Kayode Oluwa

Shadow Boxers

My growing up was influenced by aesthetics from watching wrestling, and Boxing to watching different action movies that featured my favourite action characters.

These multi personalities had a great influence on me that, I most times find myself in solitude and re-enact some of the unforgettable moments I see in movies or action sports. One such experience was when I tore a new shirt my mum bought for me while trying to act out Hulk Hogan, he was my early influence in wrestling and one of the greatest characters in wrestling sport.

My Dad told me how I cried all night and refused to eat when Mike ‘Iron Mike’ Tyson lost to James ‘Buster’ Douglas in 1989, and how I had always wanted to be like him.

As a Nigerian, coming from a country that loves and recon with football, I get a weird look from people when I tell them, "I don't watch football, I don't like it and I don't play it", most times it leaves me with the question if it's wrong as a man not to like football.

My instant connection with combat sport through photography was not a surprise as I have always found myself in the space.

These images focus on boxing, the personnel and the culture. This is more than a photo essay but a lifetime project.

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