• Pen on paper - 'Lagos Sand Merchants' (2013)
  • 'Lagos Sand Merchants' (2013) - Sand Merchant
  • 'Lagos Sand Merchants' (2013) - Sand Merchant
  • 'Lagos Sand Merchants' (2013) - some of the community and the 'Rotate 2 Mechanism'
  • 'Lagos Sand Merchants' (2013) - 'Rotate 2 Mechanism' detail
  • 'Lagos Sand Merchants' (2013) - 'Rotate 2 Mechanism'

Filming Lagos Sand Merchants
December 2013

Sand Merchants and the like gather under Festac bridge on the outskirts of Lagos, Nigeria.

Some wait to unload sand laden boats approaching shore, some are middle men cutting deals with traders from the construction industry, others start drinking from dawn – thoroughly merry by noon. Madams dot the area offering refreshments from small wooden shacks.

Aside from the presiding sand trade, families live in this opportune area – clustering deep beyond the lagoon’s shore┬áin shanty huts.

Mesmerised by this intriguing community, I chose to capture some of these ongoings as part of a project titled ‘Lagos Sand Merchants’ – which was commissioned by Arte Creative in early 2013.

The project took over six months to prepare.

At first, I was deeply frustrated by the time it took to film the project because I saw so many interesting things that would have been amazing to capture on camera.

But I understood the importance of engaging the merchants in the project – not only to gain their trust, but to understand the intricacies of their (somewhat illegal) trade. Living between Lagos and London, I would visit the merchants whenever I was in town, sketching them, exchanging stories and learning the ins and outs of their trade.

I met some amazing people during my work on this project and i’m pretty sure i’ll be paying them some more visits in the future!