Samuel, a 37-year-old painter, was given a camera to document his life. Through a translator, he describes the pictures here and discusses their significance.
I am very interested in farming, because my father was a farmer – that’s what he used to do to take care of me. I have also grown up to love farming. I even have a garden just behind this house and I go there from time to time to plant some cassava and cocoyams and things[…].
I have some tools that I use for painting, [my painting equipment]. I personally took shots of that because that’s what I do for a living and I enjoy what I do for a living[…]. There was a ladder too, but I didn’t bring the ladder inside because I didn’t have one around. Some people really like to complain about me not climbing […], so I take everything to myself. Even though I am disabled, I am trying to say that I have strength to even climb the ladder and paint.
I [also] took pictures of a staircase, and I find it difficult to climb, especially when it rains. […The] tile, it becomes very slippery, and I can’t climb them.
[Next] I took pictures of my room. I have some televisions and some couches and I like watching the telly too, especially football. I like football very much[…]. I used to be a goalkeeper, that’s why I really likes football. And I was even in a team, and we used to play – a very serious team[…]. And sometimes when I am not around they find it difficult to play their matches. I am afraid of fractures and displacements. And being a goalkeeper, I am very afraid of getting hit, so that I’ll be able to go to my workplace. That’s why I recently don’t play football, or catch, because I am afraid I’ll get hit and I am the breadwinner of the house too[…]. That’s why I have recently stopped playing football, but I really like watching football. So in my pictures we can see a football pitch with some footballers on top, and football posts and some things.
I have a bicycle and this bicycle helps me very much in long distances. See, sometimes they can issue me to go and work somewhere very far from the workplace, and I have to go. So if I have no one to send me by car then I have to walk, and being crippled and limping, I would take a very long time to get there. And by the time you get there you’d have lost a lot of energy. So I sat down and practiced how to ride a bicycle, despite my disability and my limping leg. I practiced how to ride a bicycle and that’s what I use for my long term transportation.