My thoughts about Olajumoke.
I am not much of a social commentator nowadays. And I really don’t need to mention her surname before you know who I am talking about.
She rose to fame by that awesome stroke of what i have refused to call Luck because I generally believe the universe is too organized for such important ‘accidents’. She rose by grace and providence. Whose grace it is, I know not.
My thoughts about Olajumoke are rather different. Unlike most people I am not scared or worried for her. Neither do I worry that: “Oh, she is already being exploited”. ‘Mba’, I am rather awed. Awed that she got the attention of those that mattered despite the fact that many people asked her not to “Walk into the SHOT” that has made her an household name. Awed about her looks and stern expressions. About her originality when she did that interview in Yoruba without an Iota of embarrassment, shyness or feeling less of a person. I seriously am not passionate about getting her to speak English. You can argue that this might be limiting, but I am sure the world can translate. There are so many french designers, many Italian dress makers, many Asian Models, who never speak English. They have taken the world by storm. I just think we should reconsider our stereotypes about language and its importance.
On whether she is being exploited? Well I refuse to worry also. People are exploited daily regardless of level of education, fame, color or race. And while that is not my significant reason for not worrying, i think it is worthy of note. So why am I not worried. Olajumoke, whether exploited or not could never have dreamt of reaching this point, she simply is thankful for getting out of obscurity and having a chance to express her innate potential (which she has demonstrated amazingly). Before you cast me as being supportive of exploitation, let me remind you that I value the dignity of labour and the importance of graceful reward. Call this period her internship. My point here is, whether you like it or not, the helpers of Olajumoke have taken her far beyond her wildest imagination. And she confirms this in the last interview with Channels Television. Label them as opportunists, or hypocrites, they have made something enviable (I say enviable because beyond jokes, people have found a role model in Olajumoke) …out of this everyday bread seller.
Grace and Providence that brought her out of limelight has either brought her to take her to the world’s biggest stage OR to show us that limelight is the beginning of the work and walk of relevance. The latter is the worse, the earlier is my prayer.