Paul Ninson On His Dream Of Becoming An Architect And His Love For Documentaries

Paul Ninson (image via Facebook/Humans Of New York)

Paul Ninson, a Ghanaian photographer and filmmaker, caught the attention of the world last week when his inspiring story was featured on the photoblog, Humans of New York.

Ninson got into photography as a means of survival, and now, he is working to build a photography learning centre in Ghana called ‘Dikan’, which means ‘take the lead’ in the Asante-Twi dialect.

Paul Ninson’s proposed Dikan Photography Centre (image via Facebook/Humans Of New York)

He intends Dikan to be a place where upcoming Ghanaian and African photographers can learn photography skills from renowned photographers. The centre will also provide upcoming photographers with resources that are not easily accessible in Africa.

He has so far raised over $1.2 million for the project. He has also collected over 30,000 books for the library, and he is hoping to collect more and have every African related book in the library.

Paul Ninson (image via Facebook/Humans Of New York)

In an interview on Citi TV, Ninson indicated that the project is not about him but rather it is about Ghana and Africa, and he believes that through Dikan, photographers from the African continent will be well-trained to use visuals to change the negative perception of Africa.

He also revealed in the interview that he wanted to be an architect before switching his attention to photography.

“I will not say my path to becoming a photographer was a destined one but I know that my childhood experience with my grandfather who used to tell me stories about our culture and traditions was something that embedded in me at a younger age… I know how to draw very well so I wanted to be an architect but it didn’t work out, but still, I wanted to be a visual artist, and now I’m a photographer and filmmaker,” he said.

Paul Ninson (image via Facebook/Humans Of New York)

Ninson further revealed that his love for documentaries and storytelling inspired him to choose the path of photography and filmmaking.

“For me, my sources and my influences led me to the things I do, I love documentaries… growing up, we didn’t have television, my dad will always allow us to read a lot and I read so much… I read about 50 books a year… I try to read a lot, so I think those things embedded in me and helped me.”

“I did weddings, I did events, and it wasn’t something that was much fulfilling for me. I wanted more, I wanted to be part of something. To change something, to tell stories that were important to our society and to people. So that led my path to documentary.”

Watch the full interview below:


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