25th September, 2021
Former Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar, and President Muhammadu Buhari have saluted professional photographer, Sunmi Smart-Cole on his 80th birthday.
The president, in a statement by his spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, on Saturday, congratulated the veteran photo-journalist and talented jazz music instrumentalist for capturing history in frames for about half a century.
The president rejoiced with family, friends and professional colleagues of Smart-Cole.
According to him, Smart-Cole’s fingers and lenses document and project many turning points in the history of Nigeria and the world, evinced in his gallery which tells the story of presidents and citizens, palaces, streets and markets, nature and technology, famous and anonymous.
President Buhari noted the legendary photographer’s ability to adapt to the dynamic world of photography over many years, largely driven by new technology, and mentoring many to see their craft as both an art and business.
He affirmed that the multiple awards-winning photographer deserved recognitions and elevations, considering his antecedents of promoting music in the country.
Smart-Cole’s musical career commenced with the first jazz festival in Nigeria in 1964, starting the first elite barber’s shop, working as first photo editor of the Guardian newspaper in 1983, publishing his photo experiences and organising over 30 exhibitions in five continents.
President Buhari, however, congratulated Smart-Cole as he turned an octogenarian, praying that the almighty God would grant him longer life, good health and reward his sacrifices for the country.
However, Atiku, on his part, share a picture of him taking by Smart-Cole in 1991 and wrote:
“This picture of me by Sunmi Smart Cole in 1991 sums up the legendary work of this iconic photographer and artist: timeless. On behalf of my family, you are wished a happy 80th birthday and more years in good health and creativity.”