I feel sad, sad that the true essence of the story of this young woman as interpreted for us by TY Bello has been lost in the kleig light of her many photo shoots, increasing by the day, because having Olajumoke as your poster girl now is the new morality, largely showing a deep seated lack of genuine sense of social responsibility by organizations interested only in polishing their brands through the compelling story of this bread seller.
Why is it convenient to ignore the message of TY Bello and the real essence of the reality of several thousand young girls and women who have been obscured by poverty and lack of access to education?
Olajumoke’s story, to me, showed us one thing, and that is the fact that we have ignored for too long, and have not been responsible to our immediate environment. Her story is calling for committed attention to these neglects and those neglected.
We should heed that call instead of obscuring it further, as it is being done now with the rush by every other organisation to have this lady as their stamp of responsiveness. Why can’t these organizations realise that there are thousands of the likes of Olajumoke they pass by everyday without casting a glance?
In their homes, an Olajumoke is the house help, in their offices, an Olajumoke is the tray girl and messenger. At eateries and mama puts, you will see an Olajumoke washing dishes, serving and so on. And on every street, where the branches of their bank resides, there is an Olajumoke supplying bread, hot ones, to the security personnel and drivers to munch that ‘ewa agoyin’.
Women and girls, deprived of the ability to reach their full potentials by our vicious system, and that is what Olajumoke represents. That there are very beautiful girls and women who have dreams that may never be fulfilled, and that all they ever need, ever wanted, all they require is that opportunity they don’t have.
Olajumoke’s story should not be a fairy tale, in a normal society, real opportunities should exist for most people to aspire and realise their dreams and potentials.
It is not so here, and it only can mean that instead of falling over each other to endorse Olajumoke, we have a duty to bring more girls and women out of the clutches of poverty, of desperation and despondency and restore hope in our shared humanity.
Why ignore the Olajumoke next to you? Why are you waiting for a TY to lead the way again? We should appreciate the essence of her deed and realise that what most people need to be different is just that opportunity.
Spread that opportunity, create your own Olajumoke, and do it through a structure that can guarantee sustainability and we would all be better for it.
Steve Aborisade is an Independent Media Development Professional.