Award-winning Nigerian photographer and former editor of Fim magazine, Sani Mohammed Maikatanga, has said that he didn’t anticipate to win the Wiki Loves Africa 2023 photography competition.
The 2023 contest was organised from March 1 to April 30 by Wiki In Africa for the Wikipedia Foundation on the theme ‘Climate & Weather’.
The competition drew entries from around the continent comprising 13,386 images, 28 audios and 228 videos.
The photography entries were first reviewed by Wiki Loves Africa volunteers before an 11-member international jury of photographic experts selected the three winners, with Maikatanga coming tops.
The first place winner clinched the $2,000 prize with a photograph titled ‘Auyo village flood’, which he shot at the village of Auyo in Jigawa State, northern Nigeria.
Mohamed Nasr from Somalia, took the $1,500 second place with his photograph titled ‘Stormy day in Somalia’, while the third place was taken by Mohammed Osman from Sudan with his picture titled ‘Kids and the river’, carting home $1,000.
In an interview with Fim magazine, a sister publication of New Citizen, Maikatanga expressed joy over his victory, saying, “It’s something that I never anticipated because it was an Africa-wide competition, but then God in His wisdom, just as I won the Global Landscape Forum Africa contest in 2022, made me the winner of this Wiki Loves Africa Photo Competition 2023 on the theme of Climate & Weather.”
On the issue of beating so many people to emerge the winner, the former editor said: “Well, it doesn’t mean I’m better than everyone. It was Allah who ruled that it was my entry that would meet the expectation of the contest organisers.
“I thank God. And I thank the judges of this competition who found my photograph worthy as to come first out of over thirteen thousand entries from fifty-one African countries. It was me from Nigeria, and from Kano State, that came first. I thank God, and I am immensely happy.”
The competition is organised annually by Wiki In Africa in order to motivate and empower African creativity in photography, graphics, audio and video production.
This year, the prizes for international photography were US$2,000, US$1,500, and US$1,000 for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners respectively.
The Best Video and Special Collections prize were selected by a video jury consisting of five media professionals from around Africa, while the Best Audio was selected by the international organising team after a listening process was conducted.
Winners in the media categories of video, audio, graphics, and photo essays were: Best audio, US$750; Best video prize, US$1,000, and Best graphics, US$750.
For the Africa Environment category, winner of the Best video representation of the impact of climate change got US$2,000, while the winner of Best collection of images showing the impact of climate change received US$500.
Another Nigerian, Green Wilfred Somoni, won the US$2,000 Best Video Prize with his short film titled Good Yesterdays.