Diary of a DOP: Winning my First Cinematography Award in Houston

iary of a DOP: there are times when you want to give up on your talent cos they say talent does not pay. When we were young, we were told our only way to success was to become doctors, engineers or lawyers otherwise the future would be bleak but I decided to silence doubts and never give up on my dreams. It took me 10 years to produce my own movie. 10 years of believing someday my time will come. 10 years of paying my dues. It made me stronger and more experienced.

This was my original speech written for the award but never got a chance to give it. So, I thought perhaps I’d still give it to the world through the power of social media so when I look back someday, I would remember how I felt on receiving my very first awards.

There are times in life when you want to give up on your passion and talent because they say talent does not pay. When we were younger, we were told that if we were not doctors, lawyers or engineers then we were not smart and our future seemed less bright. If you told people you were in school for film, they would laugh but today it is great to see that passion and talent indeed does pay off. When I took that road to invest in my talent, I didn’t know where the road will lead to but I knew that no matter what, I had to silence doubts and entertain only positive thoughts. I decided to never give up on my dreams of being a cinematographer no matter what arose.

It took me ten years to produce my own film “Cultural Clash” in which I was also the director of photography. 10 years of believing someday my time will come. 10 years of paying my dues to the industry by working for others and building their dreams. It strengthened me and made me more experienced. But I would be lying if I said I did it all alone.

I couldn’t have done it without God. I am very grateful to my parents, grandmothers, siblings, Aunties and Uncles for their support and for also being here today to celebrate this moment with me. I want to thank all those that played a role in my career; my colleagues, film partners, contractors, my fans and many more that I can’t mention due to time. I also want to thank NAFB for honoring me with this award. It is a motivation to keep pushing forward in what I do. Thank you for believing in me.

Finally, I dedicate this award to my two kids; to let them know I love them and no matter what they want to achieve in life, dreams do indeed come through… and in the end, if everyone ever fails to believe in you, don’t stop believing in God, in yourself and the Power of your Dreams.

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