I typically have a list of topics or events I want to discuss with the people I plan these conversations with, however, during our talk I am fortunate enough that the individual goes on a tangent and presents a memory that I am not aware of prior to us conversing. As someone who enjoys photography and currently teaching myself how to be a better photographer, the individual thought it would be worthwhile to have a discussion around the competitive nature of the photo-album. Here is what they had to say.
Photos were very important to Nigerians in the 70's and 80's. Pictures were usually taken once a year if your family could afford them. The pinhole camera was popular during that period and would eventually be replaced by the polaroid due to its efficiency; photos took a shorter time to develop. Acquiring photos then was a long process - it took anywhere from 2 weeks to a month to complete the initial development. It was quite expensive.
In order to display your coolness, families would compile their photos in a photo album. When they had visitors, after serving them food and drinks, the only other source of entertainment was your collection of photo albums. It was of a competitive nature; the more photo albums you had in your home the more cool you appeared and the longer your guests stayed to be entertained. Some people were even suspected to have stolen photos from others just to expand their photo album collection to maintain their coolness.
As remembered by a Nigerian living in Toronto, Canada.