Akintunde Akinleye is a photojournalist whose images center around photo-activism and trial narrative subjects. A former Reuters photographer covering West Africa, his photography has documented Nigeria's postcolonial history. He is the first Nigerian photographer to receive the World Press Photo Prize (2007), for his image of a pipeline explosion in Lagos. The same year, he received the National Geographic All Roads award. His photographs have been published in Time, Vogue, The New York Times, and other publications.
In 2007, Akinleye won the World Press Photo prize for Spot News single for his image of a man rinsing soot from his face after a pipeline explosion at Abule Egba, a Lagos suburb. He had pulled through the Lagos traffic on a bike and arrived at the scene of the explosion just ten minutes after it started. He recounted that while surrounded by the billowing smoke, he saw a man who had tried dousing the fire with his bucket of water using the last drop to wash his face. He took about five or six images of the man and moved to another scene. The prize-winning photograph was said to be the last of the sequence of images he took.
Akinleye debated whether to send the photograph to his editor, saying "I thought photojournalism shouldn't be too artistic and I thought it [the photograph] was too beautiful, too dramatic to be good. I sat there for about half an hour debating whether I should send it."