Part 2: The Story of my Golden life with Goldie—Celebrity photographer, Sunmisola Olorunnisola

Goldie in love with Sunmisola

 This is the concluding part of the incisive
interview we had with celebrity photographer and leading Nigeria album maker, Sunmisola Olorunnisola, son of Chief Funmilola Olorunnisola, the
Director of public affairs for the Palace of the Ooni of the Source, Oba
Okunade Sijuade (Olususe II).

In this last session, you will find some very
interesting aspect of his life especially his short lived romance with late Hip
Hop Music Icon, Susan Harvey aka Goldie who signed him up as her
Exclusive Photographer and Visual Image consultan for two years before her
sudden death punctured the contract. Enjoy the excerpts on your number 1
celebrity encounter blog, asabeafrika
Me and late Goldie
 Before she passed away two years ago, Late
Music star Susan Harvey signed Sunmisola Olorunnisola as her
official photographer in a contract that was to last two years before death cut
the deal short. Sunmisola told asabeafrika
the story of the relationship “Really, I had been in love with Goldie
right from time; I was in love with her arts, I love her when she
sings, I love the props she puts on and she always communicates with me and I
fell for her creativity. At a point, I told myself “Sunmisola, why won’t you
work with Goldie” and fortunately for me the opportunity presented itself. At
the time I was searching for her, she was busy in South Africa for her BBA
experience. And immediately she came back, I went after her and I got
Goldie.  I shot her for Ovation and she fell in love with my
work. And one day, Goldie gave me a
call and I had to rush down to Shoprite, Alausa in Ikeja to meet her. She was
actually shopping there and to me, it was a great honor for such a prominent
artiste to invite me over for lunch and make a proposal to me. She said ‘I like
your work, I would like to work with you and I want a contract’. You know at
that moment, I felt this rare sense of fulfillment, raw fulfillment; indeed it
was a great honor. And we drove together to her house at Park View estate,
Ikoyi and we discussed and said we should pick up a shoot. I immediately
invited my team led by my PA (Ose Anegbe) and my best friend (Fola Tella) and
when we came out with the pictures, Goldie loved the pictures and she
said ‘yes, we have a deal’. And that was how I got the Goldie deal”

“I don’t look down on anybody even if
you walk up to me to tell me my mistakes. At least, you want me to be great,
that’s why you care to tell me my mistakes. You want me to be better than now;
you want my pictures to come out well, that are why you are coming out to tell
me the truth about me and my work. So, I appreciate both the critic and the
praise singer”
 Goldie according to Sunmisola Olorunnisola
 Sunmi shared with asabeafrika
some of the moments that characterized his experience with Goldie “When you are
with Goldie and you see other celebrities running after her, trying to seek her
attention and you too are there, having a time out with these celebrities is
great. Meeting a great guy like Derenle one on one and making friend
with him; I can call him right now and say ‘hey, Derenle, how are you
doing?, that alone is fulfilling. Goldie is a perfectionist. She is a
perfect woman, she wants everything to be perfect and she will tell you. There
was a day that Goldie talked to me and I became weak. It is now that I
realized that she actually challenged me, she wanted me to be a good photographer.
She wants me to be there. Yes, she will call you and shout at you and criticize
your work conduct. Then, I felt bad but now, I look back and realize that she
wanted me to be the best. I realize the love she has for me, not just because I
have a camera and I can carry a camera, she wanted me to make use of the
opportunity; she wants me to be excellent. It is so sad that she is not here
again, she is no more and we can only live here with her memory”. 

Sunmi and Goldie

Last Moment with Goldie
 We asked Sunmi
to share his last moment with Goldie with us and the guy went pensive, nearly
up to the mood of shedding tears “The last moment I remember vividly was when
she left the shores of this country for the Grammies in America and she said to
me while leaving, when I come back, we are going to have a shoot.  And I was like ‘ok, we would surely have
one’. And I was in the course of developing the shoot when I heard all of a
sudden that she is dead. That was so shocking, I wept”. 
Cause of Goldie’s death?
“Honestly I
wouldn’t know” that was how Sunmi responded to our question when we asked him
to tell us what he felt was the ultimate reason for Goldie’s death. He continued
“From what we gathered from medical sources, we learnt she had blood clot and
that is what we followed. It is so sad”. Did he suspect pressure or any other
act of impulse? “No, she is a wonderful woman, easy going and very pleasant a
person. She was never under any form of pressure”.

Sunmisola Olorunnisola
Goldie and Drugs
 When we asked Sunmi this question he
looked a bit offended but quickly adjusted his mood to deliver an answer “No,
she doesn’t take drugs. For the whole time I have spent with her, that we
stayed together, no, she doesn’t drink, she doesn’t smoke, that I am sure of;  It is a very wrong assumption that she died of
So, after her, have you found any
other person that you could work so close with?

Sunmisola Olorunnisola with Star Prsesenter Denrele Edun

I am working
out something with Denrele.
I like Crazy People
 We asked Sunmisola why Derenle
after Goldie and if it is true that he enjoys working with eccentric
personalities?  Hear him “Well, it is not
about eccentricities. I just love crazy people. I like creative people who make
out something out of nothing. I love people who are just themselves; they are
not afraid of anybody. They just come out and do things without fear or
contradiction. Yes, working with Denrele is going to be a crazy
moment but I just want to do some shoots with him. I have been working with
many people like I told you earlier, we have been very busy but in Goldie’s
case, she was someone who wanted us to sustain the relationship. She was one
person who wanted me to do things with her two-four-seven”.

A portrait picture of a model by Sunmisola Olorunnisola
Sunmisola Olorunnisola with star act, Chidozie Ikebueze aka Aki (MON)

This is me by me
 When we asked this young creative
mind to describe his personality, he paused and reacted this way “Sunmisola is
one of those unique set of people who live and feel by thinking. I am just
myself, I express myself. To some people Sunmisola is that octane guy you can’t
just walk up to for something because he is arrogant. That is not me, I can
talk to anybody, I have a large heart towards everybody; I don’t look down on
anybody even if you walk up to me to tell me my mistakes. At least, you want me
to be great, that’s why you care to tell me my mistakes. You want me to be
better than now; you want my pictures to come out well, that are why you are
coming out to tell me the truth about me and my work. So, I appreciate both the
critic and the praise singer.”

Sunmisola Olorunnisola with best friend Fola Tella and Star Actress Clarion Chukwura Abiola
Me and Bashorun Dele Momodu
 On what his relationship with Ovation
Publisher Bashorun Dele Momodu looks like, Sunmisola
gave us the true picture “Well, all I can say it is fun. I have actually
experienced a lot of things, the ups and the downs. But in a nutshell, working
with a man like Mr. Momodu is a unique opportunity; it is a rare opportunity
for me to work with his platform and I can say he is also a very good person, a
comprehensive personality who understands a bit about everything”. 

Another Portrait of Desire by Sunmisola Olorunnisola

What I don’t like about journalism
 Asabeafrika wanted Sunmi to
describe journalism in this clime and if truly he is happy with the profession?
“No!” he exclaimed hard before continuing “You know, if you are asked to go
outside there and do your own journalism, you must report what you see; you
report the truth. That is what we are told, we should say it the way we see it.
We should be objective. We shouldn’t put sentiment, we shouldn’t come out with
myopic views and say ‘oh, because he is my friend, because I know him and I
feel he can’t do this’; you must be very objective. In answering your question,
I will say I just want a lot of people to encourage us. I want the government
to encourage us and I want us to also encourage ourselves. I am an optimist and
I believe very soon, things will change for better”. 

Another work of Sunmisola Olorunnisola depicting Sisterhood

Other hobbies in my kitty
 The celebrity photographer told us more of his
hobbies apart photography “I love meeting creative people. I love listening to
music, I love dancing as well. I love watching movies, I love catching fun with
good movies. I also love studying photo journals and as well learning new
things online because I strongly believe in renewing my brain because the world
moves around and we must learn to move with trends”. 

One of Sunmisola’s works on Love & Secrecy
What I hate about my father…
 This question seems sudden for Sunmisola and
for a man who revere his dad, this is how he first rected “Aaaah, what I hate
about my father?; he continued “Really, really, what I hate about my father? I
don’t hate anything about my father. Everybody has his own short coming but I
believe my father is perfect in his own way. And for him, his major priority is
for us to be great and he will put the pressure on you until you release
results. I don’t hate anything about my father” he concluded, choosing not to
hurt his old man’s feelings. 

A model’s imagery by Sunmisola Olorunnisola
Sunmisola Olorunnisola’s works on black beauty

With your father having unregulated
access to the Ooni of Ife as his image maker, have you ever met the revered
king one-on-one?
Yes, I have
met the Ooni and it was a great honor to meet him.
Have you taken a picture with the
Aaaah (Burst
into laugh) Naaaaa! 

This work by Sunmisola depicts Desire


You failed that test as a celebrity
Maybe yes, I
have not really thought about it.
Was that deliberate or accidental?
It is
deliberate because I had chances to do that.
Won’t you like to have a picture with
the Ooni of Ife since your dad is a prominent member of the inner court?
Sure, it is
a priority, because I and my father are working on a couple of things which I
don’t think is necessary for the media now. I will surely take a picture with
the Ooni.
This work by Sunmisola depicts the black and fair beauty of the Africans and other global tribes

Advise for young people whose parents
go against their dreams?

“I always
tell people, I am not into photography because of the money. Yes, money is very
important in all essence of life. But I am doing it because of my passion;
because of the love I have for it. And that is the major key; that is the major
motivation. That is the power that drives you to the runway of success. It is
not easy, that’s true. I am not going to disagree with that, but you have to
fight it, you have to be focused. You have to fight the challenge, you have to
be focused, you have to inspire yourself and know for fact, that this thing is
what you want to do and you must do it to get results. For instance, I am
actually working on a project called HUNDRED FACES. It is actually going to be
a project with ZERO BUDGET. I am actually going to be working with hundred
different models in Nigeria, fifteen different stylists, fifteen different
make-up artists, fifteen different hairdressers, without even spending A DIME
on them”.

Clarion Chukwura chatting up Sunmisola Olorunnisola and friend Fola Tella during a photo shoot

How I will make it happen
We just look out for hundred people that are creative, who want to make name
and who want to show good example for the up and coming ones. So, all we need
are people of like minds who will push the project forward. The project is
going to be divided into five stages, we are going to have the make-up segment,
we are going to have the fashion segment, we are going to have the jewelries
segment, we are going to have the hair segment and then we are going to have
the abstract. And don’t forget we are working on hundred different faces. With
that, we take the project to the next level where we are going to have a great
exhibition which is tagged“Taking Africa to the World”, we have already talked
to our lawyers and creative directors. It is in the pipeline”


  1. Just finished reading Sunmisola Olorunnisola's interview. Nigeria is blessed to have such young whiz like him. He is a great person.


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