When Adeparusi Melted Our Hearts | Independent Newspapers Limited
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When Adeparusi Melted Our Hearts

Posted: Nov 26, 2016 at 9:49 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

Kunle Ajayi

Sighting a roll up banner bearing the photograph of Yinka Adeparusi, multiple award winning, young and energetic photojournalist, at the entrance of the main hall of Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ) in Ogba area of Lagos, it became clearer that the news was real, the young man had stopped breathing. It was dawn on everyone that the talented photojournalist had wrapped up his assignment on this mother earth and left to be with his creator.
On the 16th of November, the initial news that he was missing changed and read thus, “the missing photojournalist is dead.” He hurriedly capped his lens and as well dropped his pen without saying good bye to his friends, colleagues and family members.
Adeparusi departed this world on Sunday, 13th of November after a fatal encounter with dare devil commercial motorcyclist in Abuja where he was representing his media outfit, Naij.com, an online publication.
Though his life was so short, he made an indelible mark within the short period he ventured into the field of journalism. To him, journalism was a calling. He mastered the craft of still and motion photography and wrote perfectly as well. His exemplary arts won him awards and training opportunities within and outside the country. In 2013, he received the People’s Choice Award for Human Rights Photography in Africa, German Development Media Awards. Also, he won photojournalism category of Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Reporting in 2011.
Testimonies to his life and works during an evening of tributes that was held in his honour by Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism at NIJ on Thursday, melted the hearts and souls of the people that witnessed the evening. No one spoke without shedding tears. Even those who never met him especially the students of the institute could not help themselves but burst into tears when a short documentary of the deceased was being shown to the audience.
Prior to the documentary, Mr. Boye Ola, a lecturer in NIJ, said that the evening was not for mourning but to celebrate Yinka Adeparusi for landmark achievements he garnered within short period of his stay in the media industry.
In addition, Mr. Gbile Osadipe, also an instructor and photography consultant, urged friends and family to ensure that Adeparusi’s works are properly collated and archived for posterity sake.
An eye to eye contact would tell you that Mrs. Motunrayo Alaka, the coordinator of Wole Soyinka’s Centre was pained to the marrow. Her centre has lost one of the finest laureates to the cold hands of death. Adeparusi’s courage, humility and determination to get result wooed her over. She said that against all odds and stern warning, Adeparusi dived into Niger Delta, after a mentorship programme organised by the centre, to bring story of people suffering the effect of oil exploration. “The work he did on the suffering of people in Niger Delta is on our site. He could photograph, make video and as well write perfectly. He was such an amazing journalist,” Alaka hinted.
Life is full of irony. Adeparusi recently wrote to mark a year anniversary of his mother’s departure; unknown to him, he would soon be joining her. His untimely exist has left a vacuum, a painful experience. There is no doubt that his family and journalism in Nigeria have lost a promising hand. May his soul continue to rest in peace.