Olajumoke Orisaguna, bread woman with a skyscraper-shaped load of bread on her head. Image courtesy of Tinie Tempah
LAGOS, NIGERIA-When Olajumoke Orisaguna woke up several weeks ago, little did she know that her fortune was about to change. Like every other day, she got her wares together and went around her Lagos neighborhood to sell bread. With a skyscraper-shaped load of bread on her head, she walked her Agege environ of Lagos in search of bread-loving customers. Walking through untarred roads and badly painted buildings littered with satellite dishes, she beamed that affectionate smile that never failed to captivate customers.
It was during the effort to earn her daily bread that Olajumoke Orisaguna walked into a photo shoot featuring a celebrity. Somewhere in her neighborhood, the English pop star Tinie Tempah was having a photo shoot. Tempah had returned to Nigeria, his home country, to reconnect with his root. Behind the camera was Ty Bello, the celebrated photographer and singer/songwriter.
Tinie Tempah, a pop star famous for tracks like Pass Out, Written In The Stars was having a photo shoot when Olajumoke Orisaguna accidently walked into one of the shorts. A local bread merchant, she was unaware that she had walked into limelight.
That accidental moment marked a turning point in Olajumoke Orisaguna’s life. When Bello was editing the images days after, she was captivated by the woman’s beauty and natural modeling skills. ‘I must find this woman’ she thought to herself. That marked the beginning of the search for the woman in the photo.
Captivated by the alluring charm of the bread merchant, Bello embarked on an expedition to find this innocent beauty in her photo. Like the story of Cinderella, the search for the woman in the photo was marked with twists and turns. On her Instagram account, Bello expressed admiration at the woman’s natural beauty, and a willingness to help her build a modeling portfolio if she could track her down. With this message, she reached out to the Instagram world for help in finding the woman:
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. 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.
Before long, people in the area where the woman was spotted began to leave messages for Bello. They found her. There was elation in the social media world. As prove Bello posted Olajumoke Orisaguna’s photo on her Instagram account last Thursday .
The connection between Olajumoke and Bello was instantaneous. Soon after they met, it became clear that this woman belonged in front of her camera. Her eyes and perfectly chiseled features left no doubt that in Bello’s mind that Olajumoke is a natural beauty. After a discussion with Olajumoke’s husband, Bello got her team together and they created magic. On the same day that they met, Olajumoke Orisaguna was transformed. The result is an amazing beauty that incorporates a fairy tale story.
Ty Bello and Olajumoke worked together for the cover of the Nigerian Magazine This Day Style. For the cover, the 25 year old woman posed with her 14 month old daughter.
The story of Olajumoke Orisaguna is that of a woman who was at the right place at the right. The story of the 27-year old model began in Ire, Osun State, south west Nigeria, where she was a hair stylist. After a difficult life and endless struggles to make ends meet, Olajumoke Orisaguna moved to Lagos with her 14-year old daughter. On the invitation of a long distance relative who knew someone operating a bakery, she left behind her husband and 5- year old child.
The relocation to Lagos provided Olajumoke Orisaguna with the opportunity to work as a bread hawker. It was during her daily bread hawking that she walked into the photo session with Tempah. That accidental occurrence has changed her life forever.
From a woman who was struggling to make ends meet, Olajumoke has become an instant celebrity across the globe. Besides her new status as a the woman who captivated the heart of Ty Bello, Olajumoke has also been signed with an agency. An image of her with her new modeling agency was posted on Instagram.
Olajumoke’s story, for many people, draws a parallel with the story of Oluchi, another young Nigerian woman, who has made her mark as a super model. Oluchi’s story also reads like a fairytale. When she was discovered at seventeen, Oluchi knew nothing about fashion or being a model. Her path to a lucrative career as a top model came through a family friend who encouraged her to compete in the M-Net Face Of Africa. Oluchi won the continent wide model competition that came with and a $159,000 three year modeling contract with Elite Model Management. Soon, the girl who as a teenager was embarrassed by her skinny physique, was on her path to glory.
Tall and skinny, Oluchi came from a humble family that struggled to make ends meet. A civil servant father and a mother that was a nurse toiled to make life better for their children. Today, Oluchi is one of the most celebrated models in the world. I addition to modeling cloths by top designers like Giorgio Armani, Gucci, Christian Dior, she has also been a top model for Victoria’s Secret designs.
Join the art conversation: Share your thoughts and comments