Miracles do happen; yes, they do – such as the story of Olajumoke Orisaguna, a mother of two children who relocated from Osun state to Lagos because of hardship.


A hair stylist, Jumoke began hawking bread when she got to Lagos; and that was what she was doing on the day she was “led” to the studio of TY Bello, popular photographer and musician.

Bello did not take note of Jumoke that moment – not until she was editing the image of the client who took her to that location.

Realised the hawker’s potentials, Bello launched a manhunt for her. Both of them later met and below is what she wrote of the newfound model who made it to the cover of the latest edition of THISDAY Style:


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Aso kan na ni mo wo kiri Lana ‘.. Jumoke, the ‘model’ the Internet had been searching for, speaks almost no English. She explained how she had worn the exact outfit in our photograph the day before and someone showed her her own photograph on his phone from Facebook.

A mallam led her to my studio that morning. She narrated her journey to Lagos …A hair stylist from Ire in Osun state but not making enough profit… between her and her husband, a sliding door installer in same village, to care for their two young children.


At the invitation of a distant relative who knew someone operating a bakery, she relocated Lagos with her 14-month-old daughter to give bread hawking a try, leaving her husband and the older five-year-old behind. As I listened to her, I wandered if the beauty I had seen on my screen as I edited my image was a fluke ..well until she smiled .

I realized that I was wrong. I had in fact underestimated the beauty of this 27-year-old woman. As always, it was her eyes and of course her perfectly chiseled features that jumped out at you when she chuckled .This lady belonged in front of my camera. After a conversation with her husband telling him the story of our meeting, I decided I was going to photograph her that very afternoon. Within an hour, Bimpe Onakoya, one of Nigeria’s leading makeup artists, and Zubby, one of my favourite hairstylists, were at my studio to work magic.

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They had both followed the story online and were more than happy to put in their very best for her. Olajumoke … with curly extensions out revealed a short natural Afro that beautifully hugged her [email protected] also had decided to keep the make up minimal… She stepped in front of my camera and I almost couldn’t recognize her. She moved differently too. Jumoke looked straight into my lens emoting like she had done this all her life …. I knew we had found a star.

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