Life is funny… One minute you’re selling bread on the streets of Lagos… Next minute you’re all glammed up on the cover of one of Nigeria’s top weeklies.
At least that’s what happened to Olajumoke Orisaguna. And it began with this photograph.
As TY Bello was photographing world-famous British Nigerian artist Tinie Tempah on the streets of Lagos, Jumoke was the anonymous girl who walked into the shot with her Agege bread table carefully balanced on her head. The final image was so striking that TY Bello decided to include it in the final selection and soon enough people started asking Bello who the model was. And that’s how the photographer’s search for the mystery girl began.
BEATIFUL MISS X:WHO IS SHE.?Every one has been asking if this lady is a model .. 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 #doesanyonerecognizeher #okunorentwins #tinietempah @thisdaystyle #lagos
It was only a few days later Bello announced on her Instagram that through the people in the area she had photographed that the mystery girl was found and her name was Jumoke.
So I found her …our beauty from the @tiniegram shoot and boy have I got a fantastic story to share with you all. Right here is an amazing 27yr old mother of two , Jumoke Sunday with an incredible life story .I called on three amazing artists @bimpeonakoya for beautiful makeup .. @zubbydefinition for hair and @emaedosio to make a short documentary about her .. Every one gave a yes !on the spot . They were all at the studio within an hour and we had the most amazing shoot with her. I’ve also spoken to a few people about the best way to help move her forward and reunite her with her family . … The process has already begone and I’ll figure out the best way to have anyone who wants to be part of the journey .Meeting and photographing her has inspired us all and we can’t wait for the good that will come to her from all of this to unfold . She doesn’t speak English well but here ,she was explaining how she found us . I had sent an assistant , as many of you advised ,to leave a message with the people in the area where we photographed her… So here she is .. #Olajumoke #tybellophotography #findingjumoke #thebeginning
A video posted by TY Bello (@tybello) on
A few days later came Bello’s video teasing us about an ‘unveiling’.
#olajumoke .. Can’t wait for tomorrow’s unveiling #makeup by @bimpeonakoya #hair by @Zubbydefinition filmed by @emaedioso photographed with @phaseonephoto
And then on Sunday morning came the big surprise unveiled by Bello herself. Jumoke had landed a ThisDay Style cover – only one of the top selling weeklies at that!
Someone special our #olajumoke made it on the cover of this day style this morning . You all should buy one . This just made me cry . She really is a blessed woman with an amazing story . I almost cant believe it [email protected] thank you for being the most amazing publication and believing in this story
A photo posted by TY Bello (@tybello) on
Later on in the day, Bello shared an update with her readers that suggests Jumoke is well on her way to rising up in her career of choice: beauty:
OLAJUMOKE ORISGUNA : GRACE ( part 3) During the course of the day, @emaedosio who was making a short documentary about the process had asked her what she really wanted to do . ‘Ka ma kiri Buredi ko suwon ‘ she explained that bread hawking wasn’t the most profitable business but put enough food on her table . It also put a roof over a head .. Howbeit a roof she shared with scores of other hawkers . She was a trained hairdresser back in Osun state but her family could not afford the necessarily ‘freedom ‘ ceremony ; a passing out ritual that gives a trainee a sometimes unwritten permission to start a full fledged salon . We all decided that the make over would be incomplete if it ended at the studio . Every one started to reach out to their contacts and through Bimpe we were able to get her a meeting with Ugo the pioneer of Make-me salon . As a result of the buzz she generated from the Thisday cover Our model is now close to starting an internship at @makemesalon and has been offered a additional internship with @sarisignature a famous Lebanese owned salon on the island island . To pay Jumoke her model fee from her first job in front of the camera we called @_ujumarshall one of Nigeria’s And matched her fees .She’s been offered a modelling contract with the help of @godsonukaegbu from a @fewmodels .She’s also had @payporte reach out to her to be model on their next billboard campaign . This is clearly only the beginning of another chapter in Jumoke’s story . Though it seems accidental it s clearly Devine . Just this morning ,mentor of mine offered to foot the bill for her accommodation ,education as well as her child’s .. This finally makes it possible to be finally reunited with her husband and older child .
We wish Jumoke much luck as she embarks on a new chapter in her life from what seemed like a mere accident. As for TY Bello, we do hope she hits the streets of Lagos more to find many more talented young women she can help empower.by