By Temi Coker
My grandmother was turning 70 and I could not miss it for the world. Literally, the world—I traveled all the way to Nigeria to celebrate her life and her legacy at this milestone birthday. Not only was I there as a surprise guest, at her surprise event, but I was able to capture those precious life moments in photos.
Her shock at my presence was not her only gift. My mother, my aunts and my uncles also traveled various distances to surprise grandma at her 70th birthday party. In seeing her reaction—joy, tears and disbelief that all of her children had come to honor her on this special day—I was reminded of the reason and purpose of this journey to our homeland.
These images, forever memorialize her significance in our family. Here’s to celebrating you, Grandma.
Temiloluwa Oshomoshi-Ofuje Coker, Temi O. Coker for short, was born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria and moved to America in May of 2004. He resides in Texas and at 22 Temi is a high school photography/video teacher, and a freelance graphic designer, photographer and musician. He has always had an affinity for creativity, eloquently expressed through his love of music and photography. Photography has taught him that, sometimes, failure sprouts growth—allowing him to take chances in his art. He believes God has blessed him with the gift of telling stories through pictures and seeing the beauty in things that are taken for granted.
Temi believes one of the first steps in life should be to love yourself by embracing your flaws and honing in on your strengths and individuality. Temi stands by this acknowledgement of self as the key to making people of color see their worth and improve community. No need for competition. We are all on the same team.