Africa’s biggest fishing celebration, Argungu Fishing Festival in Kebbi State has remained the toast of local and foreign tourists as well as documentary artistes since it made its debut 86 years ago. But, last year’s edition of the annual festival came with a unique touch from Mr. Tolu Fatoberu, a portrait photographer who raised the bar of capturing the thrills and glitz of the event with his camera.
The 2005 graduate of Agriculture Extension and Rural Development, Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta (FUNAAB), is choice of photography buffs in northern Nigeria, particularly Kebbi State. Since he completed the mandatory one year youth service scheme 16 years ago, he has steadily sustained his childhood interest in photography.
Today, his outfit 46ten Photography, has become a household name despite growing numbers of new industry entrants as competitors.
Last year, his master piece photograph, a panoramic view of Argungu Fishing Festival in Kebbi State has drawn the attention of key players in the festival including Kebbi State and Federal governments to the direction of Fatoberu. He later presented a copy of the photograph to the Emir of Argungu.
In appreciation of his creativity, the iconic photograph was collected by the state government and presented to President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja. It was learnt that the gesture was to reproduce more copies of the image for the presidential lounge as well as for display at major airports in the country and Nigerian embassies as a documentary of our heritage.
The Osun State-born photographer with keen interest in travel and tourism documentary and lifestyle photography, has established himself as pioneer in digital photography in Kebbi State, an experience that has brought him closer to places, events and personalities in the state.
His passion for photography did not come as an accident. “I am a 2005 graduate of FUNAAB in Agriculture Extension and Rural Development. I was deployed to Kebbi in 2006 for my NYSC where I secured employment with the Chinese construction firm CGC Nigeria Limited for five years before I took up photography as a profession. I partnered Federal Government’s Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development training through the NYSC platform.
“I’m an entry level Digital Data Analyst with a little but growing knowledge in Digital Data Analysis tools like Excel, Power BI, Tableau and other collaborating tools in an agile environment. I am aspiring to become a certified Digital Product Manager.
‘’I moved from the construction firm to being an entrepreneur with various small scale businesses that I manage personally. I have also created few digital products of mine. These digital products served as test training to becoming a product owner,” he said.
Fatoberu grew up at Ibadan in Oyo State and attended the Bodija International School and renowned Loyola College, Ibadan before proceeding to Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta. He has shown keen interest in creative art as a young boy, and he affirmed that his father had always given him encouragement in his career choice.