A Ghanaian photographer, Michael Aboya, made the country proud when he won Best Photo of the Year at the 2019 Agora Awards held in Barcelona, Spain, on Wednesday, November 6.
The competition was hosted by free-to-use photography app, Agora, and received over 130,000 submissions from 193 countries.
The event featured exhibition of 50 finalists of the competition with the collaboration of Fujifilm, a Japanese multinational photography and Kitoli laboratory.
Michael’s ‘Songs of Freedom’ photo garnered more than 500,000 votes and was voted Best Photo of the Year, awarding its author with a prize of $25,000.
‘Songs of Freedom’ was shot in La, one of Ghana’s oldest neighbourhoods located in the coastal part of Accra.
According to Michael Aboya, the vision for ‘Songs of Freedom’ came to him while listening to Bob Marley’s ‘Redemption Song’ at home, and where upon he conceived the idea to bring it back to life.
“I moved to the beach a few hours after listening to the song and gathered a group of kids to pose for the camera. A kid in particular had the most expression among them and became the focus of the image,” he said.
The photo that won him the award
With his photos, Michael Aboya aims to inspire a change in how people perceive Ghana, and generally the African continent.
Michael’s passion for arts and photography started in 2014 when he suddenly lost his dad and had to drop out of school.
He used his little savings meant for his tuition to buy his first professional camera to pursue his passion in photography.
“This award means a lot to me since it is a prize for the many years of sacrifice, and following my passion,” he said.