Toyin Sokefun Bello popularly known as TY Bello is a Nigerian singer, songwriter, photographer, and philanthropist. She is a multi-talented young woman and a role model to upcoming photographers and music lovers. TY Bello’s work is recognised both nationally and internationally.
TY Bello background
TY Bello was born on the 14th of January, 1978 in Ogun State to late Remi Sokefun. Her father, Remi Sokefun was a famous TV producer. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Lagos and is a member of the Nigerian photography collective, Depth of Field. TY was a member of the non-extant urban gospel band, Kinetically Ushering Salvation into Hearts and Homes (KUSH).
The beauty married Kashetu Bello in 2009 and they are blessed with twin boys, Christian and Christopher.
TY Bello as Singer and Song writer
TY Bello was part of the music team of her childhood church, Revival Word Church where they compose songs for the next Sunday service from the previous sermon. We can say this is where she horned her writing and singing skills, being the youngest in the group did not deter her from writing songs. She was indeed brave.
While TY Bello was an undergraduate at the University of Lagos, this skill never departed from her as she continued to compose and sing with Lara George, Dayo Torimiro, and Emen Ema. The four later formed the now-defunct band KUSH. The band came into the spotlight with their single, Let’s Live Together in the early 2000s. Ty Bello became a solo singer after her band dissolved.
Her first debut solo album titled Greenland was released in 2008. The album was a success and earned her two prestigious awards. TY explained that Greenland describes her everyday journey into life.
Early last year, the singer introduced a soft worship series Spontaneous Worship. Spontaneous Worship is an unscripted, unedited, and raw expression of worship in songs to God. The series has featured other inspiring singers like Sinach, Folabi Nuel, Tolu Ijogun, Wole Oni, George, and many more.
Album and Songs by TY Bello
- The Future (2011) featuring Tara Fela-Durotoye, Banky W, Sound Sultan, and Chude Jideonwo.
- Yaweh (2013) featuring Wale Adenuga and two other vocals, Mosa and Nwando Okeke.
- The Morning Songbook (2014) featuring Fela Durotoye and M Sugh.
- Land of Promise (2016).
- Holy Ghost Air (2016) featuring Nathaniel Bassey.
- Bow Down (2017) and it was produced by Samjazzy.
TY Bello as Photographer
She started photography when her band disbanded, a time when photography was not thought as a profession. TY Bello has gone ahead to create an enabling environment and platforms for upcoming photographers to showcase their work.
She majors in portrait photography, even though she still does documentary and conceptual photography. Her works are usually iconic and arouse strong emotions from fans of her work.
Photography has taken her to the corridors of power as she has photographed three sitting presidents and was the official photographer for the former president, Goodluck Jonathan. TY Bello has also photographed the high and mighty and A-list celebrities. TY Bello also works with Thisday Fashion Magazine, a popular Nigerian fashion magazine.
Achievements Of TY Bello
Ty Bello partnered with Canon for ‘live for the story’ campaign early this year. The campaign is a call for everyday Nigerians to tell their personal stories on what makes Nigeria unique.
The talented singer was nominated alongside 25 others for the Ten Outstanding Young Persons Awards in 2017.
In July 2011, TY Bello was honored by the non-profit Communication for Change Organization in a five-part documentary film series titled RedHot.
Ty Bello is passionate about helping the less privileged, orphans and children so she organises an annual photography exhibition to raise funds for orphans across the country. 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.
Nigerian will not forget in a hurry ‘the from grass to grace story of Olajumoke the bread seller’. TY Bello discovered her while she was working on a photo session with the Nigerian-British rapper, Tinnie Temph on the street of Lagos State. Olajumoke the bread seller was walking by with her tray of bread on her head while TY Bello photographed. TY saw the Olajumoke has modeling potentials and with her condition, she found her and helped her build a modeling career.
Olajumoke Orisaguna is now a model and she was made the face of PayPorte campaign as well as the ambassador of Stanbic IBTC in 2016.
TY Bello’s Awards
Best New Act of the Year at Nigeria Entertainment Awards 2008
Best Female Video at Sound City Video Awards 2008
Most Creative Personality of the Year at SRAF Awards 2017
Photo Credit: Instagram page of TY Bello
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