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Jumoke Orisaguna, The "Motivational Speaker"?

Jumoke Orisaguna's story has got to be the most sensational story of 2016 and we're only in February! While the story, the classic case of "Just with the snap of a finger, God can change your life " is one of hope, inspiration and joy. It's also a very sensitive one in that you dare not say "enough already", or question all the corporate bodies suddenly pitching their tents around her or express indifference at her sudden fame that could only have been ordained by the gods, lest you be termed a hater by the court of public opinion, just like Basket Mouth. 

The thing is, I'm all for a great inspirational story but I've watched this one from a safe distance. While I'm overjoyed for her at the change of tides; I mean, to wake up one day a poor agege bread seller making a profit of N500 a day whose only hopes probably revolved around selling more bread, to suddenly being the most talked about personality in a country... I mean, how it must feel to be walking jejely on your own, selling your bread and come and be jammed by a trailer of success, instant fame, contracts, endorsements, property, money and speaking engagements... I mean, to in one week go from being a monolingual yoruba speaking hawker to suddenly becoming a motivational speaker at an esteemed national platform like the Play Forum Abuja... Wow, God is AWESOME!

It's this "motivational speaker" issue that set my friend off at dinner last night. "Wait, I don't get it. Motivational speaker? Who is she motivating? How exactly is her story inspiring?" She began. She wouldn't let me speak before she continued "I mean, give me a person who had a vision and fought against all odds to achieve that dream. Give me someone who tried at something and failed, tried and failed and eventually succeeded and let them tell us how they achieved it, then I can listen. But I don't know what all this one is all about". She paused for breath. "No wait, I'm curious. What is she going to talk about? How she went from selling bread to modeling and getting endorsements without any effort or input from herself? I fail to see the inspiration in all of this!

Trust me at this point I would have called my friend a hater but she was spitting some truth and expressing some of my sentiments. So maybe I'm a hater...

During the conversation, I neither agreed nor disagreed with her and thought to myself that I would continue to watch. And then I saw Jumoke catwalk today and my mouth felt like lead, she looked so uncomfortable and awkward that I couldn't help but wonder "Did anyone ask this lady if she even wants to be a (runway) model?".
     Y'know, even Kunbi Oyelese (of April by Kunbi) who gave her her first modeling gig, stylishly vocalized that she is not runway model material, when she stated "she may not be a runway model but she's perfect for print..."

Oh well... 

I'm sincerely happy for Jumoke the woman, wife and mother. I jubilate in the knowledge that one person has been ousted from poverty. I marvel at the instant beauty from ashes; the new opportunities, the possibilities, the new life for her family, the better education for her children, and the glee with which she must sleep at night when she wonders, as sweet sleep tugs at her; na me be dis?

But I cannot help but wonder at all these corporate bodies and look on them as selfish entities hopping on the Jumoke-bandwagon in hope that some of her stardust might rub off on them. I wonder if they've been blind to all the poverty and hunger around them all these years or if this beautiful product of TY Bello's vision and kindness is their first awareness of the lack and hunger in our country. 

Whatever the case is, I hope Jumoke Orisaguna is surrounded by the right people to guide her. I hope she is not overwhelmed by it all, so much so that she begins to yearn for the simple days of old. I hope that her husband finds his wife the "sudden star" to be the same woman he's loved all along. I hope that she polishes her craft, if modeling indeed appeals to her. I hope that when the applause dies down the silence doesn't deafen her. I hope that those who have made commitments follow them through and don't stop simply because the cameras stopped rolling. I hope that in all of this, someone stops and asks her "What is it YOU really want?". I hope Jumoke is a woman gifted with divine wisdom because if there's ever a time in her life she needs it, that time is now. 

I hope that everyone hoping for an "instant" turnaround find their own joyous turnaround moments. 

And no, Basket Mouth is no hater, he has simply spoken the minds of many. 


  1. Indeed truths have been expresses in this post
    The band wagon effect is so pretentious. If she had gone to these people to seek for help in the first place. No one would look at her twice. Im happy for her and i hope all promises are kept just like you have expressed.

    1. Them a, she wants to be a hair stylist, she trained before moving to logos, one or two salons already offered further training, plus her husband landed an apprenticeship for building contracting or something like that.

    2. Thelma, she wants to be a hair stylist, she trained before moving to logos, one or two salons already offered further training, plus her husband landed an apprenticeship for building contracting or something like that.

  2. "I hope Jumoke Orisaguna is surrounded by the right people to guide her. I hope she is not overwhelmed by it all, so much so that she begins to yearn for the simple days of old. I hope that her husband finds his wife the "sudden star" to be the same woman he's loved all along. I hope that she polishes her craft, if modeling indeed appeals to her. I hope that when the applause dies down the silence doesn't deafen her. I hope that those who have made commitments follow them through and don't stop simply because the cameras stopped rolling. I hope that in all of this, someone stops and asks her "What is it YOU really want?". I hope Jumoke is a woman gifted with divine wisdom because if there's ever a time in her life she needs it, that time is now." -t when you want to write sha you can write. Well said.

    1. Yes she really can...

  3. When something trends in Nigeria, whether it's for a good cause or a bad cause, the taste at the end is always bad. It's like this #BuyNigeriaToSaveTheNaira by BMB which I've been supporting (and still support) so far, until he insinuated that instead of buying quaker oats, we should buy pap, claiming it's more nutritious and way cheaper. Lol. I protested immediately.

    I honestly don't have a problem with all the endorsements she's getting, mainly because I've not seen anything wrong with that; her image is a WORK OF ART, thanks to Bello. But then, "Motivational Speaker"? Lol. It's like me winning a $$million lottery and Thelma asks me to write a motivational Post to inspire TTB readers going through economic stress. What would I write about? Black Jack?

    1. Awwwwwh....Ur post made me laugh.... thanks... being down... happy Sunday Everyone!!!!

    2. I just want to hear the motivational speech before I proceed.

  4. Exactly my thoughts! But you penned it better.

  5. I have similar sentiment bottled up somewhere. As you rightly pointed out, one runs the risk of being branded 'Hater' if one dares sing a chorus different from that of those hopping onto the Jumoke-wagon. Some days back, there was a debate as to whether Jumoke's sudden flight to stardom can be attributed to Destiny, Luck or Hard work. I was alarmed when some people echoed 'Hard work'. I would have no problem with 'Destiny'. 'Luck' I would take with a pinch of salt. But 'Hard work'? Haba! There is a greater possibility that she never thought of being a model; never pictured herself on the runway. Wherein does 'Hard work' then apply? She never enrolled to take part in anything that can assume the semblance of a pageantry. Where is the 'Hard work'? If 'Hard work' can be squeezed in here, it was the one she channelled into selling more loaves. And like your friend asked, "How is her story motivating or inspiring?". If she had gone on to establish her own bakery and employ others, certainly, her story will inspire and give hope to other Agege bread seller.

    It has never been wrong to properly define issues.

  6. Well,there's a difference between giving a testimony and giving a motivational speech. Right now, she can comfortably give the former, in years to come, she cld then give the latter...
    (and yh,that ur friend sounds like a

  7. Tee I couldn't have said it any better, I hope she gets all the wisdom she needs. And yes I need my own turn around...soon.

  8. My sentiments exactly! I had this same conversation with my mum and sis yestetday morning and at some point it seemed like I was the hater... like seriously, besides walking into that shoot by mistake, what else did she do. What's there to motivate me about? Should I also start hawking bread and pray that I will walk into my helper too? Cos oro yi o ye mi rara.

    Don't get me wrong, I am happy for Jumoke and her family,I'm gratefil to God that one more person has left the throes of poverty but the only thing I can hold on to in Jumoke's story is that she wasn't sitting at home in Ire or Lagos hoping that her good fortune will come and meet her there, she left her comfort zone in Ire to come and work in Lagos even if the pay was just enough to feed and nothing else. She got up every morning and went about her hustle and in the process, favour found her out.

    That, like Sasha pointed out, is a testimony, not a motivational story. I'm pretty sure she hasn't even thought about it that way yet.

    And all the corporate bodies jumping on the wagon, I just shake my head. I heard one of the financial institutions wanted to make her a brand ambassador. These are the same banks you will get to with a business Idea and they won't even consider giving you 250k as a start up loan yet they are ready to shell out times 3 or 4 that to Jumoke whose only qualification is that she was lucky enough to walk into TY Bello's photo shoot and can't speak english.

    What we all need to understand is,there are many Jumokes around us everyday... your wash woman, your barrow man, that mallam that sells cucumber in the market, that very polite okada man in your neighbourhood... we should all go out of our way to help in any way we can.. this goes to all the company executives who have decided to jump on the Jumoke wagon... find these people around cos there are a lot! of them on the streets of lagos.

    And that prayer at the end of the post is what I've been praying in my mind for Jumoke since I heard of her good fortune. I hope her husband doesn't regret giving his consent to TY Bello that first time. I pray that she has good people around her advising her and teaching her how to handle this sudden fame. I pray she doesn't get carried away by the fame and lose the most important things in her life. I pray she has a financial adviser who will assist her with all this money that she's making and help her invest it right so when all the ruckus dies down, she's not back to where she started from penniless.


  9. I know this is off the topic of discussion but i just need to pour out my mind

    I am 28yrs old will be 29 in April and i am single and not even dating asin no prospective boyfriend sef. All my former toasters and crushes are getting married. my exs are married too with kids and i am always happy for them because i tell myself i desrve better and God has got a bigger and better plan for me

    what i dont understand now is y dis recent engagement is making me soooo sad being trying not to cry but i broke down this morning... at work for that matter.... i am happy for dem but i still feel i lost a great ma just cos i dont want to marry a muslim... he got a great babe to.... a wonderful person dat i can even allow my brother marry...

    My confusion is this if i am sooo happy for dem y am i so sad? i am so happy for him dat i prayed to God to bless dem and make dem fruitful...

    I guess i am sad cos i lost a great man.... he chased me for 4yrs and i never bulged... did i except him to keep waiting for me or something? Asin like seriously! life waits for no one... he has to move forward...

    Lord i pray for all we single ladies, dat u will pls bring us that man dat will complete us and make us smile at the end that it was definitely worth the wait!!!

    Woooow..... i feel much better

    Thanks for this avenue really appreciate it...

  10. Enough already. I am not hating, I wish they can give this poor lady some break from publicity.

  11. Nigerians love "trends". Unfortunately Jumoke has become a trend. If she's not careful she and her family would be blown away like trends.

  12. Thank God for this post. I just feel afraid for this Jumoke lady cos the way the fame is just coming i see trouble in the near future. May God give her the wisdom to handle the fame.


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