Growing up was rough for me. I grew up on Diya street, Gbagada, Lagos, in a stuffy room with a family of six (including my parents). Our room was quite tiny. we had lots of baggage in it and a little space for us to lay our heads. I can remember those days, how my immediate elder brother and I share our couch at intervals. To us, it was a very great privilege to sleep on the couch. Because sleeping on the floor meant sharing the small space with two other people.
Some days we had our relatives from the village come around to spend time with us. Those days were quite difficult because, even with the little we had, my parents still tried to fend for the new mouths that had joined ours. I wouldn’t say we suffered because even with the little we had; My parents never made my siblings and i lack any of the basic things we needed. However, when i think about it now, its hard to understand how we really survived.
My parents are one of the few people that have impacted in me greatly. My mother is more like the greatest hustler i have ever seen. I understand she learnt it from her mother who had long time ago sold pap on different streets at different communities in Ilora, Oyo state. I remember my mom working with my church’s (Deeperlife Bible Church) printing press when i was very much younger. She also braided people’s hair alongside the church work. It wasn’t long afterwards, she ventured into selling of books and other stationeries.
She switched to selling vegetables at a point. My mom knows how to create a business out of something little and also make a steady income from it. She has proven herself worthy by having several assets to her name through her business intellect. My father is quite different, he is more of the reserved type (a thinker per se). He knows how to handle difficult situations. These character traits are part of those things i have studied and imbibed from my parents even till today.
While growing up, I spent time in mom’s shop helping her sell her vegetables and spices; I know how much effort she put into making every penny she made and i just had no other dream but to get financially free, so as to let her stop the whole struggle.
I ventured into photography because of my personal love for art and also because it seemed to be a good means of livelihood. It was in level 2 at the university of lagos whilst studying English Language; when i began to pick interest in studying film making. Unfortunately, it wasn’t long after i got admission into my film school that my father started having serious health issues. I had to start making money through any legal means. Photography sincerely became necessary when i realised people book photographers more than videographers.
I still do Videography too. The travel experience that comes with the job are amazing. One time i traveled to kaduna for a documentary shoot. I had lots of fun with all the team on that particular project. I always look forward to travelling.
What breaks my heart the most is seeing clients not appreciate the effort a photographer puts into his or her works.
The saddest thing that has happened to me, Joseph Adeleke, was losing a loved one. My grandmother died on the first of January, this year 2019. She woke up strong that very morning to greet everyone a happy new year, only to lay her back to rest and never wake up anymore. I wept uncontrollably. I learnt a lesson that day. “ live life and enjoy, anything can happen at anytime”
My advice to the young ones out there is to keep doing the best they can, with time, everything will be fine.
~ Joseph Adeleke