The Meet: Robert Adekule

Robert Adekule
Robert Adekule

You are enjoying the view of the hilltop in Kisaasi and taking a few shots of the landscape as you have done many times before. You finish up taking in the breath taking view and start heading to some other location then, suddenly someone shouts out something at the back. There are not many people on the hill but your brain convinces you that the ‘shout’ is not for you. Plus, you don’t want to be that guy who just turns the exact second someone shouts out at anyone on the street, it’s not macho at all. So you continue looking straight ahead as you stroll along. You hear the shout again. You try making out the words this time and it sounds something like “hey man!”. Shit! It finally sinks in that the shout is most probably directed at you so you wait a little, still trying hard not to be that guy who turns immediately, then turn back curious to see where these shouts are coming from.

Robert Adekule
Robert Adekule

You see a dark-skinned guy heading towards you. He is dressed in a red t-shirt, dirty grey jean shorts and grey Nike trainers with a hint of light blue scattered around the Nike logo, the shoe sole and on the shoe collar (BTW, did you know a shoe had a collar? We’re learning people). He’s holding a black and red hedge shear in his hands which looks enormous and obviously scary but you’re not letting those shears get the better of you so you act calm and start walking his way…slowly. He mumbles something about the pictures you are taking. You are not sure if he is asking about the pictures you take in general or those particular pictures you have taken next to what might be his property so you ask him to clarify. He says he wants to know how much you charge for a picture. You let out a soft sigh of relief which you obviously hide from him and then you take your eyes off the enormous shears.

Robert Adekule
Robert Adekule

You tell him you don’t charge for pictures to which he responds with a confused look. You tell him you don’t print pictures but he still has that confused look on his face so you tell him you don’t put pictures on paper. He nods his head like it’s an ‘ah ha’ moment but he looks disappointed. You tell him you can still take his picture. He lights up and immediately gets into a low position; something you have seen for the first time; most people prefer you to tell them where and how pose for a picture. He looks straight at the camera as he hangs on to the shears. You start clicking and ask what his name is. He says he’s Robert; Robert Adekule. He looks after his brother’s home located on the hill. You ask him about the shears and he says he was trimming the outer hedge of the house before he saw you. You keep clicking and ask him if he has an email address where you can send the pictures. He wears that confused look again. You ask him if he has heard about the Internet. He looks like he is trying to remember something really distant so you stop that line of questioning. He looks serious in most of the pictures you have taken so far which you usually wouldn’t mind but his serious is too serious for a picture. You say something about how he looks like a soldier with his serious face and he smiles as you keep clicking. You show him the shots you have taken and he is excited. He gives you his number and he shows you where he stays. You promise to drop the final shots at his place someday. His face lights up again. You say your goodbyes and you move to your next location.

PS: Oh, I almost forgot, here is the first shot I took of Robert with the shears

Robert with shears
Robert with shears
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