FATAWU Bawa Ayamga, a 30-year-old journalist from Ghana, found that writing just a few hundred words in an article was too limiting. To better express his thoughts, he turned to photography and discovered that one picture could indeed speak a thousand words.
“As a freelance journalist, I started writing articles on social happenings in my area but then I developed a passion for picture taking. So I thought of blending my skills in journalism and photography and thus becoming a photojournalist. Telling stories by the use of photography knows no language barrier or restrictions as an image speaks thousands of words in a moment captured.”
Fatawu learnt photography on his own by observing and reading.
“I was never taught photography; I started by observing expert photographer’s works on Facebook and I also read a lot of photography books to advance my skills. I started taking photos with my first Android phone in the year 2015 and was only able to buy my professional camera in 2019. Since then, I’ve been consistent with photojournalism.”
Ayamga occasionally travels across Ghana to capture unique moments that tell stories about the country’s culture, environment, and tourism. He sometimes crosses to neighbouring Burkina Faso to do his work.
However, being a photographer comes with its own set of challenges.
“Lack of finances to transport myself around for photography has made the field a herculean job. And theft of my work without financial compensation or even due credit has been very demoralizing, especially by some media houses, companies, and many more.”
But Ayamga has also had a real-life impact through photojournalism.
“My pictures act as advocacy tools. Through some photos published, I got life jackets for the children of the Kalaxi community in the Sissala East Municipal of the Upper West Region of Ghana who commute to and fro from school every day by a rickety canoe and without life jackets.”
A stuck truck loaded with watermelon on Dimajan to Navrongo road in Ghana on July5, 2022 . Photo: Ayamga Bawa Fatawu, bird story agency