EVERY PHOTO HAS A STORY BEHIND IT – By Marylin Igboke, for Jotham Odefa Igboke

One day 14-year-old Nigerian-Indonesian Marylin Igboke stumbles on her father’s extensive photography archive while searching through his old computer hard drives, on realizing the importance of his documentations she decides to retouch the photos and share them because, according to her, her father, Jotham Odefa Igboke, is an accidental photographer who has no intentions for his catalogue and she does not want it to waste. Like her father, Marylin intends to become a photographer and practices regularly, she has also taken time to study the work of her dad to prepare for the journey. Naturally, she seems to have the gift and eyes for photography and, being young, the vision of her talent brings up the conversation about the ability to see through photography as is currently being studied and taught at MoMA.

“I really like my dads visuals, and as a Black-Asian I want to give something different, something that shows that Africans and Asian are not different. My Dad aesthetic feels raw and genuine, so I don’t feel like stopping it. A genuine photo for me is basically a photo naturally expressing thoughts, sometimes straight forward and other times not. I can’t really be sure about that, but when you see one, it’s just naturally spotted.

Marylin Igboke

ongoing on Random Photo Journal is our Journal Project focused on African Unification through collective memories, from time to time we reach out to frequent travellers around the African continent asking them to share a series of photos that represent a memory, currently or in the past, attached with a story that led to why they made such photos. Through Marylin Igboke, we were able to reach out to her father Jotham Odefa Igboke, for an interview.

Thank you for your time, please do introduce yourself.

My name is Igboke Jotham Odefa, From Oshiri in Ebonyi state Nigeria. Married to Indonesian with 3 girls and a boy. I grew up in Nigeria Aba, Onitsha and Lagos before I left Nigeria for Germany in 1994. I found myself in Indonesia in 1996.

What camera to use?

I love and enjoy travelling around the world, also I don’t have a specific camera, for now, I think the mobile phone is the easiest and efficient way of capturing events

Where were these pictures made in Nigeria?

Most of the pictures were taken in Nigeria. Some of them were taken in Lagos, Abakaliki and my village, Oshiri in Onitsha Local govt, Anambra state and also some in Ebonyi state the last time we visited Nigeria sometime in 2018.

Do you have a favorite photo?

Well, every photo has a story behind it so all is my favorite.

Any advice for photographers? 

My advice is that photos are like messages you send out to the world and so it does not matter the background, what camera you use, or how beautiful the image comes out to look like, but the memory behind it is what matters the most in the making of any photography. The “why” it was made.