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Bread seller-turned-model Jumoke becomes motivator




0• Talent agent expresses fear of exploitation
• ‘Banks should help poor persons, small businesses’

IN just two weeks, she has soared above her painfully obscure background. Her fortunes have changed. From a bread seller on the streets of Lagos to a model. She is now set to mount the rostrum on February 20 at Transcorp Hilton, Abuja. As a motivational speaker, she will talk on the theme “ If we were the government .”

In local parlance, God has picked up and answered the call of Jumoke Orisaguma. Fast-rising afro-pop artiste and Orente crooner, Adekunle Gold, last December dropped a new song, titled Pick Up, which has become an instant hit and upstaged Korede Bello’s I Don Get Alert, Godwin. Pick Up, which is rendered in Yoruba, is a prayer asking for God’s blessings. Modeled after a telephone call, the musician in the song implores God to ‘pick up’ and answer his call.

Since Jumoke got her ‘pick up’, her life has never remained the same. The mother of two is now the face of online shopping brand, Payporte and Stanbic IBTC Bank. Jumoke is also the proud owner of a luxury apartment in Lagos. These days, people no longer pray for daily bread, they want to hit the streets to ‘sell’ the proverbial bread.

The latest model whose full first name, Olajumoke, is affectionately shortened to Jumoke has now joined popular on-air personalities, Toke Makinwa and former Big Brother Africa first runner-up, Tayo Faniran, as fellow brand ambassadors of Payporte.

Stanbic IBTC was also quick when it used her image in one of its adverts, which went viral on the Internet on Monday, cementing her place as a model to be reckoned with in the country.

Basking in the glow of her new fame, Jumoke is also enjoying massive media exposure locally and globally, the latest coming from international news network, Cable News Network (CNN.)

Her story has become an inspiration to all categories of people with little means of income, especially every tall, model-looking bread seller out there, hanging on the statement that someday luck might smile on them.

It’s a classic case of being in the right place at the right time. A young street seller oblivious to the scene ahead, her wares perched atop her head, photo-bombed a shoot and in that split second her life changed forever.

Originally a hairstylist from Osun State, she was struggling to make ends meet, and left her husband and two children in their home town to become a street vendor in Lagos. Renowned photographer, TY Bello, was behind the change in Jumoke’s fortunes.

TY Bello was photographing UK pop star, Tinie Tempah, when Jumoke walked into the shoot.
“She seemed a little confused,” said Bello. “Some people were asking her to walk past really quickly, others were asking her to stay, and she was just in limbo. I said ‘is it okay to take your photograph?’ And she nodded ok.”

A teary-eyed Jumoke said she never expected her fortunes to turn around like this. “I never expected that this could ever happen to me. My friends have told me they saw me on TV and they are really happy. My parents cannot believe their own child can become such a success. They are all so happy,” she said.

However, Ayo Shonaiya, a TV producer, lawyer and music talent agent, has expressed his fears for the former Agege bread seller. Sharing his opinion on his Facebook page yesterday, he noted that at the risk of sounding like a hater, he is genuinely nervous about the amazing story of Jumoke.

“This type of story gladdens everyone’s heart and serves as inspiration to millions of people, but I can’t help but look beyond the fairytale and feel a sense of apprehension at the same time. In my line of work, my job is to look where no one else is looking when it comes to negotiating contracts, maximising earning potential for talent, and pretty much protect such talent, and I pray to God there’s someone doing that for this girl.

“When I saw that this Olajumoke girl couldn’t even speak or read English, my first concern was she’s going to be bewildered by a lot of things, especially in the fashion and modeling world in Nigeria. The sudden fame and spotlight, even often times confuse ‘experienced’ talents. I really do hope and pray that, whatever happens to Olajumoke from now on, she is well protected. The fashion and modeling industry can be the worst place you wanna be when ‘they’ decide you’re no longer happening or trending, or worse, not useful anymore,” he stated.

Also, popular fashion designer and CEO of Ouch! Clothing, Uche Nnaji, has taken to Instagram to write an open letter to Nigerian banks as they struggle to use Jumoke as the face of their brands, to forget about the mad rush for her endorsement and rather help grow small businesses.

“I am still excited and happy that TY Bello allowed God use her to turn around the captivity (circumstance) of Olajumoke, but I am shocked at the sudden awareness by corporate bodies to jump on the bandwagon to celebrate her with all sorts of ‘gifts’ from apartments to endorsements, as if this act has or will take away all the other million Jumokes on our streets searching and waiting for their own TY Bello.

“The shocker for me is seeing a Nigerian bank rushing to make Olajumoke a brand ambassador when they would not move an inch to save a dying Nigerian. This action has further shown that most banks seldom grasp their role in growing the economy. Olajumoke is one individual, but a business or an idea the Nigerian bank supports or celebrate can become a new Facebook or Dangote, which would create jobs and feed families,” she wrote.

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  • the verdict

    Uche should forget that, this girl can become an employer too. Bank don’t need to worry about pay back period for loan. And they get results faster abeg. I was in Diamond bank when a lady was called that she won 2m. They don’t need to give everyone. One step at a time. Jumoke is an encouragement to dying Nigerians; that keep doing what you should do and one day you get there. Uche herself was picked up

    • Ade


    • Naijaman

      It’s unfortunate that we have turned into a country of “Alert,” & afflicted with the “Godwin Syndrome.” That’s the world view for the lazy, & God or Allah never commanded or intended that for us. Happenstance wouldn’t happen upon all 170 million of us as it did upon Jumoke. With that understanding, why must we keep up with this false hope that it would happen upon us any day? I doubt how Jumoke would be or has become “an encouragement to dying Naijas.” Haven helps those who help themselves. Bread doesn’t fall from haven (no pun intended). Jumoke was not at home, with her thumb in her mouth, & waiting for an alert. She was out on the streets working & trying to eke out a living for her & family. God or Allah will not “pick up” if you didn’t make the call. It’s jobs, stupid! Get out there & get one!

      • the verdict

        Let me enlighten you a bit. When you have done what you need to do and continue to do it, just as many hard working Nigerians are doing,not being lazy, God will do what he needs to do. Adam Smith talked about an invisible hand that adjust an economy in disequilibrium insofar as people in the economy keep doing something. Then later, growth theorist posit that when a state based on the available resources has done what she should do to grow but there still remain a gap to get to it potential it is needful for advanced economies to reach out and fill the gap of development by giving loans and/or grant. And that is why we see the advanced economies reaching out to the LDCs. ” Dying Nigerians” are those who have and are still doing what they should do as human to survive but there is still a gap to fill before they get to their potentials. That is where the rich will come in to support with loan and grants or give them a platform to succeed. And that’s what I meant. I am sorry if I didn’t express my opinion well. I am stupid but you are wise. Thanks

        • Naijaman

          Your voodoo economics didn’t do well to explain why we have staked our survival on dependency & luck. Hope is never a viable strategy! Nice try, though!!

          • the verdict

            Oga ma hear

  • This guy is entitle to his opinion of Jumoke, banks focusing on her means a lot to the banks, we are all born with our native language, most of us loose it because we under-value our cultural heritage, so forget about her inability to speak english, our Creator understand our language very well. Please alway see good in everyone and every situations. Jumoke phone call has being picked up by the Universe. I am making my own phone call now and I am sure my Creator will pick it up because He had being waiting for it for very long time. I celebrate with Jumoke her new life and awareness.

    • Ade


  • Toba Emmanuel

    Let us pray for this damsel of divine grace and we will always have poor in our midst quoted master Jesus,God has done a great thing in her (Jumoke’s) life,God has always use the foolish things of this world to confound the wise,a Nigerian Professor once said that why the western world got a breakthrough in technological advancement where we all rushed to was because they taught all their courses from kindergarten to the university level in their native languages,English or no English God will perfect his works in Jumoke’s life and deposit a divine wisdom in her to learn fast .Trust me very soon you we will be in shock of her spoken English ,even who taught her the act of modelling ?no one hear TY Bello’s comments , she said Jumoke acted in her shot as if she has been doing modelling for a long time the way she poses infront of a camera,So my people pray for your own divine encounter and stop those negative words,though professional advise is good also,TY BELLO AND YOUR CREW GOD BLESS YOU ALL .

    • Ade


  • nuelsymbol

    Jumoke shouldn’t allow pride to be cloud her sense of appreciation. She should be closer to God more than ever.

  • Solomon Wize

    I pray this lady meets good people that will help her maximise this most wonderful opportunity, this is a good thing that poses many risks for a married woman with kids, especially if she falls into the hands of people that just want to exploit her sudden fame and fortune. Wish you divine protection and guidance young lady!

    A word of advise lady, stay close to Toyin (TY Bello)…

  • Mike

    Very happy to read this and to hear Jumoke speaking in Yoruba…it’s amazing to see her with her husband and child on ChannelsTV…and I will like to be one of her sponsors if there is any call for that.