Toyin Sokefun-Bello is the epitome of African Women success stories.
Better known as TY Bello, this multi-talented woman is not only an acclaimed photographer but also singer-songwriter and philanthropist.
Ty was born in 1978, her father was the well-known Nigerian TV producer, the late Remi Sokefun. She has a Bachelor's degree in Economics, and worked as a journalist before trying her hand at photography.
She was part and partial to the discovery of the lovely Olajumoke Orisaguna. But she is more than her accomplishments.
The most impressive part of TY that stood out to me was her unwavering faith in God and her bravery.. Since her childhood she was involved in her church’s music group, writing songs for them at a very young age. She proclaims her beliefs in everything she does.
She started the now broken up band KUSH in the 2000’s with fellow musicians Lara George, Dapo Torimiro and rapper Emem Ema. They gained popularity and were most known for their single "Let's Live Together" before they disbanded. She made her Solo-debut shortly after in 2008 with her album Greenland. The title track is a song to inspire Nigerians to hope and liberation, describing the album as a journey of her everyday life. She went on to win a Nigeria Music Award and a Sound City Award for the album.
Her second album “The Future” was released in 2011 and ranked 12th on Nigerian Entertainment Today's list of the 12 Albums to Buy in 2011. “Ore Fakorede gave the song a rating of 7 stars out of 10, adding that its "soft tribal drums, synths and a piano provide a vivid backdrop for TY to contrast her unmistakable voice against, and this she does brilliantly, bringing the poignancy in the song's lyrics to life."” It was in essence the true voice of Nigeria.
Even the Make-up brand House of Tara was so inspired by TY’s “the Future”, they launched The Jubilee Collection, a limited edition line of makeup celebrating the hit-single
Not one to slow down during and after all these successes, TY has a passion for empowering and supporting the less privileged. Every year she organizes a national photography exhibition to raise funds for orphans.
“She is also a member of Link-A-Child, a non-governmental organisation (NG0) responsible for creating rapid awareness for orphanages in Nigeria and seeking sponsorships for them. She also advocates for women’s rights and fights against gender-based violence. TY met with the United Nations Deputy Secretary, General Amina Mohammed in 2017 and they spoke extensively on what can be done to curb violence against women.” - https://www.entrepreneurs.ng/