Sunmi Smart-Cole at 80: List of Achievements as Buhari Hails Father of Modern Photography in Nigeria
President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated one of Nigeria's best photo-journalists and professional photographers, Sunmi Smart-Cole, as he turned 80 years on Saturday, September 25.
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According to a goodwill message through Femi Adesina, President Buhari said that Smart-Cole has been capturing history in frames for about 50 years, ThisDay reports.
The president octogenarian through his lenses still documents and "project many turning points in the history of Nigeria and the world, evinced in his gallery which tells the story of presidents and citizens, palaces, streets and markets, nature and technology, famous and anonymous."
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"...the legendary photographer’s ability of adapting to the dynamic world of photography over many years, largely driven by new technology, and mentoring many to see their craft as both an art and business."
In his opinion, he affirmed that the award-winning photographer deserves recognitions and elevations, considering his antecedents of promoting music in Nigeria.
Buhari listed some of Smart-Cole's milestone accomplishments as follows:
1. Top promoter of music in Nigeria
2. The aged man organised the first jazz festival in Nigeria in 1964
3. He started the first elite barber's shop,
4. Smart-Cole worked as the first photo editor of the Guardian newspaper in 1983,
5. The renowned photographer has published his photo experiences and organizing over 30 exhibitions in five continents.
Sunmi Smart-Cole: Celebrated photographer captures the heart of Nigeria
Recall that in an earlier Legi.ng post, it was gathered that the Nigerian celebrated photographer taught himself the art of photography.
Before then, he was in the creative art of cutting the hair of Lagos crème-de-la-crème. In an interview, Smart-Cole, who was now 78, migrated to Port Harcourt. Growing up was not easy for him as he had no backing for secondary school education.
However, he was able to gather some money from teaching children in rural area to get himself a radio. The gadget he bought brought him close to the BBC World Service and its broadcast as a formal means of education.
Before he fell in love with the radio station, he spent his pennies on magazine were he learnt new words to enhance his vocabulary.