Kafui Praise is an award winning photographer and one of the few professional female photographers making waves in Ghana for the excellence and passion she attaches to her work. We spoke to her to learn more about her journey
Who is Kafui Praise?
Matilda Dogbatsey (Brand Name: Kafui Praise) is the name.
My background is characterized by struggles and misfortunes growing up. I am a self-made Professional. I am from the Volta Region of Ghana, the second of four children, born to Michael Dogbatsey of blessed memory and Madam Mabel Adjorlolo.I attended Tema Senior High School, Global Computers and Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders. As for Photography, I taught myself and took a few lessons from some mentors and friends.
How it all started
My venturing into Photography was born out of the pleasure and love for taking pictures of myself as a hobby. I thought I’d become a model since I was always the subject in front of the lens. Walking into any photography studio was an almost everyday thing to take as many photographs of myself as possible just for the fun of it. My love for the pictures drew me closer to the camera; intrigued by the art and science of it, I ventured into it. That’s how Kafui Praise photography started’
Getting into Photography has been very challenging. I didn’t have the opportunity to further my education as much as I had wanted to. I declined to continue to work in the family business which also brought lots of challenges from extended family. I didn’t attend any special school to become a Photographer. I had to decide against all odds to pursue my dreams. There was absolutely no established foundation, no formal education for a certificate in Photography and I had to struggle to get my camera.
I was given the option of either managing the family business or moving out of the family members’ house if I choose photography.
Guess what I choose? Photography. Because of that, I had to move out and live on my own, so while trying to find my way with photography I had to find a way to survive and make ends meet. It wasn’t easy but in all God proved Himself faithful and came through for me every time I felt lost or down.
The competition is tough and challenging especially being a woman in an industry that’s heavily dominated by men, more so being young. I owe the success of this brand to God and my Spiritual Father, Rev. Tom Bright-Davies.
Don’t wait to be perfect before pursuing your passion
I never waited to get everything perfect, know it all or have everything together before pursuing my passion. I made use of the little I knew and had. Yes, there were times when I was scared and unsure of my next step but I still stepped out in faith and for the love of what I was doing. I made priceless images in those times that is still paying my bills today.
Rely on God
I totally relied on God in everything I stepped out to do.I had a mentor and a Spiritual father, who I talked to when I needed counsel to make major decisions and steps.I always looked out for perfection in my work and to capture things in time as they are.
I’m constantly learning new things and open for correction and guidance.
I gave and poured my all into my passion and found many ways to sustain and keep it going.
I remained humble. My relationship with God is all that I had, I have and will ever have. That’s what sustains my life, my career and my future. Without God, life would have been a completely different story for me, and I know I wouldn’t have been here. No one would have heard my name or even knew I existed.
Advice to young people
Follow your heart. And, it doesn’t matter what your background or family looks like, there is something in you that is worth celebrating. Find it and develop it. Develop good habits and pursue after excellence in all you do.
There are too many distractions in this generation that’s drawing young people away from God. Being away from God means being away from discovering your truest potential and eternal purpose. Life goes beyond existing in time. The value of our lives will be determined by how many people we impacted positively and how well we run our race. Stop trying to be like others, or walk their path or run their race. Find your purpose, find your race, find your path, and you will know true and real fulfilment. Finally, don’t be in a haste to make it quick. If it happens for you, Praise God, if it doesn’t keep pushing diligently without cutting corners. Remain focused. God bless you.
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