In Nigeria 2.0, Adedayo celebrates country’s tourism potential
After 11years of touring round Nigeria, taking pictures of historic sites and tourism destinations, renowned landscape photographer Dayo Adedayo has finally released his latest picture/tourism book, Nigeria 2.0. Unveiled recently at the Quintessence, Parkview Estate, Ikoyi, Lagos, the ceremony attracted some stakeholders in the tourism sector, as well as expatriates, who were among the first set of people to have a feel of the richly produced book that celebrates Nigeria’s tourism potentials.
The journey to the producing Nigeria 2.0 saw the ace photographer travel to 774 local governments across Nigeria, snapping pictures of important sites and capturing the stories behind them. He then put all those pictures and stories in the coffee table book, which is about 11 x 14 inches in dimension and weighs over 5kg, with over 450 pages; an interesting book that tells Nigeria’s story in pictures and words. Even without visiting the country, Nigeria 2.0 is so richly produced that it takes any reader through Nigeria; it introduces the country in a creative way that reveal its immense potential to be a tourist attraction.
Speaking at the formal unveiling of the book, Adedayo explained, “It is the first time that I would be having a public presentation of any of my books; Quintessence convinced me to do it and I had to go along with them because they have a very solid art base. Nigeria 2.0 is the kind of book no one has ever seen before in this part of the world. In the over 100 year history of the entity called Nigeria, there has been nothing like it,” he said.
No doubt, the success story behind the first edition of the book, which was completely sold out, must have spurred the photographer to take a second shot at the project. “All through the history of Nigeria, nobody has ever done something like this before and we are very grateful for the reception and we thank God. The success of the first edition led to this second edition. This is the first time that someone will package a compendium on Nigeria, which covers the whole country, all the geo-political zones, indeed all the states,” he enthused.
According to Adedayo, the book tells the history of the country, the founding fathers, from Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Ahmadu Bello to Nnamdi Azikwe, with their pictures and their place in Nigerian history.
“For example, you will find where Sir Ahmadu Bello lived in Kaduna, where The Awolowos lived in Ikenne as well as the Awolowo Museum also Azikiwe’s house in Onitsha. It takes people down memory lane and reveals the true history of Nigeria. It captures the historical monument across the country, the Kano City Wall, to the largest monument in the surface of Africa which nobody talks about, which is very shameful and it is even in Lagos State, to the burial site of Queen of Sheba which was mentioned in the Bible and Quran and other destinations,” he said.
On the inspiration behind the project, Adedayo said, “I studied Photography and having lived for many years outside the country, you tend to look for photography materials about Nigeria and I will tell you, I found none. When I came back to Nigeria in 2003, with the support of Ovation Publisher, Chief Dele Momodu, I have to thank him and God most sincerely, photography wasn’t very popular. It was Ovation International that showed the possibility of photography and how good photographs can change perception. When we did the See Dubai and Die edition of Ovation International in 2002, I shot those pictures. Nigerians did not know much about Dubai, it was that Ovation edition that exposed Nigeria to the emerging wonder called Dubai-and we told that story effectively with excellent pictures,” he said.
On the other Hand, Adedayo wants to use his craft to change the negative perception about Nigeria, especially in the international media. “When I got back, I knew how people are bombarded with negative stories about Nigeria, that there is no light, poor infrastructural facilities, bad road, etc, but I found that no one really knew the history and nature of Nigeria and that was what propelled me in 2003; I wanted to document Nigeria,” he said.
Describing Nigeria as a gold mine waiting to be tapped, Adedayo said, “Nigeria is the world’s best kept secret. Unfortunately, most of us don’t see it. When you are playing a game of draught for example, it is people who are outside that will be seeing your best moves, and will say move this way or that way. That is why the foreigners are coming here and making huge amounts of money, while we keep on lamenting every day. The Made in Nigeria campaign should actually begin from the tourism sector,” he said.