Neec Nonso is brilliant, if a little weird. “555555,” he will often type in response to a joke. If you are a typical Nigerian and interacting with him for the first time, you’d probably be weirded out or, at the very least, confused. The simple explanation is that Thai people pronounce five as “ha”. So when the Thai laugh while talking online, they type “555” for “ha ha ha”. Neec’s uncommon written laughter, imported from Thailand and his signature for years, is emblematic of his sometimes odd disposition.
Neec was born in Aguleri and spent his early years in the southeastern village of Nigeria, which influenced his project Aguleri Stories — a masterful collection of photos and words from the Igbo village famous for its boundary disputes. From colourful pictures of masquerades celebrating ancient festivals to fierce young men wielding rifles in defence of their village boundaries and playful children enjoying the camera’s attention, this collection tells vivid inside stories of Neec’s birthplace.