When you sell a man a book, you don’t sell just twelve ounces of paper and ink and glue. You sell him a whole new life. Love and friendship and humour and ships at sea by night – There’s all heaven and earth in a book, a real book. – Christopher Morley.
“Jesus, Ibro, see books” I said to Ibrahim as we walked up the stairs of Agbowo Shopping Complex just in front of the University.
“We need to take pictures and ask this man few questions, can you see how arranged the books are?” I asked. Ibrahim, my good friend and birthday mate, was still very impressed and he said “Okay”.
“Excuse me sir, good afternoon” I said, smiling sheepishly and hoping I don’t get REJECTED. “Good afternoon” he replied. “Sir, Wow!!! I love your bookshop. The arrangement is so overwhelming, how long did it take you to arrange these books carefully?” With a big smile on his face he said “Well, it takes me and my boys one hour every morning and one hour every evening to park and Unpack the books”. This he told me gesturing to the two young men sitting in front of his shop. One being his younger brother and the other being his sales boy.
Meanwhile, Ibrahim was perusing the cartons for books.
“Sir, you can’t possibly have this Bookshop and not love reading books” I asked, knowing fully well that this was a leading question seeing as he was already reading a book. NIGERIA PANAROMA BY MOKWUGO OKOYE.
His reply was this, “Well, each time I’m less busy I pick whatever book that’s handy and available”
“How often do people come to buy books?” I asked again.
“People do come to buy books but the point is that a lot of them keep saying the economic situation doesn’t allow them buy the number of books that they would want to. If people weren’t coming to buy books, I wouldn’t be coming here either.”
I saw so many books in one place! It was too good a sight.
Took a picture of Ibrahim and Mr. Obi Afam. Sadly, Ibrahim is a poor photographer but a great poet and so he took a poor picture of Mr. Obi Afam and I.
What I’ve done is to give you guys a peek of my new project, PEOPLE OF IBADAN. It was born out of a passion to tell the stories of Ibadan people through photography and creative writing. Capturing everyday lives of everyday people, planned and spontaneous moments. (More details on that coming up soon)