To this….. 😀
Can you tell that I’m really excited putting up this post? It’s about 4 days late but the message behind it is never late.
I follow T. Y. Bello on Instagram and on Sunday she put up a series of posts about this grass to grace story of a young lady called Jumoke. Now, Tinie Tempah was in Lagos for a shoot, and ace photographer T. Y. Bello decided on a street themed shoot for him. While the shoot was going on, an Agege bread seller happened to walk by and even as she was trying to walk fast out of the scene of the shoot, T. Y. Bello urged her to be slower so she could capture the presence of the Agege bread seller. To her, she was simply adding some spice to the photo, trying her darnedest to capture the essence of “the real Lagos”; little did she know that she had just discovered a diamond in the midst of dirt.
Fast-forward to the publication of the shoot. Everyone kept asking: who is the model beside Tinie? Is she a Nigerian? Why isn’t she popular already.? She’s a natural! Boom! A star had been born. T. Y. Bello instigated a search on social media for this Agege bread seller who had photo-bombed her way into everyone’s heart, and of course, she was found. (The power of social media!)
Meanwhile, Jumoke our Agege bread seller had continued with her business of selling hot bread on the streets of Yaba. The day of the shoot was just another day with a weird occurrence. But alas! Going along and minding her business, she was one day presented with her own photo by someone(a customer, I presume) who had stumbled upon the picture on Facebook. Jumoke coincidentally happened to be wearing the very same dress she wore on the day of the shoot, and so she was easily spotted.
She was taken to the studio where T. Y. Bello’s intuition was confirmed. The girl was a natural model. Her short curly hair extensions were removed by top hairstylist Zuby to reveal a beautiful short afro, while she was given an amazing makeover by Internationally known makeup artist, Bimpe Onakoya.
Know this: Jumoke is a 27 year old mother of two, who left her sliding door-installer husband in Ire, Osun state with her five year old child due to hard times to come to Lagos with her 14-month old baby and try to make a living, hawking bread from a relative’s bakery. Her dream is to be a hairstylist and to one day act in a Yoruba movie. She speaks little English but communicates fluently in Yoruba. Currently, as a result of the buzz she generated from the shoot, Jumoke is now close to starting an internship at Make me Salon and has been offered an additional internship at Sari’s signature, a famous Lebanese salon on the Island.
To pay Jumoke her first model fee from her first gig in front of the camera, she was paid exactly what a top Nigerian model would be paid. She’s been offered a modelling contract with the help of Godson Ukagbu from FEW Models. She has also had Pay Porte reach out to her to be a model on their next billboard campaign. A mentor of T. Y ‘s has offered to foot the bill for her accommodation, education, as well as her child’s, making it possible for her to be reunited to her husband and older child.
Just as T. Y. Bello concluded, it may seem accidental but it’s definitely divine. This event was definitely a miracle. You can follow her on Instagram @tybello to read the whole story and get its details.
Now, here are a few things I learned from this event:
1.You may have a dream but lack the resources to make it come through at the moment. This is no excuse to relax and become lazy, relying only on dreams. Jumoke knew she had to make a move to at least survive. That was why she came to Lagos. Survival is the key to staying alive long enough to sustain and achieve your dream. Do something! You never know, that next step you take might be your breakthrough.
2. Make a move to survive and sustain your dream but remain legit! Jumoke sold bread. How much does the average bread seller earn daily.? It can’t be more than what some of us pay for a bowl of coldstone ice cream. Yet she wasn’t tempted to dabble in less noble trades*if you get what I mean*.
3. Above all, be true to yourself. This particular lesson I learnt from Bello herself. That woman has been my role model for as long as I can remember and I’m glad it’s so. Remember her from her days in KUSH together with Lara George and the third lady whose name I can’t remember? Their song,”Come let’s live together” still packs a powerful message today.
Head on to Instagram to get the full gist. You’ll be glad you did.
This “Falantine” breeze is blowing hard oh. Hmm. See you in my next post… Really soon.
Kisses, hugs and kuli kuli,