Earlier this month one of Ghana’s renowned and talented photography names, Emmanuel Bobbie of Bobpixel photography turned 41. (Happy belated birthday Uncle Bob)
If you asked me I think that’s quite a young age for a man who has accomplished so much in his life as a photographer. In 2005, a young Bobbie moved to Ghana to begin working as lensman after working and living in the United Kingdom for a number of years.
According to him, the passion for photography had always been with him especially during his days as a Graphic and design student at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology where reading a course in photography was not negotiable.
In his 2014 interview with Obed Boafo’s Enewsgh.com, the man who has his works spread across the city, on people’s phones, laptops and the nation as a whole admits that it wasn’t as rosy when he begun shooting despite the few number of professionals in the industry.
“The digital age had just started and there weren’t a lot of people in the industry like there is now. It was late 2005 when I came in and I heard a few names, and these were guys who were into photography for certain people. I didn’t have a place in the industry so I had to start shooting weddings and self-projects and people started seeing my works and it took off from there.” He recalls
Unlike today where he is a household name in photography and has worked with almost every big brand in Ghana, there was time when no one would even given him their contracts
“I have never worked with a company and when I arrived I had vowed I was going to work for myself. Nobody knew me and won’t contract me to shoot their stuff but I told myself I was going to establish myself and become a household name.” Bobpixel told the website
Bob knowingly or unknowingly has contributed and helped shape the Ghanaian society with his photos which range from weddings, fashion, national celebrations such as the Independence parade, festivals, food, faces, floods and the list goes on and on. Not forgetting all the other photographers and other crew members he has trained over the years.
Over the years he has lived up to the mission of the Bobpixel brand which is “to engage the viewer in a visual feast that leaves them fully satisfied and coming back for more.”
On his 41st birthday, last Tuesday, he announced on his social media that he was organizing a mini-exhibition of some of his works and the prints were going on sale too.
It was after reading the announcement that it struck me: Bobpixel is an excellent artist and before a renowned arts collector comes around to collect his work for a grand exhibition in a New York museum or perhaps an international journalist profiles him on CNN or BBC, I should also have my slice of the meat.
So here I am writing about 14 photos (because 14 turned upside down is 41) of his that I believe deserves to be in a contemporary museum for eternity. (And this will be one of the few times, I’ll write in the first person voice because I hold this guy in very high esteem)
Take a look at my 14 favorite photos which have all been culled from his Instagram page which currently has 57 thousand followers and Facebook. Hopefully he won’t delete the ones I choose even though he’s left caveat on his biographical data about deletion.
1. This terrifying image of the executioner at the Manhyia palace caused quite a stir among Ghanaians
2. Young Ghanaian boys caught in mid-air as they dive into the Nzulezu river
3. A woman winnowing her palm nuts from the fibre
4. Please don’t let Naomi Campbell see this, she’ll be jealous
5. Men from the Asafo company with a live deer for the Aboakyir festival (It is celebrated by the people of Winneba)
6. A Ghanaian rendition of the classic 1964 American musical-fantasy film, Mary Poppins
7. Grandma-in-law at 107.
8. When man met technology
Woi!! It flies??? Can you make it bigger to take me to the Holy land of Mecca? – Baba Abdulai of Kojope of the Fufulsu-Sawla road. My friend @kodougie drone is having all the attention @luxury_sweet_candy ..#Ghana #lenstory #teamB #bokeh #85 @djiglobal @djiphantom @african_city @marvelous_shots Emmanuel Bobbie All rights reserved 2016
9. A young royal dancer beams with smiles in her kente regalia at the funeral of the Queenmother of Asanteman
10. Has Dumsor really stopped?? Only Time will tell. This photo was taken during the demonstration led by Yvonne Nelson and friends against government’s inability to handle erratic electricity supply in the nation
11. Aerial view of the Cape Coast Castle which was used a slave depot during the transatlantic slave trade in the 1600’s -1800’s
12. The entangled ropes of life are indeed many (worry, pain, anger,etc). If only you’ll let go into the hands of a higher power, your life will be rope-free
Like a seasoned actor, he held his "lines" perfectly across his broad shoulders. Neither looking left or right he made his strides with a poised determination towards his canoe. Let not the distractions in life sway your from reaching your destination. Remain stoic and soldier on. Gm my Instagram family. #travelghana #capecoast #work grind #cnnafrica @natgeo @portraitpage @magnumphotos
13. Traffic in Accra
14. This is what passion looks like. The photographed and the photographer beneath the earth both searching for diamond. The photographer a crystal clear short and the miner some diamond.
I know I dice with death everyday I am down here but Bro I can't go hungry. I have been here and seen people get diamonds and become rich overnight. In same breathe I have seen people buried alive in the pits. I will take my chances. Get rich or die trying. A portrait of a diamond miner at Adjobue in the Eastern Region. Listen, understand before you judge. Will be posting a series of photos soon.#galamsey #diamomd #insanerisk #mydailybread #dangerousshoot #poisonedearth @cnnafrica @leonardodicaprio @natgeo @earth @edkashi @viiphoto
Just like the owner of the photographs who admits that he has no favorite amongst his numerous works except the one he’ll shoot tomorrow, you might also hate these selections and that’s fine. We all do not have the same taste in life because of our varied backgrounds.
Emmanuel Bobbie for instance hails from Asokore Mampong, in the Ashanti Region of Ghana but lives in Accra and married to Aba Aborkumah Essel from Ekumfi. The couple have three children together;2 boys and a girl. Bobpixel is the Glitz Style Awards 2015 Fashion Photographer of the year winner.