TY Bello is today one of the most inspiring role-models of Africa. Her story, from an average girl to a successful singer and then as a professional photographer is filled with struggles and an undying passion for social change. If not a rags to riches story, it’s definitely a story of fighting tremendous adversaries to reach the highest summit of one’s ambition.
Born in Ogun State of Nigeria, she went ahead to study economics at the University of Lagos. After completing her studies she changed track and worked as a journalist for a while. Her passion for photography developed over the years and she began exploring her career as a photographer. She also touched upon the world of Nigerian Music and collaborated with many acclaimed singers. After 9 years of fruitful marriage with Kashetu Bello, in October 2014, she became a proud mother to two twin babies. Her two boys were named Christian and Christopher. The date of release of her album, The Morning Songbook coincided with their date of birth.
TY Bello is more than just an artist; she is a vital component of social change in Nigeria. Her contributions don’t stay indoors in the world of photographs and music solos, she has done much work on the ground too. She was engaged in solving various humanitarian issues like orphan education, female equality, peace, political stability etc. In October 2011, the Nigerian Ministry of Youth Development roped in TY Bello for their anti-rape campaign.
At the break of the 21st century, the band called KUSH entered the Nigerian music scene. TY Bello was an integral part of the band along with Dapo Torimiro, Lara George, and Emem Ema. It rocked the billboards of 2000 with its heartthrob song, “Let’s Live Together”. Mixed with the earworm music, the song also features a video. TY Bello was heavily influenced by the political turmoil in Nigeria and wanted to change the popular thinking through their band’s song.
Her first Music Solo debut was “GREENLAND”. Her first experiment with music earned her two prestigious awards, the Nigeria Music Award and a Sound City Award. Her second studio album, The Future came out in 2011 and was an instant hit. The video of the song “The Future” has appearances from by Chude Jideonwo, Banky W, Sound Sultan and Tara Fela-Durotoye. Infused with patriotic lines, her deep baritone voice and charming melodious music made this song an instant hit. She was soon propelled to stardom with her songs, and also recognized nationally and internationally as a creative soul.
Her next creative outlet was through photography. It was her passion for photography which took her to the highest corridors of power in Nigeria. She was appointed as an official photographer to the ex-president Goodluck Jonathan. Through her photographs, she explored the highways and byways of her country’s vast social fabric. She has also photographed celebrities, including British rapper Tinie Tempah. She was instrumental in discovering the rare beauty, Olajumoke Orisaguna who later became a successful Nigerian Model. She currently works for Thisday fashion magazine.