out of rape and then blind with your twin sister, that already explains the kind of rough life she must have had growing up, it wasn’t a joke for her, not being able to have a normal life no matter how hard you tried.

But you see the thing with hope? There’ll surely come a day when preparation would meet opportunity and just like drops of water, one slow step every day, there’ll be an ocean to surf the rest of your life!

Here’s Her Story:

Taiwo Lawal is a set of twin, born out of rape in Ondo State, Nigeria. She grew up with little or no love from the people she encountered every day. It was a daily dose of hatred for the man who could do such disgusting thing to their mother and not have the balls to take responsibility when all the fun and games lead to the birth of two blind girls, he fled!

Apparently, Taiwo was the dreamer, the hungry one who God knows what she kept seeing when everyone thought she was blind. She had a mind and that was eyes enough for the girl. Before photography, she had tried her hands in bead and bag-making for four years before she got introduced to Photography by someone who believed in her.

She also thought it was crazy to venture into Photography as a blind person, becoming a blind photographer. Like how will you even see what’s in front of you? But whoever that person was that made her believe that too was possible, we have them to thank! She says ““At the start, I kept wondering how a blind person could learn photography. I thought it was impossible. But the person who introduced me to it said it was possible. So, I agreed to do it.”

See how it is always impossible until it’s done?

Taiwo learnt Photography with more enthusiasm than a lot of people. It didn’t matter if she was the first known woman without sight who was taking on the skill, all that mattered was her found love for it and how she felt a sense of freedom every time she was successful at a shot.

Her twin sister is now married with two children, but Taiwo says she won’t marry blind. She is completely proud of the places her skill is taking her, the great people she has met and the people she has proved so damn wrong.

Here’s how she knows she’s aiming at a good shot “whenever I take pictures, I know they would be beautiful, because I see them in my mind.”

Its still a lot of work, considering the extra things she has to do to get a good shot. She says “If I want to take a picture, I would go to where the person is, and feel his location; then I would communicate with the person to sense the direction, as the sound of the person tells me where he or she is

Just like a lot of us out here, Taiwo has always dreamt of becoming successful doing something for herself. She’s well on a good track.

 Someone has found happiness, she has broken the record and proven that disability is unreal.

About the author

Chioma Gabriel

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