Jare Ijalana, a 5-year old Nigerian, who has been dubbed on the internet as the most beautiful girl in the world from her portrait by wedding photographer, Mofe Bamiwa, is being managed by her father and aunt and could cut a modeling deal that will definitely place on the big stage someday. Bennett Oghifo writes
Stardom comes in various forms and sometimes unexpectedly. This would likely be the story of 5-year old Jare, a primary school pupil in Lagos whose mother permitted her sister’s colleague, Mofe Bamuyiwa to photograph.
Mofe, known as Bisola Mofeoluwa Bamuyiwa, placed the bold and angelic portrait on her instagram, which immediately it went viral, attracting comments even Mofe admitted were pleasantly surprising.
Oh, about the modeling deal, she told THISDAY yesterday that she was not in any way trying to get modeling agency for kids, scouts found the portrait of Jare alluring and irresistible and are making a lot of offers. “There is a management taking care of Jare now, her father and aunt, who are educating her and she’s getting a lot of exposure. They want to be careful about the offers coming in. They want to be sure they take the first step and that it is deemed right. Her dad is also in charge, making sure that it’s actually done properly. They are taking their time and making sure that this post that has gone viral calms down and they will now know what the next step is. There is actually more to Jare than that photograph; she is actually a very bright child.”
Also, her story is not grass to grace, according to Mofe. “A lot of people and critics out there think she is probably less privileged and I said no, she is well educated, a beautiful child also and from a bright home.”
The image that went viral was exactly the look Mofe said she wanted – an adult-child, sort of. It was an expression of what she wanted to create.
According to Mofe, “I met Jare through my colleague who has been photographing her and I thought she was a beautiful person but my own style was different from her’s. She does baby photography – takes pictures of kids- but I was coming in another life- mine is about the child art, the art of innocence.”
Mofe wanted Jare’s portrait to be like a series of art of innocence. “I felt like Jare has striking features because she is very smart and intelligent- when you converse with a child and hear some sounds a child should not say at her age, then you know the child is very smart.”
Jare’s smartness raised Mofe’s antenna and she call her colleague’s sister, who is Jare’s mother, to request permission “to express myself with Jare. The idea was just to show an intersection between her childhood and adulthood. So, I’m putting both in place- the two sides of Jare- you can see through her eyes that she is also a child and you can still see, at the same time, what she is going to be, like a powerful woman.”
Remarks by thousands of people who commented on the portrait tend to confirm this view of her character seen through her big round eyes. “In future, she can look at that photograph and see how much people expect her to be, someone that can change the world, can inspire many people. That is just a little of how I see my art of Jare; a lot of people said so many things that I didn’t imagine they would have seen from her, but that was just a simple way I could have projected Jare.”
The child-angel Jare is the last of three sisters and she is in school, full time, she is well educated, according to Mofe, who confessed she was not her target initially. “I actually have a picture of the other sister, which I just posted; I love her, because she has a bit of what I wanted. I’ve not gotten that image, but when I saw that image, I knew I was still searching, trying to get that image, but I didn’t know that this (Jare’s) was going to be that image. I didn’t expect Jare at all, I was expecting Jomiloju and that is the one I just posted. It tells how things worked out.”
Jare has two sisters – Jomi, 7, and Joba, 10, who also pose on their own Instagram account – The J3 Sisters.