Her story indeed got me emotional a little bit, not because of any screwed sad turn or twist in her journey, but because her transformation was unprecedented, and totally engineered by divine providence. Their is gold everywhere, the miners will know it is gold when they see it in the rawest form but the finest of jewellers will see dirt at least. Here’s the beautiful story of Olajumoke Orisaguna (The Raw Gold), Ty Bello (The Jeweller) and her Followers (The Miners).
Just a week ago, TyBello was apparently called shoot pictures of the visiting Nigeria Superstar “Patrick Chukwuemeka Okogwu“, better known by his stage name Tinie Tempah, a Naija English rapper, singer, songwriter, and record producer, but instead of jumping off to go shoot in his hotel, she insisted that his managers bring him down to the streets of Yaba where everything is brighter and beautiful. This was how the beautiful story of “Olajumoke Orisaguna” the beautiful unknown bread seller who made it to the front page of a style magazine in six days began.
Perhaps if she had the chance to attend a tertiary institution, she would have heard of beauty pageants and probably contested and walked the runway of one or two competitions when she was between 18 to 25 years old. She might have won any and be crowned a beauty queen, but that never happened, instead her walkways has been the many streets of Yaba in Lagos, hawking bakery fresh “Agege” bread (as we call it in Lagos), hoping for a brighter day. The brighter day eventually came and she didn’t even notice until she was discovered by the miners. Unknown to her, her modelling career started from the apex, she started through the lenses of one of the best photographers in Africa; TY Bello and on the red carpet (Streets of Yaba) with one of the biggest artists of African descent in the world in the world; Tinie Tempah.
Ty Bello had innocently posted this picture of Olajumoke and Tinnie on the street carpet, giving narratives of her beauty and confidence.
“The beautiful bread seller in the red dress in one of my edits for instance ..You know her Abi?.. That one that every one on the street wants to marry .. She’s fine and she knows it. its all over how she walks and I know you’ve seen her before . She walked onto our set and magic happened ..it wasn’t planned at all ..I didn’t even know I nailed the narrative until I edited a few days later . Someone accused me of dragging @tiniegram on the streets ..That I should have taken him to somewhere ‘prettier ‘… My response : So you haven’t heard …?The street is where it’s happening o.. You haven’t seen pretty till you’ve seen the sun set in the quiet corners of Surulere ..You’re missing out on a unique love vibe if you haven’t taken her for a walk in railway compound..And if you only exist where freshly baked, steamy Agege bread is completely out of reach .. You may have to consider reorganizing it all.. I mean …What’s the point!“
…but unknown to her, the sun was rising for Olajumoke, she was opening up the doors of Olajumoke’s refined career, a modelling career that had probably chased her for 27 years, before catching up with her in the spotlight without her knowledge.
She was too beautiful to be unreal, too regal not to be a model at least or a princess for sure. Every time the question was asked “who is this your bread selling model“, the answer that came from Ty Bello was “It was just perfect coincidence … She just happened to be walking by while I photographed . It happened so fast .She definitely SHOULD be a model. .. I’m happy to help her build a portfolio if she’s interested .She’s so beautiful and photographed so well. I’ll find a way to track her down somehow . You guys can also help #Lagos.” That was how the search began online and offline until she was found two days after the shoot.
In just a week Olajumoke has transformed from a mother of two, selling bread on the streets of Yaba to eke out a living to a super model getting her face beat from the finest Make UP Artists in Lagos, her hair done by the same stylist that refine the elites, brandishing her smiles in the spotlight and getting her portfolio built by the very best TY Bello. A few weeks ago, I wrote about “The Gift of A Man“… I wrote about its uniqueness and universality, about how it is more powerful that classroom education, and how it can not be contained once it is unleashed. I’m glad the story of Olajumoke is a perfect example, locked in her smile and it’s making ways for her, and its uniqueness made it easy to say the least in searching for her.
Well she was found a few days ago, all smiles and happy and today, she’s gracing the front page of Thisday Style in grand style.
I’m sure you would have never imagined that a bread hawking illiterate from nowhere in Yaba could hit the spotlight with a promise of a glorious modelling career in just a week, I wouldn’t have imagined it either but the truth is, it happened to Olajumoke Orisaguna, and for her, it is the advent of a better life for her, and her children.
What I’ve learnt from this is simple, direct and exciting. No matter who you are or where you are, whatever your hands finds to do, do it with a smile on your face because you never know, you just never know who is watching and what life had in stock for you. TY Bello never saw the supermodel locked in the bread seller, all she saw was a beautiful confident bread seller that every Tom, Dick and Harry on the streets would want to marry for her beauty. Her followers saw the model and made her conscious of her potentials until she had no option. You might be looking for your breakthrough from the South while it’s coming from you from the north, life has no defined route to giving you what you demand from it. If your boss is unappreciative of you, keep doing your service diligently and with a smile, some day soon, you’ll seen and appreciated by those you never imagined and you’ll be on the road to success on a flight you never knew exist. Don’t get angry if the jeweller can’t see the raw gold in you, the miners will soon be there to expose your quality and before you know it, the jeweller will have no other option better than to refine you into the purest form and make the finest of jewel out of your potentials. Be steadfast.
I’m Abidemi Babaolowo Oderinlo
I Write What I Like