Flash of genius: Covid hobby becomes Africa’s largest photo ...

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Flash of genius: Covid hobby becomes Africa’s largest photo library

A Ghanaian New Yorker has collected 30,000 books to ship home, thanks to the pandemic and a $1m windfall

Angela Moore and Cooper Inveen

Since the pandemic forced many US bookshops to close or slash prices, Ghanaian New Yorker Paul Ninson has amassed 30,000 African photo books for a library he hopes will inspire the next generation of photographers back home.

Ninson estimates he owns the world’s largest collection of books with images taken in Africa or by photographers of African descent. Thanks to a $1m (about R16m) crowdfunding windfall, he has already started shipping the trove to West Africa.

“For so long we’ve let other people tell our stories and distribute our stories,” he said in one of his 16 New York storage units, crammed with ceiling-high stacks of books...

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