Jimoh Otisoro is in love with sports photography and has in the last three decades earned veteran status in the art with his participation in International tournaments the latest his trip to Qatar for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Against all odds, the veteran Nigerian photo-journalist was in Qatar to cover the 2022 FIFA World Cup from the opening game between hosts Qatar and Ecuador to the final game between France and eventual winners Argentina on December 18 at the Lusail Stadium.
Few days after returning from the World’s grandest footballing event, Jimoh Otisoro was in Ikpe Mbak Eyop in Obot Akara Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State for the final match of the 2022 Prince Ukeme Ukpong Unity Cup where he met SportsRation correspondent Caretaker and shared his 2022 FIFA World Cup experience.
JOURNEY TO QATAR
Like every patriotic Nigerian citizen, Otisoro was hoping to see the Super Eagles of Nigeria amongst the 32 teams in Qatar for the World Cup.
I can recall our conversation on a trip to Lagos where he alongside Nsidibe Akpan had planned to join the Eagles to Ghana for the World Cup playoff first-leg game.
Man will reject every permutations suggesting the Super Eagles will fail to fly past the Black Stars, according to him, Nigeria must be in Qatar with him.
The Eagles will bow to Ghana but a dissapointed Otisoro will not bow to any thoughts of him missing the tournament in Qatar.
So, he had to dig deep into his purse to setup for the trip. Attending a FIFA World Cup is a costly adventure, one that will gulp millions of naira but for a determined soul like Otisoro it was a sacrifice worth taking.
For one without corporate partners, fund-raising was a solo run but two people came through with support for him.
” I decided to spend everything I had to make this trip. I received support from the Honourable Commissioner for Youths and Sports Akwa Ibom State and the Akwa United Chairman Elder Paul Bassey as I prepared for the flight to Qatar. ” Otisoro narrated
” I arrived Qatar on November 16 to prepare and get accreditation for the opening match. In everything you do, always aim for the peak and don’t allow anything pull you back, ” he advised before continuing the story.
For his month long stay in Qatar, Otisoro covered over 15 games with particular interest in games involving Africa’s representatives and holds fond memories of Morroco’s historic semi-final run.
” For every match played, there was so much support from Africans and Arabs. That is why in the Round of 16 and Quater-final games vs Spain and Portugal, majority of fans inside the fully packed stadium supported Morroco and we were so happy that they did not dissapoint us. They made us all proud in Qatar .” Otisoro said.
On the experience of being in action from the pitch panels for the final game between France and Argentina, Otisoro described the Argentine’s World Cup win as one of the most amazing moments he has witnessed in his career as a photo-Journalist.
” It was an amazing scene after the game, the players took their families into the field, they were shedding tears of joy, jumping, rolling and screaming in front of our cameras on the pitch at the Lusail Stadium, one of the most amazing moments I have witnessed in my career. ” he said.
The celebration went on deep into the night as the curtains fell on the 2022 FIFA World Cup leaving Otisoro with life-long memories that will leave him satisfied he made the journey to Qatar.
FROM QATAR TO IKPE MBAK EYOP
For the love of the game and photography, Otisoro will spare no thought of taking a rest from the hassles of the World Cup but hit Ikpe Mbak Eyop for the final match of the 9th Prince Ukeme Ukpong Unity Cup competition.
For everyone who cared to listen, Otisoro expressed his fulfillment at having attended the 2022 FIFA World Cup despite the finance related struggles.
From capturing the Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe of this world in Qatar to giving hope through his camera lens to the next generation at the Grassroots football tournament final in Ikpe Mbak Eyop, Otisoro was every definition of a man who loves his job.
JIMOH OTISORO AS A BRAND
A veteran of two FIFA World Cup tournaments (2010 and 2022), numerous Africa Cup of Nations, FIFA/CAF Age-grade tournaments, CAF engagements, the Nigeria Professional Football League etc, Jimoh Otisoro has paid his dues in photo-journalism.
Caretaker is always proud to identify with this Internationally recognized brand and will encourage Corporate bodies to explore the amazing benefits of partnering with JIMOH OTISORO.
Think about the commercial advantages of having him cladded in your companies customized attires to International and National tournaments.
Well, I will let you do the thinking while I continue to clap in salutation of Jimoh Otisoro’s model example of passion and dedication to ones chosen field of endeavour.
He is a living legend one deserving of celebration.