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Olajumoke Orisaguna: The Nigerian Cinderella – Reuben Abati Writes

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About three weeks ago, 27-year old Olajumoke Orisaguna was a complete unknown on the streets of Lagos, hawking bread.

A loaf of bread is about N100, and even with a full tray such as she carried in her first public embrace of fame, her whole ware for a day may not be more than N3,000, with daily profit between N300-N700.

She had trained as a hair stylist, got married but had to leave her husband and a daughter back home in Ire, Osun state, to “hustle” as it were in Lagos.

The life of a bread seller in Lagos is easily imaginable: exposure to the elements, to sundry abuse, including the possibility of being raped by unruly artisans and bachelors, who will offer to buy bread and something else along with it, if the hawker is willing. T

his was Olajumoke Orisaguna’s reality until she ran into TY Bello and Tinie Tempah and her life changed. Today, she has been enrolled as a model. Her story has appeared in all newspapers, on CNN, Huffington Post, and virtually everywhere online.

Two companies: StanbicIBTC and PayPorte have made her their brand ambassador. The former even awarded her two daughters scholarships up to university level.

Her face has appeared on the cover of magazines. She is now a student at Poise Finishing School, an intern with two beauty salons, and a motivational speaker, even if she reportedly can’t speak English.

When she went to the office of the National Identity Management Commission to get an identity card, NIMC also cashed in on her new found fame to use her to promote the agency:“Olajumoke knows she needs to NIMC. She walked into a NIMC centre yesterday unsolicited. Olajumoke is smart. Be like her.”

This must be the most saccharine endorsement of Olajumoke so far.


To crown it all, a construction company has given her a luxury apartment in Lagos. From hawking bread in Agege, she is now within weeks, the darling of corporate Nigeria, the poster girl for corporate social responsibility, a landlady, and a role model.

She had probably never seen the inside of an aircraft, but a few days ago, she was on a flight to Abuja to give a speech!

Mrs Orisaguna is Nigeria’s Cinderella. Hers is a sudden, unplanned, unexpected, unprepared for grass to grace, rags to riches story, a kind of I–just-dey-waka-my-own-jeje-luck-come-jam-me-tale.

It doesn’t happen everyday. It is the kind of accident that many Nigerians seek: accidental fame and fortune. It is perhaps the magical, miraculous, I-don’t believe-it-but-it-is-true quality of this story that has captured the public imagination.

Olajumoke was hawking her bread innocently in Sabo, when she stumbled upon a photo session by that gifted mother of twins, artist and photographer, TY Bello, working on a series of shots for the international hip hop star, Tinie Tempah.

We have been told that Olajumoke Orisaguna “photobombed” herself into the activity. I guess she just happened to walk by trying to sell bread, and TY Bello who is a spirit in action when she is at work, had a brain wave and took her picture. Enormously creative, T Y Bello thinks on her feet. When she has that her big camera in her hands, she is an agile, inventive artist.


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  1. Comment:What impress me much about this write up is about the husband which I’ve been willing to meet or sent msg to he should stand up on his feet because those useless daddy’s around will not let him enjoy his wife anymore

  2. Richards Lawrence

    This man is something else when it comes to pen and paper sir am really enjoying your write ups #godkeepyourpenandpapers long and you strength to write more

  3. I don’t know why people like hating on others success, heavens has remembered this innocent lady for good and there’s no power that can stop her. Why not leave all this preaching that seems like a beef to me over this young woman. The bitter truth is that if this had happened to anyone of these haters, you would be more happy than she is. The basic truth is God remembered OLAJUMOKE for good, even the bible says “when the fortune of Zion was restored we were like them that dream” I am not surprised that all the people writing all sorts about this young woman are all men trying to protect the husband. If this had happened to the husband, there is probability that after the fame and others, he won’t see d good in d wife too….possibly start thinking on how to marry an educated wife or having friends with benefits. Dnt forget that OLAJUMOKE hussled her way into success, hardwork brought her all these, she never sat in the house for a sudden miracle, she did not sleep with a man to attain this stage…so let her be. If she happen to a daughter of a politician or a well to do person, this would not have thrilled us but the fact that she was located for success is enough for us all to go back to our creator. So let OLAJUMOKE enjoy it while it last. The best we can do is pray for her and not hate on her or her success. PEACE!

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