Born in Nima 441, a suburb where outsider’s wrong perception is a slippery wayward conclusion, Ahmed would grow with his photographer skills to showcase the beauty of his slum to Ghana and the world.
Ahmed, in a recent interview to mark the 60th anniversary celebration of Ghana’s independence from the shackles of colonialism, described Nima as the most fascinating part of Ghana with various talents in painting, music, dancing, academics and sports (particularly football). “But many don’t know and we all forget that the president of Ghana is from Nima” Ahmed said, whiles revealing an infectious smile.
The photographer has been the successful story of wiping the denigrating impression people have about his community through his exhibitions and documentary images of one of the greatest artist in Ghana, Mohammed Awudu of Moh Arts and the beautiful works of Skido and Sammy Adjei, all Nimanians to the attraction of Ghanaians, visiting international audiences and the diplomatic corps..
His photographic works aimed at encourage parents to enroll their children in school depict mothers taking their children to school, which are published in a mini brochure designed in partnership with the Kunata Voluntary Organisation, has been encouraging and the work has had the effect of motivating to take their kids to school.
He praised the get your child to school campaign by saying that “when we started this photography program four years ago, as compared to the present, I can see that many parents now enjoy sending their kids to school and am personally happy to share copies with the them”.
His works exhibit the commercial hub of Nima, the Nima Market, which has gradually become one of the leading markets in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana, where companies rush to supply their products to retailers and the place has been a source of employment and income generation to many residents. Not forgetting the various cafes and restaurants including the artefact market.
On the national front, he has been instrumental in raising the awareness tempo about head potters popularly known as kayayei phenomenon into a national debate to how to bring future and welfare to these disadvantaged girls with pictures he captured for the Bridgewater Project and the Humanity Magazine.
The magazine campaigns for the future and welfare of needy girls in Ghana. His pictures of the kayayei featuring in the national Daily Graphic, Daily Guide and Modern Ghana, News Ghana, Ghana Eye, Metro Tv, Gtv and Tv3 caught the heart and attention of Mrs Elizabeth Agyeman, who summoned the former minister for gender, children and social protection, Hon Nana Oye Lithur, to Parliament to come out with an immediate effect on strategic programme to realise the kayayei phenomenon and the trend continues thanks to the displays of the renowned journalist.
“When I look at the girls sleeping on the street or carrying loads for their survival I feel like I must do the little that I can” he told Ghana Eye at a ceremony to launch a special exhibition of the Humanity Magazine, depicting paintings of vulnerable girls to raise funds for the construction of accommodation and vocational centre in Accra.
The son of Comfort Amposah can be credited for the completion of the Kumasi Kejetia Street Girls Resettlement Center and Clinic, which comprises a special department for anti-child trafficking because Kejetia has been a transit point for traffickers from the northern part of Ghana.
Located at the heart of the largest market in Africa, the center has a unit for marriage redress for the market women, including a clinic for proper healthcare. In addition the facility houses a teenage pregnancy prevention and counselling on HIV unit and the public address department for sharing beneficial information to the girls and the entire market women.
When in early 2017 President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo abolished the kayayei tax, the Kunata Voluntary Organisation’s Bridgewater Project was credited with the national feat for initiating the campaign, but the telling and appealing pictures of taxed young girls by the man behind the camera to the president was too much for the human rights lawyer to bear who immediately passed a law exempting the girls from the payment of tolls to the government.
On peace level, his works has been dynamic at the doors of diplomatic halls and offices of political parties in Ghana in getting all groups to endorse the football for humanity peace jersey. A program of using the beautiful game of football to unite politicians before, during and after elections with proceeds channelled to girl-child projects in Africa.
Ahmed Richard Martey is the chief executive officer of Rymed Pixels Photography and the founding president of Ayawaso Multimedia Group. He is also the local correspondent for the German weekly news network the Die Ziet and a special photographer for renowned chief Drolor Bosso Adamtey 1 and for Broadway Entertainment Group at Nima.