The writer of ‘how to dress for the job you want, not the job you have’ clearly outlines that one’s dressing should match the position they are seeking, whether they are interviewing for the position or not.
And one man in Ogun State, Nigeria has lived long enough to witness how his love for dapperly dressing has changed his life and could possibly transform his line of work for good.
A normal day for Abdulahi Olatoyan, a University of Ilorin dropout which involves washing car windows on the streets, was captured by a celebrity photographer, Daniel Sync.
Olatoyan stood out from competing washers because instead of donning casual wear (t-shirt and jeans) he wore a blazer and shirt with a bow tie and matching pocket square.
The photographer later described his meeting with Olatoyan as an inspiration and hoped that by sharing his story, it could motivate other people too.
“So, I bumped into this well-suited windscreen cleaner yesterday in Ogun State. We need more innovative citizens like Abdulahi in Nigeria. Well-spoken Abdulahi Olatoyan, who is in his early thirties is a University of Ilorin dropout, who turned to the street after the demise of his father to make a living and save enough money to start a business.”
“He hopes to return to school to finish his studies one day,” Sync added. “Photographing and speaking with Abdulahi today inspired me, and I do hope that you are inspired by his story, too. If you’re trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I’ve had them; everybody has had them. But obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.”
As hoped by the photographer, the story did inspire many people. Some were motivated to offer a job opportunity to the windscreen washer. Uche Nnaji, a Nigerian top designer at Nigerian clothing brand OUCH, caught wind of Olatoyan’s story and posted on Instagram asking for his followers (17,900) to help him track the window washer.
“We have a JOB waiting for him at OUCH,” Nnaji said in his post. The post was showered with praise and later the designer updated his followers about the progress saying he “finally got to speak with [Olatoyan] …Blessings ?.”
It remains unclear if Nnaji will offer the young man in his 30s a role as a model for his company or a salesperson. But this story is a show of how smart dressing can help one get noticed and sometimes bring in new perspectives into one’s career.
The story mirrors that of Olajumoke Orisaguna who became a model and motivational speaker after photobombing a shoot with rapper Tinie Tempah.
In Kenya, a young girl edited images showing how she enjoyed her holiday in China which not only attracted ridicule but also won her the fancied trip to China. Not being able to afford the trip abroad, the young girl took to social media posting Photoshop images of her standing in front of the Kenya Airways plane, on the great wall of China, and more. A Nairobi businessman, Sam Gichuru was inspired by Seve Gat’s dreams sponsored her trip to China.
Lately, images, social media, and well-wishers are coming together to inspire change and show the world that anything is possible if only people dared to dream and take action towards their dreams.
It might not look like it, but it is passion that drives such people. If you are passionate enough, one day a ‘photographer’ (anyone who can tell a story) will come your way and your life will change for the better.
Image credit: Linda Ikeji's Blog/Daniel Sync