Sometime between my fourth and fifth year of vet school, during one of the many ASUU strikes that invariably plagued Nigerian federal universities, I became an intern On-Air-Personality (OAP) in my university’s radio station.
You see, I wanted to explore the artistic side of me and my flair for entertainment. And I did, for a few weeks till the strike was called off and school as I knew it, resumed. Between vet school and fellowship involvement, there was no time or space for my OAP activities, so I had to let it go.
If I could go back in time, I would have made a different decision. I realized after graduating how expedient it is to have other skills asides the veterinary skills we acquired in school. How handy and useful, they can be!
As a result, I’m starting a new series of interviews which will profile veterinarians successful in other fields because as the Yorubas say, “ona kan o wooja.”¹ Hopefully, this will encourage vet students (and even vet graduates) not to limit themselves while in school but to be all they can be!
Today, we start with Dr. Fiyinfolu Olisa, a vet-turned-photographer.
What do you do for a living?
I am a vet by academic profession, a professional photographer and image retoucher.
What is the name of your photography outfit and when did you start?
Fynex_Photography. I started photography as far back as 2007, but started my own brand in 2015- the day I opened my studio.
Did you always know you wouldn’t practice vet med?
No, what I knew was that there is more to life than depending solely on ones academic profession.
Why did you choose photography over vet med?
**smiles** I believe in 1 thing, your academic career should not affect or disturb your passion. I am still a vet who loves photography.
How easy was it for you to transition to what you do now?
I must confess to you, my first challenge as a photographer was “Acceptance“. People kept wondering why a vet would choose not to practice and go into photography, but I was never discouraged.
Any regret about your decision?
Any advice for vets that are for one reason or the other considering doing other things outside the profession?
Like I said, do not let your academic profession hinder you from doing what you love doing. If you are a vet and you have passion in a work outside vet that can earn you a living, then do it, if that’s what makes you happy. It doesn’t stop you from being the vet that you are.
What do you think makes one succeed in your field?
Continuous reading, learning and practicing of new photography techniques.
Ways in which the vet profession in Nigeria can be improved?
There are lots of things to say on this particular question, I’ll just prefer we leave this question to be discussed as a separate topic for another day.
Do you see yourself going back to practice vet in the near future?
Veterinary practice is a lifestyle not a thing you leave and come back to. **smiles** I still retain my love for pets most especially dogs.
The best part of your work now?
It challenges your sense of creativity.
Some of Dr. Olisa’s Works:
I absolutely loved all of Dr. Olisa’s responses. Thank you very much Dr. Olisa for granting this interview. Wishing you success in your future endeavours.
Dr. Olisa is a graduate of Veterinary Medicine from the prestigious University of Ibadan, Nigeria. He can be contacted via:
Fb page : Fynexpressions photography
¹Ona kan o wooja is a Yoruba saying that means there are many routes to a market.