Sarjo Baldeh is a talented 21-year-old Gambian photographer who is making waves in the world of sports photography. Operating under her brand name, Baldezz, she has become renowned for capturing heartwarming and astonishing images through her lens
When asked about her motivation, Sarjo says, “I think it is the love and the story behind the scenes that drives me. Also, the respect I have for the profession, wanting to learn, improve, and never be complacent.”
Sarjo aspires to be a technician after finishing her studies at the GTTI. She is confident in her abilities and believes she has what it takes to achieve success, just like other young female Gambians who are making waves in their respective fields.
Sarjo caught the attention of our sports editor after covering the Gambia versus South Sudan African Cup of Nations qualifier. She is now pursuing a career in sports photography and photojournalism.
When asked why she chose photography, Sarjo says, “Photography is a gift, something meant for me. It’s a burning passion. I started when I was going to school, and I continuously kept on taking pictures.”
Sarjo looks up to Fatou Ndure and Rene Moses as her role models in photography. They have guided and mentored her, helping her grow as a photographer.
When asked about her future plans, Sarjo confidently states, “I see myself going to a photography school one day and achieving my dream.”
Despite her passion for photography, Sarjo also prioritizes her studies. Balancing both can be challenging, but she manages to document her school activities and has become known as “Sarjo the photographer” among her peers.
Her notable role extends beyond the continental tournament, as she proudly serves as the official photographer for Fortune FC in the Gambia Division One league. This position has not only allowed her to showcase her talents on a local level but has also granted her the opportunity to contribute to the visual narrative of Gambian football.
It’s worth noting that Sarjo Baldeh, with her brand Baldezz, has left an indelible mark on the representation of the Scorpions, the national football team of The Gambia. Many of the captivating photos circulating on social media featuring the Scorpions were skillfully captured by this young and passionate photographer.
As a trailblazer in her field, Sarjo Baldeh’s presence at AFCON 2023 serves as an inspiration to aspiring photographers, especially young women, proving that age is not a barrier to success. Her dedication to her craft and the recognition she has garnered at such a young age underscore her immense talent and commitment to the art of photography.
In essence, Sarjo Baldeh, also known as Baldezz, is not just a photographer; she is a visual storyteller, capturing the essence of Gambian football and contributing to the vibrant development of African sports through her lens.
Sarjo takes pride in her patience and the impact she has made on people’s lives through her photography. In the coming years, she envisions owning her own studio, representing The Gambia in international competitions, and advocating for more females to thrive in photography.
As a young female photographer, Sarjo stands out in a field predominantly occupied by men. She defies stereotypes and has become a powerful photographer, even though some may refer to her as a “cameraman.”
Sarjo’s dreams extend beyond photography. She aspires to work with FIFA as a media personnel, leaving a lasting legacy and paving the way for other young female photographers in The Gambia.
Sarjo has become a role model for many aspiring photographers. She has formed a social media page called Team Baldezz, where she and other passionate individuals showcase their skills in photography, videography, graphic design, and scriptwriting.
Aside from photography, Sarjo is also a student studying construction at the Gambia Technical Training Institute (GTTI).
For Sarjo, being part of the Africa Cup of Nations is a dream come true. She sees it as an opportunity to network with other photographers, learn from them, and gain valuable experience.
Some photos by Sarjo Baldeh
View more photos on her Instagram page @ sarjo_baldezz/