Thousands of Ghanaians on Wednesday, August 4, 2021, took to the streets of Accra to participate in the much-publicised #FixTheCountry protest.
The conveners and the protestors marched through the major streets of Accra demonstrating and demanding Ghanaian politicians, especially the government, to take the necessary steps to address the many challenges facing the ordinary Ghanaian, including youth unemployment, poor infrastructure, and high cost of living.
Clad in red and black, the protestors held placards with inscriptions that indicated what they are unhappy about as citizens and the actions they want the president and his government to seriously take in making the lives of Ghanaians better.
Aside from the reportage by the local and international media houses, photographs of the protest which surfaced and went viral on social media made many other Ghanaians who could not participate in the protest, appreciate the passion and patriotism of the protesters.
One person who was responsible for capturing those patriotic moments on August 4, 2021, is Edem Robby (Roberta Edem Abbeyquaye). She put together a team of photographers and videographers who captured every single moment of the protest on camera.
According to Edem Robby, she volunteered to put together a team to document the protest in pictures and videos because she believed the #FixTheCountry protest is a good cause.
“For me, most times when things have aligned with my values and my beliefs, you would find that I would mostly want to be a part of it and volunteer with my skills and resources. And I thought it was very important that this moment was captured in pictures and in videos, and for me, it’s really a great honour to be part of such a moment in the history of Ghana,” she told Kuulpeeps.
Unforgetabble moments at the protest
Edem Robby indicated that covering the protest was a great experience and a moment she will never forget… “Seeing all the young people wanting change and singing songs of freedom and chanting ‘Fix The Country!’, asking for a modification of the constitution and asking our leaders to be accountable… it was great to see.”
“When we got to Tudu, where the Octagon is, and seeing even the market women who were just hawking on the streets join us and say come and interview us, take photographs of us and cheering on the protesters… I think it was a great moment, it’s been a great moment for me, and I would always remember that I was there capturing the moment.”
Essentially, as a photographer, just seeing young people, at the protest, who care about the future of this country and where they are headed and wishing the country to prosper and progress, were inspiring moments for Edem Robby.
“There was a little boy whose father had brought him, who was also part of the moment… And the old people that were there, I spoke to some of them and they were saying that they are at the protest because of their children and hoping for a better future for them. And it moved me.”
“Also, when Kaaka’s daughter climbed the truck to address the crowd and the moment she was crying while she read her speech and then she was being told it’s okay, she doesn’t have to complete the speech, but she insisted that she wanted to read the speech, even when she was crying. And that told me that people are hungry for change, people are tired and this is someone who was determined to address the people who were there and who were asking for justice for the father.”
She also loved the ‘Fix The Country’ chants and the patriotic songs that were sung by the protesters, as well as how the protesters responded to the conveners when they addressed them.
“When the female conveners, Felicity and Bashiratu, addressed the crowd, the response that they were getting from the crowd. I think they were iconic. They are really beautiful moments. I love all the photos that I’ve taken.”
Edem Robby revealed that she felt fulfilled with the work she did at the protest and would have still felt fulfilled even if the photos didn’t go viral.
“I came back home that day feeling very, very proud of the team for the work that we did at the protest and I can’t take the glory alone. The team did a really, really, great job.”
“I’m overwhelmed by the love I’m getting… My followers have increased on Twitter, I’ve received a lot of friend requests on Facebook, and it’s been really, really overwhelming and heartwarming to see that people appreciate the photos that were taken from the protest,” she said.
Not just a photographer
Edem Robby doesn’t do photography only. She is a multimedia journalist who is also a videographer, a video editor, and a writer with over four years of experience.
However, she started off as a photographer in 2014 when she was pursuing a degree in Journalism (first-class honours) at the African University College of Communication.
“I became a photographer by accident because one day on campus an event was happening… I think it was an SRC event and someone had a camera so I just asked for the camera and I took a couple of pictures. And this person was a professional, so when I returned the camera to them, they looked at the pictures and said I take really nice pictures and encouraged me to consider photography.”
“And so that’s when I got interested and every time there was an event on campus, I would get a camera from the school administration and take photos or even ask friends to take photos. The more I practised, the more I perfected my skill. So every time, I would be looking out to capture events and learn from friends that were photographers in school,” she explained.
She is into rural and street photography, as well as events. “What I love and appreciate about rural and street photography is that they are very pure and not staged.”
“For me, it’s just being able to capture moments, emotions, events… that part of people that is frozen in time and you have it forever… beautiful memories,” she added.
She is also the curator and manager of Through My Lens, a Facebook page cataloguing her film and photography work.
Edem Robby previously worked as a Programme Assistant (Communications) at Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), and as a multimedia journalist with Citi FM and Citi TV, and iSpace.
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