Capturing Nigeria’s Distinct Narrative with KC Nwakalor

Pictures have the ability to draw us into a scene. They transport us from our present moment to embrace a different setting and time. Pictures can stop us in our tracks and bring us to tears, to joy and admiration or to a state of profound contemplation. To KC Nwakalor, photography is the strongest communication tool. He says photography is a way to see. It’s a way to paint. It’s a way to make a memorable record.

KC is a visual artist at Connect Development, an NGO with the mission to improve access to information and empower local communities in Africa. He’s also a documentary photographer and a freelance photojournalist. He’s constantly on the move. He’s captured photos from the not too young to run protest in Abuja to candid moments with the Fulani herdsman and to awe striking shots with an award-winning writer and musician such as Onyeka Nwelue. I recently sat down with KC to discuss his photography.

You hold a degree in Biology from the University of Abuja but an advanced diploma certificate in photography from Shaw Academy Ireland. What led you to pursue the field of photography?

Obtaining a university education is very important to a Nigerian parent, so I had to make my parents proud before pursuing a career I believe in. I had to start somewhere and Shaw Academy was a great place to start. I’m presently studying photojournalism online with the New York Institute of Photography and the journey has been life-changing.

What does documentary photography entail?

Documentary photography is a genre of photography that deals with real life stories. It’s using a series of photographs to tell a story, to promote a cause or simply give a movement a voice. It’s a nonfiction type of photography, thus, minimal post production is permitted and pictures have to be as real as possible.

Documentary Photography is very much related to photojournalism, hence most photojournalists are also documentary photographers.

As you are based in Abuja, how does the environment influence your art?

Abuja has afforded me the opportunity to network and meet with many photographers I look up to. The likes of which are Bayo Omoboriowo and Tom Saater. Abuja has been good to my art. I’m based here but I am always on the move doing projects and assignments as they arise from various states and countries.

What are some challenges you might face in your job and how do you work through it?

I try not to see things that help build me as challenges but stepping stones. For my job, the difficult part is bonding with strangers. It’s getting them to allow you into their space. When they do, you must be able to not let yourself become part of the story.

Your interests include social justice and children. From your photographs on Instagram, there is clearly a reflection of that. What do you hope to achieve as you capture and share images?

I hope to share stories of people in Marginalized communities, a platform known as follow the money ( has given me the opportunity to be able to tell the stories of people that are most vulnerable in our societies and be able to attract the solution they seek.

You’ve said that a photo is only as good as its caption. How do you determine the best words to describe your photo?

Captions are powerful because they give insight about your photograph. It helps put your image into perspective. So to have the best caption, I ask questions. I try not to take people’s pictures without knowing them. I try to ask for their names, what they do and probably a story about them as a result of a conversation I have with them.

What has been the most memorable experience so far in your career as a documentary photographer?

It’s always a memorable experience when an individual or community receive help as a result of my work. It feels good to see people happy because of that.

In the next 4 to 5 years, where do you hope to see yourself?

I want to win a World Press Photo Award or Pulitzer award. Also, I want my works exhibited in many parts of the world.



72 thoughts on “Capturing Nigeria’s Distinct Narrative with KC Nwakalor

  1. hello there and thank you for your information –
    I’ve certainly picked up anything new from right here.
    I did however expertise some technical issues using this site, since I experienced to reload the web site a lot of times previous to I could get it to load
    correctly. I had been wondering if your hosting is OK?
    Not that I’m complaining, but sluggish loading instances times will
    often affect your placement in google and can damage
    your high-quality score if advertising and marketing with Adwords.
    Anyway I am adding this RSS to my e-mail and could look
    out for a lot more of your respective exciting content.
    Make sure you update this again soon.

    1. Hi,
      Thanks for checking out my site and letting me know about the loading issue. I’ll look into it. Anyway, I’m glad you’ll be following the blog. I’ll continue to provide informative and inspiring posts every week. 🙂

  2. Your style is unique in comparison to other people I have
    read stuff from. Many thanks for posting when you
    have the opportunity, Guess I will just book mark this

    1. Hi Eileen,
      Thanks so much for the compliment. Glad to know you’ll bookmark my blog. If you want, you can also join my mailing list to stay updated on new posts. I have new posts once a week. Thanks again and happy holidays! 🙂

  3. I absolutely love your website.. Great colors & theme.
    Did you develop this amazing site yourself? Please reply back as I’m
    attempting to create my own website and would like to find out where you got this
    from or exactly what the theme is called. Thanks!

    1. Hi Leonie,
      Thanks, I’m glad you like the site! So the site is on a theme called “IsleMag,” but I also had the help of a web designer to add an Instagram feed at the bottom of the home page and to design the social media icons on the top. Apart from those add-ons, everything else as far as the design is from the theme.
      Thanks again and I hope you come back to read more of my posts. 🙂

  4. I truly love your blog.. Excellent colors & theme.

    Did you build this web site yourself? Please reply back as I’m planning to create
    my own site and would love to know where you got
    this from or exactly what the theme is named.
    Thank you!

    1. That’s so sweet. Thanks for checking out my site. 🙂 So the theme of the site is “IsleMag.” I also received some help from a web developer to add an Instagram feed to the bottom of the home page and to design the social media icons on the top. Apart from that, the design of the site is from the theme.

  5. When I originally commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment
    is added I get four e-mails with the same comment.
    Is there any way you can remove people from that service?
    Many thanks!

  6. Everything is very open with a very clear description of the challenges.
    It was really informative. Your website is very helpful.
    Thanks for sharing.

  7. An intriguing discussion is definitely worth comment.

    There’s no doubt that that you need to publish more on this subject matter, it may not be
    a taboo subject but generally folks don’t discuss such subjects.
    To the next! All the best!

    1. Thank you! Yes, I do need to publish more profiles on Nigerians. I’m definitely working on that so I hope you’ll come back to the site. 😉

    1. I’m glad you found my site! Thanks for the compliment. I’ll continue to update the content every week. 🙂

    1. Thank you. I’m glad you like the post. I’m working on putting up more content like this for profiles of Nigerians. Hope you’ll come back to the site. 🙂

    1. Thank you! I’m glad you like the post. I’m working on putting up more content of profiles so I hope you’ll come back. 🙂

  8. Howdy! This post could not be written any better! Looking through this article reminds me of my
    previous roommate! He always kept talking about this.
    I am going to send this article to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read.
    Many thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks Dianna! I’m glad you like the post. I’m working on more profiles like this on the blog so I hope you’ll stop by again. 🙂

  9. Spot on with this write-up, I actually believe this web site needs a great deal more attention. I’ll probably be back again to read more, thanks for the information.

  10. Pingback: Google
  11. Good web site you have got here.. It’s hard
    to find high quality writing like yours nowadays. I honestly appreciate individuals like you!
    Take care!!

  12. Having read this I believed it was very informative.
    I appreciate you spending some time and effort to put this informative article together.

    I once again find myself personally spending a significant amount of time both reading and posting comments.
    But so what, it was still worthwhile!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

%d bloggers like this: