Her story would never cease to thrill, neither would the fortune that trailed her that faithful day of Feb 2, cease to be desired. All of a sudden, from a position of indignity, doubt, insecurity and suffering hawking bread on the streets of Lagos, she ran into a rare chance that had since changed the totality of her life, and that of her entire family. .
She had left her Agege home that day with her usual consignment of bread, the famous but low profile brand of bread that usually takes their hawkers to all manner of places – bukas, garages, creeks, junk yards, police detention centres and alleys; and in contact with all manner of persons – truck pushers, motor park touts, area boys, commuter drivers and more. She must also have prepared herself for the ignominy, the abuse, drudgery, and risks associated with her usual rounds, totally obvious of the fortune that fate had in store for her.
In fact, at that point when she was requested by a total stranger to pose for the cameras, she would have flatly rebuffed the proposition, and like a street-wise Lagos girl, rain curses to wit; she would have thereby missed the golden opportunity that lay with it, but somehow, as somehow billed for a meeting with destiny, Olajumoke Orisaguna did otherwise. She seemingly lost her street-wise reasoning and did pose. And that changed everything, for the good, for her and everyone close to her.
See all that have come with that singular encounter:
– Global model raking in millions from brands and well-meaning individuals.
– 3-bedroom apartment in Surulere courtesy of Sijimoto Construction boss, Sijibomi Ogundele. The apartment comes fully furnished with five year rent paid by the young philanthropist;.
– N1 million from Payporte as its ambassador
-Brand model for IBTC bank
-Scholarship for her children to university level from Stanbic IBTC Bank
— N100,000 and clothes from Divine Endowment.
-$3,000 from an anonymous donor
–N1 million from Shirley Confectionery as ambassador
-N500, 000 from Madam Biobak (owner of popular Abuja restaurant)
-Training in communication and etiquette by Sijimoto
-About N50, 000 from the fashion show at Polo Club, Ikoyi, Lagos, with lots more juicy offers in the offing.
-Sharing of the spotlight with UK pop star Tinie Tempah
-Motivational speaking roles around the globe
-Financial assistance during festive periods and a fully paid scholarship at Poise Graduate Finishing Academy
-Education for her children as well as accommodation for her for the next couple of years.
Would you say that Olajumoke’s leaving of her state of Osun for Lagos in search of greener pastures had not paid off. No wonder she became the most searched individual going by google analytics.
Before her sojourn in Lagos and taking to bread selling, Olajumoke had trained as a hairdresser in Osun State, married to Sunday Orisaguna, whom she met during her apprenticeship as a hairdresser. Even the circumstance of her union with Sunday is another intriguing story, and the toast to it is that he toasted her for 6 months before she eventually consented.
They became husband and wife in 2010 and have two girls. Of course, like all other unions, the marriage had its own share of the ups and downs associated with marital unions, especially one consummated in modest families.
Then, she took the first step of faith towards survival by taking along with her, the younger, 16 months old and coming to sojourn in Lagos, leaving behind, her husband and the other child.
Then began a new regimen of striving to make it, in the so-called land of opportunities, but which for many could be unkind, unfeeling and violent. She would carry her ware from corner to corner, responding to call from call, staying out as late as 11pm. Though she could make as much as N7000 as daily sales, her own take home was a paltry N350 as the rest is remitted to the supplier.
Then Olajumoke’s path crossed with that of Tinnie Tempah, whose real names are Patrick Chukwuemeka Okogwu, an English rapper, singer and songwriter, who was doing a photoshoot, with TY Bello, the photographer in charge of the shoot.
Where it didn’t matter to others, the latter found something fascinating about Olajumoke’s images as captured by the lens.
Relying on her professional instincts, she concluded that there was something different, something different about this particular subject, that could transform her to a global icon. This was the propulsion to her sharing Olajumoke’s pictures on instagram. The response by instagram followers was overwhelming, many inferring that ordinary bread seller was already a model.
Not only did TY Bello reach out to Olajumoke, offering to launch her modelling career, but convinced her to a photoshot. Thereafter, the picture of Olajumoke appeared on the cover of the Thisday Style magazine, putting her on the information highway. And things began to happen for her.
Olajumoke signed a contract with Few modelling agency, did studio photo shoots that further reinforced the belief in her potential.
According TY Bello, in an interview she granted recalling that chance encounter with Olajumoke “She seemed a little confused, some people were asking her to walk past really quickly, others were asking her to stay, she was just in limbo. I said ‘is it ok to take your photograph?’ And she nodded ok.”
By the time things began to unfold, Olajumoke’s husband and other daughter moved over to join her in Lagos. Then, Sujimoto group initiated a scholarship scheme along with Poise Nigeria where Olajumoke for her to learn Communication, Etiquette, social graces and grooming. She was given scholarship to complete her education.
Her children were offered educational grants by Stanbic IBTC.
Even CNN featured Olajumoke, and speaking about her beauty as showcased on the media, Bello said: “Everyone connected with the story because everybody has dreams.. This is a very tough time in my country… Everyone is looking for that magical break… I think this is definitely divine because the way people have connected with it is just phenomenal. It’s a phenomenal story.”