By: Baboucarr Fallaboweh
Sarjo Baldeh is 21 years old, she loves photography, a passion she developed at the age of 15. She is aspiring to be a technician after finishing her studies at the GTTI.
“I think it is the love and the story behind the scenes that drives me. Also, the respect I have for the profession, wanting to learn, improving and the will to never be complacent.” She stated.
That’s the confidence Sarjo echoed when she sat for the interview. She came to Starfish at the age of 13 and now, she is a mentor but a trend shows that she has all the qualities to achieve the success of young female Gambians(Jama Jack, Fatou Juka Darboe, Lala Touray, Fatou Jeng, Fatou Muloshi, Awa Gai, Isatou Drammeh and Salimatou Fatty) are enjoying.
Sarjo caught the eyes of our sports editor after covering the Gambia versus South Sudan African Cup of Nations qualifier. The young photographer is pursuing Sports photography & PhotoJournalism
The Alkamba Times: Why photographer?
Sarjo: Photography is a gift, something meant for me. It’s a burning passion. I started when I was going to school, I continuously kept on taking pictures.
The Alkamba Times: Please take us through the first day you fall in love with photography?
Sarjo: That faithful day was when I took pictures of the students at Starfish international. Every year starfish start different programs were many volunteers come from different parts of the world to have different sessions/activities based on what is happening in the world. That particular summer, I took all the pictures, and on the day of graduation, we displayed the pictures on a slideshow. The pictures run through emotions as they captured every angle between the volunteers and students. It gave me goosebumps standing there and watching.
The Alkamba Times:Who are your role models in photography and why?
Sarjo: This question reminds me of where I started as Rene used to tell me Sarjo do not forget where you came from. My role models are Fatou Ndure and Rene Moses. I started with Fatou Ndure at Starfish, she taught me photography as a volunteer. I grew up with Fatou Ndure. I continued with Rene Moses, Rene has prepared me for the outside world. From there on, I knew my beat, put in the work, and enjoy what I do.
The Alkamba Times – Do you see yourself pursuing photography as a career?
Sarjo: Yes, I see myself going to a photography school one day and achieving my dream.
The Alkamba Times: How do you balance both your studies and being a photographer?
Sarjo: It is tough, my passion outweighs my course right now. The reason why I went for construction is that I am from a technical school and it’s easier for me. When I started school, I started documenting whatever activity the school was doing, especially our course. During our practice, I will be taking pictures till it reaches the school administration and they asked me to continue it. I am known as Sarjo the photographer.
The Alkamba Times: What are your proudest moments so far in your photography career?
Sarjo: What I am most proud of is that I am patient. I was patient enough to wait for my time to shine. It’s hard to be a female photographer in the Gambia. I’m proud of how far I have impacted people’s lives.
The Alkamba Times: Where do you see yourself in a few years to come?
Sarjo: I see myself doing a lot when it comes to photography. My dreams include owning my studio and representing the Gambia in international competitions in Sports photography and also advocating for more females to thrive in photography.