Doing Life With… is a BellaNaija Features series that aims to showcase how people are living, working, travelling, journalling, taking care of their families and… everything in between. We aim to document the lives of
all people and ensure everyone is well-represented at BN through storytelling.
Last week, we had a conversation with Mory Coco. Did you miss it?
This week, we are doing life with Diji Aderogba, popularly known on social media as Director Diji. Diji is a filmmaker, director and street photographer based in the UK. He is an AMVCA nominee, the director of Showmax’s Orginal Drama Series, “Ghana Jollof” and his debut film, “About A Boy” won the Audience Choice Award at Nollywood Film Week in Paris, France.
Hi Diji, to start with, happy birthday to you!
Thank you, BellaNaija.
How are you feeling right now?
Haha, I feel so good. I mean, it feels so good to be featured on anything BellaNaija publishes. Thank you for the opportunity to be part of this and I believe that’s enough reason to be happy. In summary, I feel happy. This is more like a birthday gift.
We’re happy to have you too. Give us a sneak peek into your journey as a director and street photographer
Filming is my first love. As a kid, I loved watching films. I remember very well how I would spend a lot of time ruminating over the films I had seen. I was always curious to know who told the actors what to do and how everything came about. One day, I was watching Tunde Kelani’s “Saworoide” with some of my family members and I said aloud, “I’d love to make films like this.” That was how everything filmmaking started for me.
Along the line, my passion for storytelling took me to the wonderland of photography. I have always been a lover of street photography because of its true form of expression. I had the opportunity to do that in Nigeria and some of my street pictures trended so much that I got interviewed on radio. It’s quite sad I didn’t have the chance to do much in Nigeria because of distractions from people concerning harassment. When I got to the UK, I knew it was time to revisit the passion because everyone is entitled to take pictures so far you are not intruding or stalking anyone. So yes, I’m glad to be doing both.
Is there any part of your childhood that influenced who you are today?
Yes! I enjoyed watching artistic performances and spending time with theatre people. This experience had a significant impact on my mindset. Being around filmmaking shaped my mind for real.
So Nigerians japa for a lot of reasons. You seem to be doing well in Nigeria, what informed your decision to relocate?
Actually, it’s for greener pastures and the 24/7 electricity o, haha. Also, you have the flex of taking pictures in different places without forces coming at you for no reason. I also appreciate the diversity and having friends from various countries and backgrounds. There is so much to mention but these stand out.
Interesting. What are some directing roles you’ve had in the UK?
Just a few for now. I have directed a commercial for Amazon. I have also worked with Ritz London.
Love that for you! Walk us through a typical day in your life – from when you wake to when you sleep
I wake up and join NLP prayers at 7:05 a.m. I check my phone for notifications because I sleep every night thinking and hoping someone will have messaged me and bring life-changing opportunities. Sometimes when the prayer ends at 8:00 a.m., I go back to sleep for an hour or two. I wake up at 10 or 11 a.m. and listen to podcasts for another 1 or 2 hours. I press my phone and I take naps a lot! At night, I eat, press my phone, say a prayer for myself and sleep.
Ahan, looks like abroad life is soft o. What about your photography?
Haha, soft ke? I just randomly go for walks with my cameras to capture moments and scenes and whatever the street has for me.
You’re pretty active on Twitter. Shebi we can call you a Twitter influencer?
I no be influencer o, I’m just a Twitter addict.
I’m very active there because social media is helpful. Over the last few years, I have loved and used social media to build a name and brand for myself. I’m active mostly on Twitter to post my work, talk football, and gist with my friends and acquaintances on the timeline. Twitter has done a lot for me and I won’t take it for granted. I keep telling people, creatives especially, that you must learn how to use Twitter. Put your work out every time and be like Diji.
And you put yourself out so well. How do you deal with trolls and drags?
To be honest, I don’t pay attention to trolls because I won’t reply. I’m all about my work getting recognised on and off social media.
Great! Let’s say you have a special power to change the world one day, how would you use it?
If I had one special power to change the world for one day, I don’t want to mention what I have in mind. But jokes aside, having a unique superpower can be intoxicating, but I would prefer to possess one that could transform the lives of those in need. Probably not excessively wealthy but to be comfortably living life with basic amenities. I’m not sure if that’s a superpower but yes, I’d love that to happen. Globally.
We’d also want that. What 3 words best describe Diji Aderogba
Funny. Talented. Kind.
Thank you for being part of the Doing Life With…Series
Thank you, BellaNaija.
Many thanks to Director Diji for having this conversation with us. Join us on Saturday for the next episode!
Do you love this content, have any feedback for us or want to be a BellaNaija Features contributor? We’d love to hear from you. Shoot us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org