Temitope Akinnusi: The blind photographer from Nigeria
Temitope Akinnusi was just 10 years old, when he lost an eye trying to protect his mum from armed robbers.
“It all happened in 2003. Then, I was 10 years old. On that night we were upstairs in a rented apartment. We heard a loud noise coming from downstairs and some neighbours said armed robbers were around.
They requested money when they got to our apartment. My mum said she doesn’t have money but she gave them the money my dad had left us and told them that is all she had.
They asked her what to do with the small amount of money and when my mum could not give them a huge amount, they decided to rape her on the spot. So I stood up and tried to stop them.
It was while I was struggling with them that they hit me in the eye with the magazine of the gun. Afterwards I was taken to an eye clinic and I spent five to six months there but the eye was injured beyond repair.”
Accustomed to an altered version of life, when he was in school, he was bullied for not being like others and when he graduated, finding a job was no easy task either because of Temitope’s physical disability.
“Those times there was a lot of stigma in school. Students mocked me saying: ‘look at this one-eyed student. But still I didn’t let it weigh me down and I still read my books.
After graduation I went to seek employment somewhere. When I got there I overheard them saying: ‘look at this one, able bodied applicant have not been employed yet, so is a one-eyed guy like you going to get the first job?’”
That never stopped him though. He overcame the obstacles to find a love for photography that has since, been his profit-making machine.
“When I was told that a one-eyed applicant cannot get the job, that’s when I started doing the photography job and since then, God has been helping me through and I have been working in joy and peace.”
Temitope Akinnusi is grateful that he went for photography training, he is now one of the professional photographers of Ondo state, in Nigeria.