Sunday, 29 June 2014

Part 2: The Story of my Golden life with Goldie—Celebrity photographer, Sunmisola Olorunnisola

By on 18:12
Share this Post Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Email This Pin This

Goldie in love with Sunmisola
 This is the concluding part of the incisive interview we had with celebrity photographer and leading Nigeria album maker, Sunmisola Olorunnisola, son of Chief Funmilola Olorunnisola, the Director of public affairs for the Palace of the Ooni of the Source, Oba Okunade Sijuade (Olususe II).
In this last session, you will find some very interesting aspect of his life especially his short lived romance with late Hip Hop Music Icon, Susan Harvey aka Goldie who signed him up as her Exclusive Photographer and Visual Image consultan for two years before her sudden death punctured the contract. Enjoy the excerpts on your number 1 celebrity encounter blog, asabeafrika.

Me and late Goldie
 Before she passed away two years ago, Late Music star Susan Harvey signed Sunmisola Olorunnisola as her official photographer in a contract that was to last two years before death cut the deal short. Sunmisola told asabeafrika the story of the relationship “Really, I had been in love with Goldie right from time; I was in love with her arts, I love her when she sings, I love the props she puts on and she always communicates with me and I fell for her creativity. At a point, I told myself “Sunmisola, why won’t you work with Goldie” and fortunately for me the opportunity presented itself. At the time I was searching for her, she was busy in South Africa for her BBA experience. And immediately she came back, I went after her and I got Goldie.  I shot her for Ovation and she fell in love with my work. And one day, Goldie gave me a call and I had to rush down to Shoprite, Alausa in Ikeja to meet her. She was actually shopping there and to me, it was a great honor for such a prominent artiste to invite me over for lunch and make a proposal to me. She said ‘I like your work, I would like to work with you and I want a contract’. You know at that moment, I felt this rare sense of fulfillment, raw fulfillment; indeed it was a great honor. And we drove together to her house at Park View estate, Ikoyi and we discussed and said we should pick up a shoot. I immediately invited my team led by my PA (Ose Anegbe) and my best friend (Fola Tella) and when we came out with the pictures, Goldie loved the pictures and she said ‘yes, we have a deal’. And that was how I got the Goldie deal”
“I don’t look down on anybody even if you walk up to me to tell me my mistakes. At least, you want me to be great, that’s why you care to tell me my mistakes. You want me to be better than now; you want my pictures to come out well, that are why you are coming out to tell me the truth about me and my work. So, I appreciate both the critic and the praise singer”
 Goldie according to Sunmisola Olorunnisola
 Sunmi shared with asabeafrika some of the moments that characterized his experience with Goldie “When you are with Goldie and you see other celebrities running after her, trying to seek her attention and you too are there, having a time out with these celebrities is great. Meeting a great guy like Derenle one on one and making friend with him; I can call him right now and say ‘hey, Derenle, how are you doing?, that alone is fulfilling. Goldie is a perfectionist. She is a perfect woman, she wants everything to be perfect and she will tell you. There was a day that Goldie talked to me and I became weak. It is now that I realized that she actually challenged me, she wanted me to be a good photographer. She wants me to be there. Yes, she will call you and shout at you and criticize your work conduct. Then, I felt bad but now, I look back and realize that she wanted me to be the best. I realize the love she has for me, not just because I have a camera and I can carry a camera, she wanted me to make use of the opportunity; she wants me to be excellent. It is so sad that she is not here again, she is no more and we can only live here with her memory”. 
Sunmi and Goldie
Last Moment with Goldie
 We asked Sunmi to share his last moment with Goldie with us and the guy went pensive, nearly up to the mood of shedding tears “The last moment I remember vividly was when she left the shores of this country for the Grammies in America and she said to me while leaving, when I come back, we are going to have a shoot.  And I was like ‘ok, we would surely have one’. And I was in the course of developing the shoot when I heard all of a sudden that she is dead. That was so shocking, I wept”. 
Cause of Goldie’s death?
“Honestly I wouldn’t know” that was how Sunmi responded to our question when we asked him to tell us what he felt was the ultimate reason for Goldie’s death. He continued “From what we gathered from medical sources, we learnt she had blood clot and that is what we followed. It is so sad”. Did he suspect pressure or any other act of impulse? “No, she is a wonderful woman, easy going and very pleasant a person. She was never under any form of pressure”.
Sunmisola Olorunnisola
Goldie and Drugs
 When we asked Sunmi this question he looked a bit offended but quickly adjusted his mood to deliver an answer “No, she doesn’t take drugs. For the whole time I have spent with her, that we stayed together, no, she doesn’t drink, she doesn’t smoke, that I am sure of;  It is a very wrong assumption that she died of drugs”.
So, after her, have you found any other person that you could work so close with?
Sunmisola Olorunnisola with Star Prsesenter Denrele Edun
I am working out something with Denrele.
I like Crazy People
 We asked Sunmisola why Derenle after Goldie and if it is true that he enjoys working with eccentric personalities?  Hear him “Well, it is not about eccentricities. I just love crazy people. I like creative people who make out something out of nothing. I love people who are just themselves; they are not afraid of anybody. They just come out and do things without fear or contradiction. Yes, working with Denrele is going to be a crazy moment but I just want to do some shoots with him. I have been working with many people like I told you earlier, we have been very busy but in Goldie’s case, she was someone who wanted us to sustain the relationship. She was one person who wanted me to do things with her two-four-seven”.
A portrait picture of a model by Sunmisola Olorunnisola
Sunmisola Olorunnisola with star act, Chidozie Ikebueze aka Aki (MON)
This is me by me
 When we asked this young creative mind to describe his personality, he paused and reacted this way “Sunmisola is one of those unique set of people who live and feel by thinking. I am just myself, I express myself. To some people Sunmisola is that octane guy you can’t just walk up to for something because he is arrogant. That is not me, I can talk to anybody, I have a large heart towards everybody; I don’t look down on anybody even if you walk up to me to tell me my mistakes. At least, you want me to be great, that’s why you care to tell me my mistakes. You want me to be better than now; you want my pictures to come out well, that are why you are coming out to tell me the truth about me and my work. So, I appreciate both the critic and the praise singer.”
Sunmisola Olorunnisola with best friend Fola Tella and Star Actress Clarion Chukwura Abiola
Me and Bashorun Dele Momodu
 On what his relationship with Ovation International Publisher Bashorun Dele Momodu looks like, Sunmisola gave us the true picture “Well, all I can say it is fun. I have actually experienced a lot of things, the ups and the downs. But in a nutshell, working with a man like Mr. Momodu is a unique opportunity; it is a rare opportunity for me to work with his platform and I can say he is also a very good person, a comprehensive personality who understands a bit about everything”. 
Another Portrait of Desire by Sunmisola Olorunnisola
What I don’t like about journalism
 Asabeafrika wanted Sunmi to describe journalism in this clime and if truly he is happy with the profession? “No!” he exclaimed hard before continuing “You know, if you are asked to go outside there and do your own journalism, you must report what you see; you report the truth. That is what we are told, we should say it the way we see it. We should be objective. We shouldn’t put sentiment, we shouldn’t come out with myopic views and say ‘oh, because he is my friend, because I know him and I feel he can’t do this’; you must be very objective. In answering your question, I will say I just want a lot of people to encourage us. I want the government to encourage us and I want us to also encourage ourselves. I am an optimist and I believe very soon, things will change for better”. 
Another work of Sunmisola Olorunnisola depicting Sisterhood
Other hobbies in my kitty
 The celebrity photographer told us more of his hobbies apart photography “I love meeting creative people. I love listening to music, I love dancing as well. I love watching movies, I love catching fun with good movies. I also love studying photo journals and as well learning new things online because I strongly believe in renewing my brain because the world moves around and we must learn to move with trends”. 

One of Sunmisola's works on Love & Secrecy
What I hate about my father…
 This question seems sudden for Sunmisola and for a man who revere his dad, this is how he first rected “Aaaah, what I hate about my father?; he continued “Really, really, what I hate about my father? I don’t hate anything about my father. Everybody has his own short coming but I believe my father is perfect in his own way. And for him, his major priority is for us to be great and he will put the pressure on you until you release results. I don’t hate anything about my father” he concluded, choosing not to hurt his old man’s feelings. 
A model's imagery by Sunmisola Olorunnisola
Sunmisola Olorunnisola's works on black beauty
With your father having unregulated access to the Ooni of Ife as his image maker, have you ever met the revered king one-on-one?
Yes, I have met the Ooni and it was a great honor to meet him.
Have you taken a picture with the Ooni?
Aaaah (Burst into laugh) Naaaaa! 
This work by Sunmisola depicts Desire
You failed that test as a celebrity photographer?
Maybe yes, I have not really thought about it.
Was that deliberate or accidental?
It is deliberate because I had chances to do that.
Won’t you like to have a picture with the Ooni of Ife since your dad is a prominent member of the inner court?
Sure, it is a priority, because I and my father are working on a couple of things which I don’t think is necessary for the media now. I will surely take a picture with the Ooni.
This work by Sunmisola depicts the black and fair beauty of the Africans and other global tribes
Advise for young people whose parents go against their dreams?
“I always tell people, I am not into photography because of the money. Yes, money is very important in all essence of life. But I am doing it because of my passion; because of the love I have for it. And that is the major key; that is the major motivation. That is the power that drives you to the runway of success. It is not easy, that’s true. I am not going to disagree with that, but you have to fight it, you have to be focused. You have to fight the challenge, you have to be focused, you have to inspire yourself and know for fact, that this thing is what you want to do and you must do it to get results. For instance, I am actually working on a project called HUNDRED FACES. It is actually going to be a project with ZERO BUDGET. I am actually going to be working with hundred different models in Nigeria, fifteen different stylists, fifteen different make-up artists, fifteen different hairdressers, without even spending A DIME on them”.
Clarion Chukwura chatting up Sunmisola Olorunnisola and friend Fola Tella during a photo shoot
How I will make it happen
“Creativity!. We just look out for hundred people that are creative, who want to make name and who want to show good example for the up and coming ones. So, all we need are people of like minds who will push the project forward. The project is going to be divided into five stages, we are going to have the make-up segment, we are going to have the fashion segment, we are going to have the jewelries segment, we are going to have the hair segment and then we are going to have the abstract. And don’t forget we are working on hundred different faces. With that, we take the project to the next level where we are going to have a great exhibition which is tagged“Taking Africa to the World”, we have already talked to our lawyers and creative directors. It is in the pipeline”

Gbenga Dan Asabe

Africa's Number One Celebrity Encounter Blog


  1. Just finished reading Sunmisola Olorunnisola's interview. Nigeria is blessed to have such young whiz like him. He is a great person.