Hearts That Breathe Respect 

   I was surfing instagram few days back when I stumbled upon a post by Orisaguna Jumoke, a public figure and model here in Nigeria and I remembered her amazing breakthrough like it was yesterday… 

   Below is a compilation of her story from various blog posts, CNN and the Wikipedia … 

Olajumoke,a mother of two, had left Osun State, a rural area, where she was a hair dresser, to come to Lagos,an urban area, with her 2 yr old daughter, in search of the Golden Fleece, hawking bread 7 times a week with a profit of 200 naira daily. Her husband stayed behind with the other child (a 5 yr old son) where he worked installing sliding doors. While she was working in Lagos, she was caught in the background of a picture taken by TY Bello, a Nigerian recording artist and photographer who was having a photo-shoot with a UK music star, Tinnie Tempah.

Bello had chosen to pitch her set on the streets of Lagos so as, according to her Instagram post, to showcase the beauty of her Lagos rather than be confined in some hole. Upon realizing what damage she could have done, she became confused, perhaps a little scared, especially with boos and jeers from people who asked her to quickly get out of the set.

Alas, TY Bello, the photographer, signaled her to walk back into the set and asked for her photograph to be taken to which she obliged. TY had seen, through her lens, diamond though very much in the rough at that time and while later reviewing and editing the images she had taken, Bello decided that Orisaguna had potential as a model, located her and offered to launch her career. She arranged for Orisaguna’s portrait to appear on the cover of Style magazine and planned to create a documentary about her. Although, she was not learned at that time, her story was featured on the coveted magazine “This Day Style” enabling her share the style cover with Genevieve Nnaji, Funke Akindele-Bello, Aliko Dangote, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, other A’List Socialites, celebrities and the Creme de la Creme of the society.

Jumoke was also awarded a scholarship by Sujimoto Group and Poise Nigeria where she learnt Etiquette, Soft skills, Social Graces and Communication.

Stanbic IBTC bank also rewarded her children with educational scholarship to ensure their continuous positive development. 

She has also become an ambassador for some organizations like payporte, Shirley’s confectioneries. 

   This then got me thinking about moments when she had most likely been insulted while hawking, showered with different sorts of undeserved bad words…  Or when someone had probably disregarded her simply because of her position at the time; a mere bread hawker… 

   Moments where she’d have cried herself to sleep because she couldn’t raise enough money for food let alone accommodation and child’s care. Moments that didn’t guarantee her existence the next minute, let alone her child’s…

   Here in Nigeria, prices of bread are fixed but imagine moments when someone had disrespected Jumoke for not willing to sell less than the price… Or situations where curse words have been rained on her for any of her minor mistakes and within the space of 5 minutes, she met stardom.

On March 6, 2017, she took to her instagram page and thanked TY Bello, Sujimoto, all her benefactors, fans, critics and role models and on the 12th of March, she had a grand celebration of her 1 year in stardom.

   Now, let’s face her previous scorners, what would be said of them, after all the disrespect they dished out to her, God elevated her in a twinkle. 

   This just shows that no one should be looked down on, be it a maid, a cleaner, a poor person, a hustler or a street beggar. I mean, look at Jumoke’s story, a switch from one who most likely won’t have caught the fancy of a local tv to one that’s being featured on the CNN! 

   At this point, I’m neither insinuating that maids be worshipped nor enforcing an extreme cordial relationship with cleaners, I’m simply emphasizing on the need to be humble, respectful and sensitive to human feelings. Their fate whether as a result of their handwork or lack of opportunities should be regarded always.

   Undoubtedly, there are times whereby one can be vexed to maximum even by one’s best friend and words that would be said might not be so nice, it’s okay to be upset but it’s really essential that reactions should be done with optimum respect regardless of the anger building up on the inside.

   Being humble is definitely not expensive, all it takes is to live life with the realization that life’s short and no one knows tomorrow. 

Another Orisaguna might just be around the corner. 

Be Nice! ✌



4 thoughts on “Hearts That Breathe Respect 

  1. undercoverBAT says:

    Thank you for sharing this story. I completely agree with you about how we should treat others. You can learn a lot about someone simply by watching them interact with people who are different than them in some way.

    Liked by 1 person

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