This photo storytelling project began on the streets of New York in 2010 and since then has reached 8.1 million followers on Instagram, sharing stories from strangers around the world to an intrigued global audience.

Humans Of New York has gone from an anomaly of an approach to visual storytelling to a mainstay on our various news feeds.

Photographer Brandon Stanton has also been able to take his camera and thoughtful questions around the world, most recently to Egypt and now Lagos, Nigeria to explore the stories of ‘Lagosians’.

Thus far he has spoken to six Nigerians on personal experiences about police brutality, moving back to Nigeria, our place in the world and much more. Enjoy the different stories below.

View this post on Instagram

Shortly after arriving in Lagos, my guide showed me a story that was being passed around Nigerian social media. There was a woman who’d been stopped in traffic behind a crowded prison truck, and she witnessed a food vendor running alongside, shoving his food between the bars of the window– into the hands of the prisoners inside. By the time he was finished, he’d given away all his food. The man was himself in desperate circumstances. He was sleeping outdoors. But despite having hardly anything to give, he gave away all his merchandise. Amazingly, my guide Kola was able to locate the man. His name is Ibere Ugochukwu. And this is his story. – – “A few years ago I worked as an apprentice in a cosmetics shop. I was supposed to receive a payment at the end of my term. But I was warned by the other employees that the owner would find a reason not to pay me. He’d always invent reasons to fire his boys right before their payment. So I made the decision to quit. But when I told him, he dragged me to the police. He told them lies about me. He told them I’d stolen so much money. And they tortured me. They tied my hands and legs and they hung me from the ceiling. They beat me. I went deaf from all the slaps. For ten days I was given no food. My fellow prisoners would share little bits of their meals when they were finished. But some days I saw nothing. Honestly I was about to die. And I started to pray to God. And on the tenth day, the guards decided that it would cause too much trouble to let me die. They told my employer: ‘After what we did to him, he must be innocent. Because he’d have confessed if he was guilty.” They released me into the world like a madman. And I’ve carried the memory ever since. I promised myself that if I ever found someone in a similar situation, I would help. So when I learned that prisoners pass down this road, I chose to hawk in this location. I waited until I finally saw the truck, and I pushed all my food through the bars. My fellow vendors couldn’t believe it. They asked me who would pay me for the food. I told them: ‘I didn’t do it for any man. I did it because of what God did for me.’” (Lagos, Nigeria)

A post shared by Humans of New York (@humansofny) on

View this post on Instagram

“My mother won the visa lottery, so when I was young my family relocated to Minnesota. I think I’m the only one of my siblings who always viewed Nigeria as home. I participated in Model UN. I studied international political science. I admired Nelson Mandela. So I always knew I’d go back to Africa one day. After graduation I interned with an NGO in Northern Nigeria. During that trip I witnessed a breached birth in a village. There was no C-Section available, so the baby died. I knew then that not only would I be coming home to Nigeria, but I’d be doing something in healthcare. I’ve been home for six years now. I’ve chosen to work on the country’s blood distribution problem. Every year tens of thousands of people die while waiting for blood. Meanwhile there are blood banks discarding unused inventory. My company LifeBank is trying to close that gap. Most blood banks in Lagos are participating in our program. Every morning we take an inventory. And when blood is urgently needed, we use bikes to deliver. It’s not easy. Imagine New York City without the infrastructure and no subway system. That’s Lagos. Yet LifeBank has delivered over 10,000 bags of blood within 55 minutes. Blood shortage is a global problem. And if we can do it in Lagos, we can do it anywhere. In December we’re expanding to two new cities. But I see us all over the world.” (Lagos, Nigeria)

A post shared by Humans of New York (@humansofny) on

View this post on Instagram

“When I was the age of this boy, my father had a stroke. My family used all our savings to take care of him. And after we’d spent everything, my father gave up the ghost. We were left in a desperate situation. There was no money left. There were six of us living in a single room. I was only in 5th grade, but I had to go to work. I carried oranges on my head and sold them in the street. Then one day I met the owner of a print shop. He was a friend of my brother. He fed me every afternoon, and he began to teach me his profession. He told me: ‘Never view yourself as having nothing.’ And he showed me that I could change my life with skills alone. Now I have my own shop. And anyone who has an interest, I will teach them. I’ve taught fourteen boys already. This boy has stopped going to school. But we can’t allow him to be idle. We must keep him busy because there’s criminality all around us. Every day we see drug dealers walk by. I point to them and I ask: ‘Do you want to be like them? Or do you want to be like me?’” (Lagos, Nigeria)

A post shared by Humans of New York (@humansofny) on

View this post on Instagram

“In my church you’re either Christian or possessed by demons. We have services four times per week. Luckily zoning out looks a lot like praying. I’m not saying that I don’t believe any of it. I just have a lot of questions that nobody will answer. Whenever I ask a hard question, they just show me a bible quote that says I shouldn’t ask questions. It doesn’t make sense to me. I think I’m becoming a Nihilist. Honestly, I don’t see any reason why people should be born. You exist, then you strive to attain something to make sense of your existence, and then you don’t exist anymore. Can’t we cut out some of those steps? It’s just too much work. I didn’t sign up for this. And when you finally die– instead of everything stopping, you have to become conscious again? Heaven doesn’t sound that great. Supposedly there’s a lot of singing and trumpets. That sounds exhausting. I’d rather be sleeping.” (Lagos, Nigeria)

A post shared by Humans of New York (@humansofny) on

View this post on Instagram

“You can’t just use Beyoncé to sell products in Nigeria. Well, maybe Beyoncé is a bad example. Beyoncé can sell anywhere. But most of the time you need to adapt your advertising to local tastes. So I help international companies create marketing campaigns for Nigeria. A few years ago I started my own company. I’d gotten tired of working for someone else. I was doing all the work on some projects, and I’d only walk away with peanuts. So I took the leap. My goal was to win a single bid that first year. I just needed one big name to risk a little money on me. Because a little money to them was a lot of money to me. I knew I had the technical experience. I had the ‘know how.’ I just didn’t have an office, or a staff, or a big name. But that became my pitch. I argued that bigger agencies take their clients for granted. I told companies: ‘I’m not relaxed like that. I’m hungry. I’m going to give you more juice.’ My first client ended up being Coca Cola. Maybe I didn’t have things quite as figured out as I allowed them to believe. But hey, that’s advertising. And I delivered.” (Lagos, Nigeria)

A post shared by Humans of New York (@humansofny) on