Yagazie Emezi is a beautiful blend of many talents and skills, and she also has a vibrant spirit that aids her work of cultural preservation and emphasizing African aesthetic. She is a Photographer, Artist and Media Personality.
In this interview with Africa-OnTheRise, she sheds some light on her works and passion, and her new project, Bialere, a new gallery that will be holding exhibitions on behalf of young photographers to encourage their craft.
Can you kindly take us through your journey as a Photographer and Creative Media Personality?
My work as a photographer started with my interest in other photographers’ work. I always saw myself as an admirer, but after years of keeping up with the work of others, I can only assume that something rubbed off on me. I got into the online media world while still in University. I did it as a hobby and it served as an outlet to express myself. I never saw any of the two leading to ‘a big something’. I always felt that I was doing some sort of good by sharing the arts and my life on my platforms, but it took years before I realized that I was becoming a source for such and that I could use my passions to do good for myself as well.
You are dedicated to the cultural preservation of the African Aesthetic, in your journey so far, especially with your travels, engagements and encounters; how do you imagine photography can be used to shape positive outcomes for the continent, especially as regards arts and culture, and perhaps even leadership and relevant policies?
Photography still holds much power with its ability to capture an emotion, event, a character, a community. With my dedication to cultural preservation, I believe that a lot of positivity can come out of photographs captured by Africans ourselves. There is a lot of valuable weight to be held in the ability to tell our own stories rather than have visitors or travelers tell it for us. This can have a positive impact within our communities because we will have people who understand those communities, portraying them in the right manner and for the right reasons.
What are some of the peculiar challenges that you have encountered on your journey so far, and how have you managed to overcome them?
The biggest challenge in my journey so far has been my move to Lagos and the lessons that have come out of it. There are horrible days here and there are glorious ones. I keep pushing because without doing so, I am left with a very simple question of, “What now?” so I just keep going.
A lot continues to be said about Africa’s rise, do you agree that Africa is indeed rising?
Africa has always been rising. Everyday we make progress.
What should Africa look out for from you? What is the next big thing that you are working on right now?
Currently, I am working on launching Bialere, the new gallery and name for my website which will be holding exhibitions on behalf of these young photographers to encourage their craft.
Visit her website YAGAZIE EMEZIE to read more about her and view her works!