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  • Written by: Nathan Wells + Merrick Porchéddu |

Fela Raymond: Full Circle Lottery

Photograph by: Temi Coker

When Nigerian-born photographer Olufela “Fela” Raymond speaks on his art, you are compelled to listen.

“I was 10 years old when I got the news that I had won the visa lottery, giving not just me but my entire family permission to move to the United States," he said.

Now, as an adult, the multi-talented photographer, filmmaker, and creative director takes nothing for granted, using his art as a tool for unity.

“My main focus is bringing people together, bringing art together, and bringing vision together."

(Slideshow: Erykah Badu, Charley Crockett, Sudie, Life in Nigeria: "Power")

When his family arrived in Texas, his uncle had been pastoring a church in Arlington. Raymond’s family moved in with his uncle, hoping to start building a new life. The growing pains of being a young immigrant in a foreign land came swiftly to a head when he entered middle school and came face to face with bullying.

“Transitioning from Nigeria to Texas was a very difficult time for me; it was not easy. I was mocked for my thick Nigerian accent. I was definitely considered an outcast."

It was during college at Texas Tech University where Raymond received life-changing advice from his printmaking professor. Raymond was encouraged to speak his mind through his art—to look beyond the assignment and into what he truly wanted to say. It was an opportunity for Raymond to finally...

You can find Raymond spending his time at GoodWork in South Dallas or at Photographique where he develops film.




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