By Simon Ateba/Lagos
Her story is a classic example of going from grass to grace – an uneducated young woman who cannot speak English, is married at the age of 21, has two children shortly after, moves to Lagos from Osun with one of her children to hawk bread on the hot and chaotic streets of Nigeria’s most populous city, and is inadvertently caught in the background of a picture taken by a famous photographer who was photographing a popular British rapper.
As the story goes, Olajumoke Orisaguna, born in 1989 and brought up in Ire, Osun state, and trained as a hairdresser where she fell in love with an artisan named Sunday Orisaguna, was selling bread in Lagos as she had done for some years when she was caught in the background of a picture taken by the photographer TY Bello while she was photographing the British rapper Tinie Tempah.
While later reviewing and editing the images she had taken, Bello noticed a beautiful young woman in the background and decided that Olajumoke had potential as a model.
After posting on Instagram, Bello located Olajumoke and offered to launch her career. And boom! A new life was knocking on her door.
Bello arranged for Olajumoke’s portrait to appear on the cover of Style magazine and planned to create a documentary about her. And that was all it took!
The rest, as we say in Lagos, is history. Olajumoke was offered a modelling contract, internships and work, despite not speaking English.
CNN even did reportage on her, saying that she will be offered some education and a bank has offered to pay for her children to attend school. Her fame has continued to grow.
Olajumoke has become an inspiration to millions of Nigerians who are incredibly talented by lack the platform or opportunity to showcase their talents.
Now St Eve West African Fashion Week has chosen Olajumoke to be the face of “Fashion on the Streets 2017”, a three-day event between May 27 and May 29, 2017, that would give the chance to about 45, 000 young Nigerians to emerge into the world of stardom.
The organisers say St Eve West African Fashion Week “Fashion on the Street 2017” is a glamorous opportunity for young people who are talented in five areas including photography, modelling, hair styling, make up artistry and fashion designing.
According to them, the event is expected to be a “fashion Event that nobody has seen before in Nigeria”.
At least 45, 000 people are expected to participate but only 15 winners would emerge with the overall winner going home with fame and N500, 000 cash.
With the training that would be offered, young men and women are expected to go home with new skills, the organisers say.
Olajumoke at a press conference to announce the upcoming event to the Nigerian public this week said she was “very happy” to be the face “fashion on the streets”.
For more information about the event go to westafricanfashionweek.style
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