About a year ago, soon after her whirlwind rise to fame thanks to her photo bombing a TY Bello / Tinnie Temper photoshoot, I wrote a half-hearted sarcastic letter to Olajumoke Orisaguna asking her to abandon modelling for Nollywood.
While celebrating the first anniversary of her fairytale transformation from breadseller to model-celeb, Orisaguna let fly that she actually really wants to become and actor as it’s been her dream for quite a while.
As a discussion panel member at the meet and greet and candid conversations session organised by Nigerian Entertainment Today, I offered my words to her based on my experience covering and engaging the Nigerian filmmaking industry.I wrote a year ago, that Nollywood would be a perfect fit for her. Now, let her just be sure she does it right.
But let’s take a look at the letter again. Shall we?
How are you doing today?
I’m sure you’re still trying to adjust your head to becoming an overnight celebrity. Becoming an overnight celebrity in Nigeria is not a small thing. It comes with its pains and thrills. Ask Mr. Aye Dee. Or Sugar Belly. In the latter’s case, she didn’t set out to be one. Circumstances made her an overnight celeb, just like you are now. I even hear that your story has spread to India, Canada and several other countries. Lucky you.
I saw photos, last week, of you receiving documents of a “luxury apartment in Lagos” from the same firm that also enrolled you in an English language proficiency school so you can brush up your English language which TY Bello referred to as not so strong. Well, that should teach all these Twitter people that speaking/writing English after the Queen’s heart is not a criteria for you to “make am.” I couldn’t help but notice the demeanour of Mr. Orisaguna in the pictures. He looked shocked. I don’t blame him. Not every Nigerian man knows how to handle witnessing their wives become overnight celebs. *I can see some ladies nodding vigorously in agreement* Shior!
Anyway, on to more important things and the reason I’m writing you this letter. All the contracts you’re signing right now are modelling-related. TY Bello said she thought you’d make a bad ass model that’s why she came after you. Almost all who saw those poses of yours on the cover of ThisDay agree with her. But me, I disagree. I disagree because I can see what they are obviously not seeing. I have looked into your future and your destiny lies somewhere else. It lies in Nollywood! Yes, Nollywood.
Let’s cast our minds back to TY Bello’s description of you when you had that ThisDay shoot. She said you exhibited those little detailed emotions on your face. That’s it. That’s all. We don’t need more than that from you in Nollywood. Your experience so far in modelling means you won’t have issues posing on movie premiere red carpets. We all love you already so you need not fear any of our lovely female actors… sorry, celebrities (they prefer it when we call them that) picking up beefs with you. But you need to be weary of being bitten. Some people have adopted the “if you can’t beat them, bite them” mantra.
Nollywood is very much unlike the music industry or the OAP profession so you won’t need to change your name. Orisaguna might be a bit difficult for some to pronounce or spell, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there. You’re already light-skinned so you don’t need to bleach your skin to look dope on film posters. So, can you see what I mean when I say that you don’t need much to come to Nollywood?
Roles. As regards the kinds of roles you will be required to play, you have nothing to fear too. I hear some folks are already planning a film based on your story. You can star as yourself and kick-start your Nollywood fairytale with that. After the first installment, there can be two or three sequels. Then, our amazing scriptsmiths will take it from there with box office-smashing offshoots. There can be the bread seller who goes to Mecca or Jerusalem (depending on your faith). Then, Jumoke the Bread Seller in Jamaica. Or the Lagos bread seller who becomes president and decides to float a bakery in Aso Rock. Yeah, our scripts can be that creative.
So, Jumoke, with these few points of mine, I hope I have been able to confuse you and not convince you that Nollywood is your best bet. Forget modelling. Their wahala is too much. We don’t have much wahala in Nollywood except when we are fighting for AGN presidency or manna from Aso Rock.
PS: We might ask to share your husband with you though. But it will be just for a while. We won’t snatch him kpatakpata.