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Dr. Kadiri: A Profile of Service through Photography

The story of an academic, Dr. Khadijat Kehinde Kadiri who is recognized for her outstanding impact on humanity.

Aside being a passionately skilled humanitarian photographer, Dr Kadiri Kehinde Kadijat is an accomplished academic, a seasoned scholar and teacher of Mass Communication who has found deep passion for health communication, digital media, humanitarianism and photography.

A picture they say tells a thousand words, and if anyone was to give a proper definition to those thoughts, then Dr Kadiri’s feet suit the shoes better.

To her, photography is like every form of art that can be used to ventilate thoughts and emotions to the outside world.  She believes photography can be used to set world agenda, change narratives and enlighten people on how to make the world a better place. These thoughts led her to the documenting of lives of people in rural communities within Kwara State through photographs on her various social media handles such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Kadiri started documenting on both the mundane and imperative issues in the rural communities she visited in March 2017. These photographs endeared her to many of her followers who were curious to know the stories behind the pictures. In one of the instances, one of her followers decided to pay up the school fees of a school girl who had been sent out of school.

In another instance, Dr Kadiri had taken and uploaded pictures depicting the water problem facing the people of Ago-Oja community deep in the heart of Kwara State. This caught the attention of a follower who donated a manual bore-hole to the community.

As a result of these successes, Dr Kadiri started deliberately using pictures to evoke emotions of people to take actions in developmental projects of rural people.

As a result of these humanitarian activities, Kadiri had no choice but to set up an NGO, The Grassroots Aid Initiative (TGAI). TGAI’s humanitarian projects are not a flash in the pan as the young NGO though in its infancy is positioned towards embarking on more humanitarian projects in future.

So far, TGAI has built  house for a vulnerable old woman who was living in a dilapidated muddy home, given over 50 scholarships to pupils and students in primary, secondary and University, provided relief materials to villagers of 1000 inhabitants, organised digital training and soft skills capacity building  workshops for students in secondary schools in Kwara State among others.

Using a digital photo story on social media, the narrative of Asileke village, Oyo-State changed when a water bore-hole was provided for them. The village used to get its water from a stream which is quite a distance from the heart of the village. As a result of the huge success of Asileke water project campaign, TGAI was able to attract the attention of a single water donor. This led to the commissioning of a water project in Elewuro village in Oyo State in August, 2018.

In December 2018, about 1200 school children were provided shoes through another crowd funding on social media. In 2019,  TGAI also used digital storytelling skills on social media to make provision of water possible in Aiyekale and Oshin Gada villages in Oyo and Kwara states respectively. The villages were  in dire need of water.

TGAI’s impact has been felt across five (5) states including Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Kwara and Lagos. Kadiri has been invited to share her experience as a grassroots crusader on radio, television, newspapers, magazines,TEDX talk and other numerous social engagements.

Kadiri’s laudable projects have not gone unnoticed. She is a well-deserving recipient of several prestigious awards, both national and international in recognition of her consistent support towards the growth and development of the grassroots in particular, and humanity in general.

Kadiri, who had her first degree in Mass Communication at the prestigious University of Lagos and a second degree, M.A in Communication Studies at the University of Ghana, Legon before proceeding to Universiti Utara Malaysia, Malaysia for her PhD in Communication, is a lecturer at the Department of Mass Communication, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Kwara State.

She is a member of Nigeria Institute of Public Relations (NIPR); Advertising Practitioner Council of Nigeria (APCON), South Africa Communication Association, American Political Science Association and African Studies Association of Africa.

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