The feel-good story of the hairstylist from the polytechnic town of Iree (Osun state) with only primary school education who hawked Agege bread and butter in Lagos turning into a millionaire in weeks is a remarkable tale that warmed hearts of Nigerians. And one year after her February 2, 2016, photo bombing episode, Olajumoke Orisaguna, mother of two daughters, is still enjoying fame and fortune.
Here are some unforgettable signposts in the life of the 28 year old model and brand ambassador…
- Her father, with two wives, is a farmer, while her mother (Ramota Kamorudeen) sells vegetables.
She’s the second of her mother’s five children.
When her elder brother passed on a few years back, Olajumoke matured quickly to set examples for her siblings.
One of her siblings is a tailor and another in JSS 3 (Abiodun Kamorudeen, 14 years old).
They all lived in a mud house where she shared a room with several others.
- She stopped school after primary 6, and decided to train as a hairstylist (with Rasheedat Lawal).
She trained for about two years, set up shop in Iree with students of the polytechnic and staff as customers.
But anytime they are on long vacation or strike, the business suffered – and she tried surviving by hawking bread in Lagos.
- She was in Lagos shortly before her ‘graduation’ as a hairstylist. She hawked bread and butter and made enough money to buy some tools of her ‘hair dressing’.
Introduced to Liberty Bakery on Commercial Avenue, Sabo, Yaba (Lagos), by the elder brother of a friend, Olajumoke was happy about the daily gross profit of N300 to N700 from hawking bread.
- In between her training, young Sunday Orisaguna, an aluminum doors and windows installer, paid her more than a passing interest. He tried to woo her, and it took him more than six months to gain her confidence.
Both now have two daughters (Grace and Precious).
- Poverty made friends with the Orisagunas as both struggled to keep their heads up. At a time Sunday was in Lagos washing cars for four years. And at another time he came again as an ‘okada rider’ for three years.
- Olajumoke returned to Lagos in January 2016 to hawk bread following the closure of the polytechnic in Iree. She brought along her then 16 months old Precious, leaving her eldest daughter (Grace, then 5) with her mother in law.
She lived in Liberty Bakery (managed by Mr. E. A. Ojo), sleeping on the floor with scores of hawkers and bakers.
Her daughter was constantly sick because of the inhospitable condition.
She hawked from dawn until late at night.
- That Tuesday, February 2, 2016, when she photo bombed TY Bello’s shoot of Tinie Tempah in the evening, she didn’t realise her life was beginning anew.
The interest generated by the pictures of her balancing her tray of bread and butter on her head and sauntering without a care led to a search of the hairstylist.
And three days later, she appeared before the singer and photographer.
A suggestion by Azuka Ogujiuba that a makeover of Olajumoke can grace ThisDay Style’s cover triggered a tsunami of goodwill. Once ThisDay hit the street, donations flooded in. So did endorsements, in a matter of weeks.
Before the middle of April, Olajumoke was already a millionaire with two endorsements and a three bedroom flat with modern furniture and gadgets in Surulere.
Her children also got scholarship to university level.
- In the last weekend of April she flew on an airplane for the first time, enjoying the largesse provided by Shirley’s Confectionery.
On Saturday, February 27, 2016, she got a cheque of N500,000 from Mrs. Abiodun Obakin of Biobak Restaurants.
- From attending Poise Nigeria to gracing magazine covers and endless interviews from local and international media, her story was a beautiful tale we were happy to talk about for months on end.
And one year after, this remarkable fairy tale is still a dream many want replicated…