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Peter Obe (28 December 1932-1 September 2013)


Peter Obe, Nigeria's most famous photographer, sits in his studio. Obe photographed the queens visit to Nigeria in the 1950s and the Biafran war.By Taiwo Obe
Just as the Daily Times, where he was for several decades chief photographer, was the generic name for newspapers, he was also for a long time the generic name for photography in Nigeria. If you wasted time in taking a photograph, you were automatically written off as “not Peter Obe.” On the other hand, if you exhibited some measure of mastery, you earned the name, “Peter Obe.”
He was a legend. Indeed, in the Daily Times, he was not mentioned by name; rather, he was “Ace” indicating his high quality, excellence. His photographs were always stamped “Exclusives.” And, truly, they were: in a different class.
This afternoon, Peter Oyeyemi Obe, better known as Peter Obe, died at his residence situated on 31 Alhaji Masha/Moronu Street, Surulere, Lagos, Nigeria. His first son, Femi, made the official announcement. A visual impairment which he had a couple of years ago, cut short his freelance photography work for the Agence France Presse (AFP). His coverage of the Nigerian civil war for the Daily Times resulted in a one-of-its-kind book, “Civil War Pictures From Nigeria: A Decade of Crisis in Pictures.”
Mr Lade Bonuola (aka Ladbone), an executive consultant at The Guardian (Nigeria) in a condolence message, wrote: “As chief cameraman of the Daily Times and I as the chief sub-editor, we worked very closely together. He never failed in supplying me terrific action photographs for the front page. Once I shouted ‘Exclusives’, I trusted he was on the way to the newsroom to supply page 1 photograph.”
Former Photo Editor at the defunct NEXT newspaper Mr Gbile Oshadipe, who currently teaches photojournalism at the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, wrote: “We’ve lost a pioneer in photojournalism at a time novices appropriate media space and pretend to be pros.”
Surely, there will be many more commendations on the legendary work of this iconic photographer and the man himself – who also happened to be my uncle.

Culled from Linkedin Group:Everything Journalism

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