I have always been great with a camera. Since ss2, I’d sneak my phone to school. I’d record my classmates playing games, making out and being goofy.
‘ I would love to keep these memories ‘ – I said to myself. Pictures speak a thousand words. Videos? Probably millions. So I took it upon myself to make these clips and post them on facebook. Some of my friends got suspended , I was punished too but others loved the videos.
Why? Because someone has to record.
My Dad is lawyer, a great one. Great lawyers earn great money. So my phones got upgraded often. With each upgrade came a better camera . I got admission into the University. I resumed and I was loving it until there was no electricity for 1 month. Students were going crazy so a violent protest started , a brutal one. Destruction of properties and much more. I looked for a vantage point and started what ended up in a 40 minute video. I posted it on my Facebook page with a long explanatory caption. My Journalism was praised but many students later got expelled.
Did I really care? No. Why? Because someone has to record.
My third year in the Universitiy. I witnessed a robbery. It was the room opposite mine. My roommate was scared to death but I managed to look through the window. My God! If only I could get their faces on camera . Well , I picked up my phone and I started a recording. My flash was off so I wouldn’t get caught. It was faint but one of the theives would eventually be identified . He was a student from my school . He was caught and the rest of his gang members too. I was praised for my bravery.
This cemented the statement in my head – ‘ Someone has to record ‘
My course was a 5 year course. By 500 level , I already owned a camera and a great instagram blog. Oh, I had tonnes of followers because I recorded everything and anything , edited with expertise and captioned pictures/videos with professionalism. I became famous with time, people would send me videos of events/news to post while I gave them credit under the picture. I evolved as I started making money from social media journalism.
What was the motto on my Bio? ‘ Someone has to record ‘
I graduated . I was posted to Benin to serve. I got myself a little apartment. I was in my room that day when I started hearing alot of screams , it’d been a while I posted something original so I was excited to catch a story – even if it wasn’t major. I picked up my camera and dashed outside. But this wasn’t gonna be a minor story, it was going to be a major one. Cultists were right outside in the compound , a guy was laid bare on the concrete floor and they were holding shiny machetes. I was shocked but I felt like I could intervene and plead on his behalf and they’d listen. But then, recording a live murder would blow up my page. So I went to a corner and hid myself while other tenants cried and begged as the man was butchered right in front of us all. It all happened silently, no one was even scared enough to run into their rooms. The cultists didn’t threaten us too , they simply did what they came to do. I had it all recorded. I would later run for my dear life because of the threats I got after posting the video. But it was worth it, my page blew up and was verified on Instagram after the video went viral.
I told myself ‘ Others were begging already, I couldn’t have done anything to help him. Besides, someone has to record ‘
I was done with service. With the help of my Father, I started a large company. Event coverage , photography, videography, publishing and Journalism. I went from comfortable to rich, from rich to wealthy. Do you now see ‘ Someone has to record! ‘
5 years in and I bought a Range Rover , my dream car. I sat in the small bar I had in my apartment and gulped half a bottle of wine. I was excited and I decided to take my new ride for a spin. It was a beautiful evening for a nice ride. I was driving, it was so smooth so I pushed the throttle a little bit more. Wow, speed felt great. So I pushed a little bit more again, even greater. Then I pushed some more and the adrenaline pumped through me. I wouldn’t notice the trailer at the junction as I enjoyed my exorbitance , I was very tipsy. I slammed into the trailer and I was knocked unconscious for about 10 seconds. I woke up to an airbag suffocating me, intense pain and right leg was stuck , literally burning and getting drilled by a part of the vehicle I didn’t know. I was weak, I couldn’t scream so I cried and moaned loud to express my pain. I pushed back the airbag and looked if there were people around. Yes, there were people around but I kept seeing smartphones being raised up. What could they be doing? Are you fucking kidding me? Are they recording? God’s sake! I’m dying here and people are making videos. After about 3 minutes of immeasurable pain. A man got down from his vehicle to help me. After struggling for a while, other people joined him. Cameras were still up recording the whole scenario. I was rushed to the hospital.
The doctor recommended that my right leg be amputated. And he also stated that if someone had helped me immediately the accident happened, I wouldn’t be losing my leg. Well, I cried and wailed but I went through with the operation.
I logged on my Instagram. I was now an amputee , practically immobile. I went through my dms and tags and I was wowed. I was sent multiple videos of my own accident for repost. It was on different blogs and so many individuals took the credit for capturing my moments of pain. So many angles and so many captions to describe a moment that would take away a part of my life forever. Tears slowly rolled down my eyes as I read through.
I looked down and my leg was gone. I lost a limb forever. Why? Because a culture of capturing pain instead of stopping it had evolved. A culture where capturing a moment was more important than living it. I wasn’t pissed, I loved this culture and I lived it. A culture where you’d rather see it through a camera lens than with your own eyes. Now I was a victim of a culture I always upheld. I was very sad but I truly understood the fact that . . . . . . “Someone has to record”.
What did you learnt from this?