I initially titled this post Olajumoke, The Bread Seller but I decided to tuck in my Nollywoodness.
I was going to go straight into what I thought about the remodelling of Olajumoke’s life then it occurred to me that some people may not know her. Last month I was talking to a friend about Bobriskky and he drew a blank. He’d never heard of the guy (He’s a guy, abi?). It’s easy to think we all know the same things but as our worlds all differ, so do our stories.
‘Olajumoke Orisaguna or Jumoke Sunday (born 1989) is a Nigerian model who received public attention when she appeared on the cover of a magazine before she was employed as a model. The story was reported in various media sources, including CNN.’ - Wikipedia
Sometime last year, Olajumoke photo bombed a music video shoot while hawking bread. Her life has not been the same since then. I followed the story briefly then lost interest, it seemed the media also lost interest but lately Orisaguna is back in the News.
Her pictures have been popping up everywhere, in most of them she looks like a completely new person. In some of them, people alleged that she might be bleaching or toning(that’s the more acceptable term, I think. )
So it’s got me wondering, is this our definition of grass to grace? To wear fancy clothes, long hair and spot a brighter skin? Are these the standards by which we measure growth? Has Jumoke now arrived?
I can’t help but compare her to Malala Yousafzi. I know that seems like a bit of a stretch but that’s what I had expected or something close. I think that part of the reason our society is failing our young ones is the absence of heroes, no one for them to look up to. I had thought that Jumoke would be nurtured so that she can nurture, so that many people with backgrounds similar to hers would dare to dream. But is this the dream? Fancy clothes and parties? Is this the new Nigerian dream? While I have nothing against fancy clothes and bags, I can’t but ask the question, is this it?
Are young people expected to look at her and aspire to be like her? And what exactly would being like her mean?
I understand that Jumoke is now a model so her appearance is important but surely she can be a lot more than that. No?