With support from Humans of New York, the library and learning center will provide learning materials for not only Ghanaians but Africans in general.

The library and learning centre in Ghana which will be known as ‘Dikan‘ meaning “to take the lead”, will have over 30,000 books.

“The centrepiece will be the library. But there will also be a lecture hall where photographers from all over the world can come and teach. African photographers, especially. There will never be another Paul Ninson who has to leave home, and feel this way, just to learn how to tell stories. Everyone will be welcome at Dikan.”

The Dikan Concept

“There will never be someone standing at the gate. No person will be too poor, or too inexperienced, to learn how to photograph. Even young kids will be welcome. There will be a room just for them. Where they can learn to photograph. And look at National Geographic magazines,” he said.

After several rejections, he was subsequently offered a half-scholarship to study at the International Center of Photography in New York, but his hopes were dashed because he was supposed to pay $20,000 as part payment for the tuition.

“For the first few minutes I was so excited, but then reality set in. Even with the scholarship, the remaining tuition was $20,000— it might as well have been a million,” he lamented.

Life smiled on Paul one day when he met Brandon Stanton, the owner of Humans of New York at the University of Ghana, where he [Paul] had been hired to photograph an event.

This marked the turning point in Paul’s life, as Stanton supported him to study at the International Center of Photography in New York.


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