Anybody can make it big, it’s all about time and chance…
Mrs Ramota Kamorudeen, a vegetable seller at Obada market in Iree, Boripe area of Osun State, is the mother of Olajumoke Orisagunna, a bread seller in Lagos who recently shot to fame courtesy of ace singer and photographer, T. Y. Bello. In this interview with Tribune’s Oluwole Ige, Mrs Kamorudeen bares her mind on her daughter’s sudden transformation. Excerpts:
How did you receive the news of your daughter becoming a celebrity overnight?
I was very happy when I heard. It is a thing of joy that my daughter has become an important person in life.
I beseeched God to open the door of opportunities for her, let her make it and let anything she laid her hands on in Lagos turn to gold. I prayed God to make her meet somebody who would help her. Those were my prayers and I thank God that He has answered them.
How would you describe Olajumoke?
She is a lovely child, well-behaved and easygoing. She does not do anything that can bring problem to her or others.
Why did her education stop at the primary school level?
After she left primary school, she told me that she wanted to learn hairdressing, so, we took her to a shop here in Iree where she started to learn the occupation. That was the reason she did not go beyond primary school. After she completed her apprenticeship a few years ago, we organised a graduation ceremony for her.
Now that Olajumoke’s status has changed, what is your advice for her?
I know that God does things His own way but my advice for her is to allow God to lead her in everything she does and listen to the instructions of people who have helped her to become what she is today. My prayer is that as God started something great in her life, He would continue to help her so that she would rise and become successful.
Has she called you since her life changed?
Yes, she has called me several times. She even called me the day the good thing happened and explained everything to me. She told me about how she was discovered by the lady called T. Y. Bello. I was so excited. I danced vigorously to appreciate God for ‘remembering’ my daughter. She has not come back to Iree since that remarkable thing happened to her but we have been communicating on the telephone. We speak on the phone at least six times a day.
Did Olajumoke grow up in Iree?
Yes, she grew up here in Iree.
I am a vegetable seller. I have been doing this work for a long time. This is my stand. This is where I sell vegetables, including ewedu. Olajumoke’s siblings are in nursery and primary schools.How do you see your daughter’s sudden fame?
God has done something so wonderful in my life that I cannot express how joyous I am. My daughter has made me proud. God has set her feet on the path of greatness.
What is your plan now? Do you intend to go and meet your daughter in Lagos?
I want her to settle down first. I will go and meet her in Lagos later. She told me that they would soon travel.
What about her husband, Sunday Orisagunna?
Her husband has gone to meet her since the time she was discovered by T. Y. Bello. One of Jumoke’s children is with her and the other one is here in Iree.
She should remember the daughter of whom she is — Uncle
An uncle to Olajumoke, Mr Isiaka Olubonku, also shares his thoughts.
When you heard about Olajumoke’s newfound fame, how did you feel?
I felt very happy when I heard about the good thing that happened to her. I saw it on .. When I saw her pictures and read the news about her on ., I could not tell her mother because I was not sure if it was actually my niece or another person. When I was eventually convinced that it was her, I went to meet my sister, her mother, and asked if she had heard the news of her daughter’s fortune and she said yes.
My advice for her is to be patient. She should remember her parents always and be mindful of her background in Iree town. She must also remember what she has passed through. She should be wary of negative advice and be good to her relations and friends.
I took her in after my son impregnated her – Mother-in-law
She is my son’s wife but I treat her as my own daughter. I felt very happy when I heard the good news.
Since your son, Sunday, married Olajumoke, how would you describe her attitude?
She has always exhibited a good character. My son met and impregnated her when she was learning hairdressing. My son had phoned me from Lagos and said that if I heard that he impregnated a girl, it was true and he was ready to marry her. In the evening of that day, somebody brought Jumoke and mentioned Sunday as the one who put her in the family way. I said there was no problem and asked her to come and stay with me. Some weeks later, she brought her luggage and began living with me here. I soon went to meet her parents and told them that we had accepted her as our wife and daughter. Since she gave birth, I have been taking care of her.
This is a thing of joy for me and Jumoke’s parents. For us in the Orisagunna family, we see it as a big success. Jumoke and her husband, my son, should continue to pray and thank God and realise that it is God who has brought them this far in life.
I also catered for her and her husband so I’m relieved at their independence – Brother-in-law
Olajumoke’s brother-in-law, Olakunle Orisagunna, equally speaks on the new development.
What was your . when you heard that Olajumoke had become a model, a celebrity in Lagos?
I was very happy because I was partly responsible for them. I was not far from our family house here in Iree. Jumoke was here with my mother when she had her children. I thank God that they have become independent now. If she were still here, Mama would be struggling to feed them. God, in His infinite mercies, has placed Jumoke on a level where she could not have dreamt of ever been. I have told them to pray every day and be grateful to God for His kindness and mercy.
I pray God to give them long life and good health to enjoy this goodness. I thank my mother for all she has done for the two of them. If they were still here, she would be catering for the couple and their children. Wherever they may be now, I am sure they remember the role this old woman has played in their lives. Similarly, I thank T. Y. Bello for what she has done for Jumoke. From what I have read in the newspapers and online, T. Y. Bello has been very supportive of my brother and sister-in-law. She has been responsible for their upkeep since she discovered Jumoke.
I would admonish her not to disrespect those people who have helped her. She should persevere and be humble to her boss. She needs to be patient because people will say things. She must not listen to them so as not to give room for friction between her and T. Y. Bello.