2024 Photo Competition Exhibition

RISE Africa 2024 Photo Competition Exhibition

Theme for 2024: EVERYDAY POSSIBILITIES…[from neighbourhoods to cities]

This year, the RISE Africa Photography Competition invites you to listen closely to your cities, your neighbourhoods and the streets coursing through them. Question your daily experiences and see the possibilities your environment presents to the world around you. Tell a story about the transformation of everyday elements of urban life in the collective hands of passionate, creative people in pursuit of adaptable, prosperous African cities.

The brief

This theme can be explored through literal representation or creative abstraction, celebrating the present or exploring the future — and everything in between. As a creative catalyst, your images could consider questions such as:

Which inspiring people, places and projects in your everyday life can serve as examples for others to follow?

When seen through a different lens, what new possibilities does your urban environment reveal?

How can the imaginative use of light, colour and composition champion the existing triumphs and limitless potential of your African city?

What the judges wanted to see

Show us the successes, lessons and potential of everyday actions in your African city. We are looking for provocative photographs with strong aesthetic value, meaningful content and alignment with the theme. The subjects of your photography should truthfully and positively represent people and their cities.

Criteria for selection

Alignment with the theme

Aesthetic value

Provocative or innovative imagery


Winner $500

Two finalists $200


Ismail Odetola | @zanni_aba

Location: Lagos, Nigeria
Title: The Bright Side of the Slum Communities

“Nearly all African cities have slums and ghetto communities with an abundance of young talented people who are arguably an integral part of the city and its future. Despite the limitations placed on the young people from these communities, their energy never fails to prevail. The will to improve themselves and their communities, which in turn impact the city as a whole. In 2019, I set out to two of the prominent slum communities in Lagos called Oko Agbon and Makoko. These communities are at the centre of the city and it was there that I created these images. Together with these talented young people, we projected new possibilities in the neighbourhoods, looking at the bright side from the angle of technology, education, music and modelling in connection to their existing way of life in the slum and the urban space.


Ayorinde Ogundele | @the.photograbber

Location: Lagos Nigeria
Title: The Resurgence

“When we first moved to our current neighbourhood, I was excited because it was on the outskirts of town, with more vegetation and animals allowing me to explore and connect with nature, which eventually launched my photography career. Consistent urbanisation has led to the degradation of the land and the displacement of fauna that had built and sustained the ecosystem there. But in recent years, I have noticed a pattern of alliance with nature, the locals realising the need to appreciate nature and sustain the ecosystem. Nowadays, farmlands are found situated in-between vacant land in residential communities, along road networks, football fields and so on. Unfortunately, this is just one part of the city, and the larger part of city is facing increasing land depletion and abuse, but I also believe this is a great step in the right direction towards a sustainable future.

Isaac Assumeng Gyamfi | @igyamfi6studio

Location: Accra, Ghana
Title: The New Morgue

“These photos capture the poignant final funeral rites for a young okada (motorcycle taxi) rider, who tragically lost their life in an accident. As we witness the sombre procession from the morgue to the home of Biggie, we are struck by the display of bravery from fellow riders. Despite the heartache caused by their friend’s passing, they refuse to let go of the job that sustains many young people in their city. These images serve as a powerful reminder of the profound bond and resilience within the biking community, even in the face of tragedy. It’s a testament to their unwavering spirit and dedication.


Abdullahi Santuraki | @stillsvnti

Location: Abuja, Nigeria
Title: Idu Arts & Craft Market

“The woven baskets signify the history of northern Nigeria, how our culture is a thing we keep in a corner, like an old man in an artisan market, weaving. So many years of history lost, woven, preserved by old hands, aged minds and eyes that have seen their fair share of sunrises and sunsets. These men are not western heroes; there is no ‘S’ on their chest signifying their bravery, but do they not deserve applause too?
Are they not saving a culture, a people, preserving men in leather and bead and straw?
These images portray something that Africa is struggling with: our culture is dying with the older generation
Young people are in technology; no one wants to sacrifice, to learn to preserve
And who can blame them? The economy does not look for artisans
It looks for world leaders and advancements
But yet, there are souls put on this earth just to preserve art
To discover this
To protect what is sacred
Will they realize it?
Will we all forget?”

Andile Bhala | @andilebhala

Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
Title: Seriti

“Seriti, loosely translated as the ‘shadow’ or ‘aura’ that people cast as they go through life, explores the lives of everyday people in search of meaning and opportunities. Through this project, I am constantly pondering the idea of movement — where are these people form and where are they going? If these photos have a purpose, it is this: to capture everyday occurrences and moments from which I can learn. It could be a guy selling fruit, or a man or woman selling recyclables. Whatever the locale or experience, these images depict life in my city from my perspective. I strive to make sense of these contrasts and trust that the poetry will follow. It sharpens my instincts and sensitivity to shapes, colours and figures. This is the allure of Johannesburg — to educate, create, learn and inspire.

Benjamin Nsubuga | @kunelven

Location: Kampala, Uganda
Title: Public Transit

“At the core of a bustling third-world city is Jjumba, a very hard-working taxi conductor who braves the chaotic streets of Kampala daily. From morning to evening, in search of passengers, he swerves through the traffic and narrow alleyways with ease, fuelled by life demands. Generally born into a life of hardship, an African taxi conductor’s journey reflects the resilience and determination of those striving to make ends meet in the urban grind. Despite the relentless demands of this job, Jjumba finds peace and vibrant relationships in the social ambience of his fellow drivers and the unforeseen, unique stories shared by his passengers. Through my lens, we glimpse the mix of urban life, where every transport fare is a dot in the line of survival, and a testimonial journey to the African nature, in the place I call home.”

Emmanuel Bekoe | @obeimages

Location: Madina, Ghana
Title: Beyond Limits

“‘Beyond Limits’ is a captivating photo series showcasing disabled athletes engaged in the spirited game of wheelchair basketball. Each image captures the intensity, determination and speed as they skillfully manoeuvre their wheelchairs across the court. Through dynamic shots capturing the fluid motion of the game, the series highlights the athleticism and resilience of these individuals, transcending physical limitations to excel in their sport. The series celebrates the triumph of the human spirit and challenges stereotypes surrounding disability in sports. Through vibrant compositions and powerful narratives, ‘Beyond Limits’ inspires viewers to redefine perceptions of ability and embrace the limitless potential within every individual. The intentional use of a slow shutter process to capture images allows for the vivid depiction of motion.” 

Hamza Rochdi | @hamzarochdi

Location: Casablanca, Morocco
Title: Whispers of Tradition: Capturing the Essence of Medina’s Market

In the heart of Casablanca lies the ancient Medina, a vibrant tapestry of history, culture and tradition. Yet, beneath its bustling exterior, the Medina grapples with an uncertain future. In recent years, waves of development have swept through its narrow streets, leaving behind a trail of demolished houses and displaced inhabitants. The once-thriving community, with its authentic charm and real citizens, now faces the looming threat of extinction. Amidst this backdrop of change, I wandered through the Medina’s market, capturing moments of life and heritage. As the call to prayer echoed through the labyrinthine alleys during Ramadan, I documented scenes of bustling activity: the vibrant colours of the greengrocer’s stalls, the heady aroma of spices wafting from traditional stores. These images serve as a poignant reminder of the Medina’s rich past and the pressing need to preserve its essence in the face of modernization.

As Morocco evolves and progresses, it is imperative that places like the old Medina of Casablanca are not forgotten. They are not merely relics of the past but living embodiments of a culture and community that deserve to endure for generations to come.”

Jide Ojediran |@JideOjediran

Location: Abuja, Nigeria
Title: Smiles of Resilience

Local farmers encounter a range of obstacles, from pest management to insufficient storage facilities. Transportation and selling harvested products also pose significant challenges.

Muhammad Gama, 85, shares that despite these hurdles, life in Yamaltu Deba, Gombe State, Nigeria, remains peaceful. Crop farming sustains their livelihood, with produce both consumed and sold at local markets. However, their primary challenge is inadequate water supply for irrigation farming, often requiring Gama to wait until midnight for water flow. Additionally, the lack of fertilisers hampers soil health, hindering crop growth.

Sodiq Abubakar is a 4th generation farmer. His father and grandfather grew watermelons in Yamaltu Deba. He has been operating his own farm since 2013. Today he farms with his brother, Ahmad. Sodiq, has described water melon farming as a very lucrative business that farmers in the state are not willing to venture into. He said water melon production is doing well in Gombe State, but its potential has yet to be tapped.

Olateju Oladepo | @k.t_img

Location: Ibadan, Nigeria
Title: Yemoja Festival ’23

“Each year, the Yoruba people in Nigeria offer thanks to Yemoja, goddess of the river. It is an important way for them to remember and celebrate their traditional roots and beliefs. These days, most Nigerians belong to one of two predominant religions, Christianity and Islam, while traditional religions, much derided during colonial times, have fallen by the wayside in many places. But in Ibadan, where faith in all òrìsà — the Yoruba gods — remains joyful and strong, celebrations of the old religion continue. The 17-day-long Yemoja festival in October is as old as the Yoruba people. It has been celebrated since ‘time immemorial’. During the festival, the day begins with music, dance and prayers. There are 400 òrìsà, each representing a force of nature. Yemoja is considered the mother of them all — such is the importance of water to life.

Ugochukwu Emebiriodo | @Hitchoflife

Location: Lagos, Nigeria
Title: Lonely at the Bottom

“Lagos is known for its dense population and chaotic streets; besides being the Afrobeats capital of the world, the city also boasts of over 20 million residents, with the numbers rising each day. In a city like this, moments of solace are almost non-existent, with the city constantly feeling like a never-ending rave. This image captures a rare moment of solitude in Lagos. Under West Africa’s longest bridge, Third Mainland Bridge, a man takes a break from all the chaos to play soccer alone.

Yenyehk Gil Dachomo | @gildachomo

Location: Jos, Nigeria
Title: Everyday People – That’s Me, That’s You

“‘Everyday people – that’s me, that’s you’ was a familiar phrase from my childhood, and now as an adult, I find myself fully in the routine of the everyday life. We all have our routines and activities that shape our daily existence. Amidst the hustle and bustle, time seems to slip away so fast, leaving us pondering how swiftly it passes. This phenomenon has become the essence of our existence, the very narrative of our lives.

In the images I captured in Kaduna, Kaduna State, Nigeria, I aim to document the essence of these everyday activities that seem to accelerate time. From work to family responsibilities to social interactions, each photograph offers a glimpse into the rhythm of life in Kaduna. These images serve as a testament to the universal experience of time passing swiftly, reminding us to cherish the moments that make up our everyday lives.