Makoko – the fishing village

Ahh – a very happy new year and welcome to zee Wani Olatunde Photography blog…I always thought I was way too lazy to blog but I recently realised that although I’ve taken a lot of pictures over the last year or so, they’ve pretty much just sat on my hard drive and never seen the light of day….so thought I would give this whole blog malarkey a spin and see how it goes – this being a new year and all 🙂

Just so you know, this will probably be my wordiest post and then it’ll just be pics (pinky promise)…

So for my very first blog post – I have picked Makoko the fishing village…as way of background (for those of u who don’t know me) I moved from the UK to Lagos just under a year ago (eek! hw time does fly!) and although I am originally from Nigeria, I haven’t lived here in over a decade – so it’s been one heck of an experience…but more on that in later blogs.
Anyway, having settled in now, I thought I would take the opportunity to see what the city has to offer in terms of scenery, cultural experiences etc….and my first real experience of this was the Makoko fishing village…now these so-called riverine (sp?!?) live on houses built on stilts and their sole mode of transport are these tiny little canoes that everyone including the lil 6/7 year olds handle quite masterfully…quite impressive really…

So I went on this mini-adventure with my dad and husband and it was really a revealing experience…we got into one of those aforementioned tiny canoes and went to explore the locals’ way of life…the sanitary conditions were appalling and the water was a murky black and had all sorts in it and i really do mean ALL sorts….However once I got over the water and the consequences of me or my beloved camera falling in it, it was very interesting to see how these people had carved out a life for themselves on the water – complete with a school, hospital, church (naturally), canoe making workshop, traders on the water and the list goes on….

I’ve noticed that Nigerians or at least Lagosians as a ppl tend not to be too fond of having their pics taken and I and my poor baby (yes that would be my lowly Canon 350D) have been threatened quite a few times now…but luckily we were in a canoe, so I felt much safer this time….what was most interesting though was that the kids up till about 7/8 years were still naturally curious and a lot of them performed for the camera, however the older ones had clearly learnt to fear it and so were much more hostile or simply ran away…  

Anyway, i’ve published below some of my fav pics and the rest can be found on my flickr page at
http://www.flickr.com/photos/8865663@N06/sets/72157623156469776/detail/

Young girl – now this lil lady was actually the first pic I took and there was something about the way she looked at me…somewhat uninterested yet intently staring at me like she was daring me to lift my camera. i hesitated at first given the intensity of the stare but then figured she was a lil girl and I could prob take her if it came to it (kidding, kinda!) – she did make me nervous at any rate but turned out to be one of my favs of the day…

Funny girl – she was one of my favs, screamed like a banshee everytime I raised my camera to take a picture of her but never actually looked away from the camera – I think she just loved the attention…

Kids – adorable, what can I say? A lot of them were running around naked…not sure why exactly…
Leave me alone – not everyone was so keen on having their picture taken…
What u looking at? – some downright hostile…
Always with a smile – these were some of my fav guys…there were some serious action moves going on…
Canoe boy – just another cutie in a canoe…
Pineapple lady – gotta love the traders on the water…
Lil lady in Pink – there’s a future in modelling for this one yet…my absolute fav!
Say it with a smile – such a great face…
Riverine princess – simply beautiful…
Peekaboo – love this pic, got the fella on the left just as he looked at me…
Jst chillin’ – i wonder what lies beneath…hmm….
Strength – I just love this unconscious pose…
U looking at me? – another cutie…
Lost in concentration – i hope he was winning…
Oy ve – what a day! – this pic jst cracks me up…
15 comments
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  • Love the pictures Wani. very brave of you to venture in there but you got some beautiful shots. The pineapple lady shot is amazing, the lighting, composition, colour balance…. very nice and effective PP. well done !!!ReplyCancel

  • Wani

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.ReplyCancel

  • Gajendri

    Wani! I loved it!!! I love the photos…they look so professional…exactly the type you would see in competitions or magazines…impressive!!!

    ooh…happy new year to you too! Hope life is going well in Lagos 🙂

    xxReplyCancel

  • Kehinde

    Good intentions 😉 we’ll be waiting, looking forward to it. The last time I saw a community like this was on a Ross Kemp programme and I was like ewww, but your photos completely turn that image on it’s head. They’re so cool I wanna make a visit! Great job capturing those poses, genius timing! Did the kids get to see the images? Be a sight to behold xx”ReplyCancel

  • Lily

    Oh wow Wani! You’ve got it in you! Please keep going, some really incredible pictures. My absolute favorite though is the pineapple lady! A magical photo! Kissis and of course a belated Happy New Year!ReplyCancel

  • Az

    These are absolutely fantastic. I love photos of people and you have caught their expressions so well!ReplyCancel

  • Dola

    Hey, ur pics are awesome! I like the way they focus on human facial expressions. Our faces tells a lot of story even more than words. These children certainly confirm what happiness is all about its never about material things. Looks like they have nothing (well in terms of civilization) but they radiate the greatest asset of all(joy).

    My favourite pics will have to be the Riverine princess- while some have to work really hard at it, some r just natural. She is a natural.

    Good work Mrs Olajiga I look fwd to more blogs.ReplyCancel

  • RGO

    well done !!ReplyCancel

  • Anonymous

    nice pics wani 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Mum

    nice pics – very nice. Looking forward to seeing more…ReplyCancel

  • afam

    Wonderful Pics Wani, i wonder why i was not invited on this glorious journey, i’ve really been looking to experiences like these…well, enough about me… and back to you… the pictures are REALLY lovely and i appreciate Art a lot, this is beyond pictures…Its Artistic, really wish i could purchase one of your pics. Pls Keep up the good Work.

    AfamReplyCancel

  • thanks Afam – aah, didn’t realise you would be interested, I am hoping to do more trips like this so will definitely let you know.

    thank you so much – I really appreciate your kind words. i’m hoping to make a book from the makoko pics, so will let you know. but if you interested in single prints – then definitely let me know.

    🙂ReplyCancel

  • Mum

    Hi Wani, Like the new look site. well done.ReplyCancel

  • Oni Oluwaseyi

    Hi Wani. the photo’s are really engaging. You should visit us again at Frameshop Extra. We have the right frames for these pictures. Well done.ReplyCancel

  • […] part of the reason I chose to pursue photography professionally, you can see more of my Makoko work here, here, here and […]ReplyCancel

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