Young documentary photographer Solomon Dappa from Opobo Kingdom, Rivers State, has been crowned the overall winner of the prestigious National Photography Awards by Wikimedia Nigeria. Dappa’s photo entries outshone over 5,000 submissions, securing top honors in two highly competitive categories.

Dappa triumphed in the Wiki Loves Folklore category, where his stunning photos claimed first, sixth, ninth, and tenth positions out of more than 3,000 entries from across the country. His exceptional work earned him the overall best prize in this category. Additionally, in the Wiki Loves Africa category, Dappa’s photography clinched the number one spot, beating over 2,000 entries submitted by documentary photographers nationwide.

The National Photography Awards, organized by Wikimedia Foundation—the parent organization of the globally renowned platform Wikipedia—aim to promote creativity in image documentation, preserve African culture and tradition, and contribute to the open-source knowledge movement. This initiative encourages photographers to tell African stories from local perspectives and provide valuable resources for the open knowledge movement.

On June 25, 2024, Solomon Dappa received certificates for both prestigious awards at the Wikimedia User Group Nigeria headquarters, officially recognizing him as the overall winner of the National Contest for both Wiki Loves Folklore Nigeria 2024 and Wiki Loves Africa Nigeria 2024.

Overwhelmed with joy, Dappa expressed his gratitude, stating, “These national awards and certificates stand as a testament to the fact that hard work truly pays off and that consistency should never be underestimated.” He dedicated his awards to God, acknowledging the strength to persevere through challenges, and thanked Wikimedia Foundation for offering a remarkable platform for creative minds to contribute to the open knowledge movement.

Solomon Dappa’s remarkable achievements have made him the first Rivers indigene to win these globally recognized photography awards from the Wikimedia Foundation, marking a significant milestone in his career and for his community.

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