It was the first time she would ever share the subject, being a victim of sexual abuse at a young age. But no one who has been inspired by her music and admired her photography over the years, or her ‘bouncing dances’ on Instagram would tell you TY Bello isn’t beautiful.
She always has been, she always will be.
Like the two featured women on the past episodes of the King Women series, TY shares a deep experience of the formative stages of whom has become one of the defining faces of success in the Nigerian arts. A childhood, not so gold-plated or strewn with threads of rose, the Ogun-born singer, songwriter and philanthropist rose beyond the barriers of the dent of violation. Today, she is not just a subject for emulation but an abiding presence for life inspiration.
Below are some of the best quotes from her ‘session’ with Kemi Adetiba on the King Women interview.
Lessons in independence
“I grew up knowing when you are woman, you worked. I grew up knowing that you had to be independent. I grew up knowing that you had to learn to make your own money, ‘cos that was who my mother was”
God, The Father
“I’m so glad no one sold me the wrong father-figure because I would have quickly embraced it. God was the first father-figure that was sold to me… I can ask God for toblerone”
The Pressure of the Good Example
“I became a leader very quickly; I was this ‘good example’, so much pressure on me, if I ever did anything wrong, they’d be like, ‘look at yourself, and you call yourself a Christian’. Very quickly, I had to be ‘goody too shoes'”
Blame it on me
“I was sexually abused as a child, and because of this, I felt like ‘there was something ugly about me, that had me encounter this. This wasn’t the abusers fault, this was me’. I used to see other girls as flowers, and I saw myself as dirty cement, hard and ugly. I never felt beautiful”
No, we don’t blame it on TY. She is beautiful
I Give All
“When I give of myself, I give all. When I love, I love with all. I don’t know how to love halfway, I don’t know how to give halfway”
I can transform ya (-ish)
“I love transformation, I love to watch someone go from nothing and become something. That has always appealed to me, ‘cos that’s the story of my life.”
Of course she loves transformation; the Olajumoke story tells it all!
Watch the complete episode of the King Women series featuring TY Bello here.
The transcript for the video has been produced to the best of our ability, with some sentences clipped and abridged. For a complete reflection of the King Women series, visit the YouTube channel for Accelerate TV.