„I told her she saved my life.“ Those are the words that Ojani tweeted alongside four shots of him meeting Rihanna. The 21-year-old from New York could finally see and meet his favorite singer at the coffee table book launch at the Guggenheim Museum (Oct 12). Here is his full story.
Ojani – also known as „sawcjay“ on both Twitter and Instagram – started „stanning“ Rihanna in June 2013, literally after watching Rihanna’s set at the 2012 „Hackney Festival“. It was YouTube that put the show into his recommendations during the „lowest point“ of his life. As he told us, Ojani started questioning his sexuality at age 13*: „I always knew I liked boys, but I just never had the courage to actually say I was gay.“ He just did not feel ready, was disgusted by himself and had suicidal thoughts. At age 13.
Rihanna helped him love himself
The set, however, gave him back his strength. He had finally discovered an artist that he could connect with. Rihanna just did not seem like a regular „singer“ to him. He would sit down, watch her perform and listen deep to her lyrics: „I fell in love with her.“ He got interested in her entire discography and learned more about her personality: „I learned to grow and love myself, and not give a damn about what others have to say. I can only be me and no one can do me better.“ Apparently, it was Rihanna who taught him to love himself first before putting love into others.
At the night of the book event, he finally had the chance to tell her. But he almost could not go. His financial situation did not allow him to. So it was his sister who borrowed him the needed money to buy the tickets for $175 last minute. He was immediately added to a Twitter group chat of other fans attending the event. „What should I wear?“ was probably the most discussed question within the ~30-member group chat. Ojani did not care, he does not like to dress up anyways. So he just arrived in a black-and-white striped sweater, anxious after barely sleeping the night before, being „nervous as hellllll.“ And then: Rihanna, right in front of him.
„I mouthed „you saved my life“ to her and that’s when I caught her attention.“ Rihanna noticed him and gave him a hug: „She then asked me if I was okay to turn around and smile to take pictures.“ That is when the shots were taken with tears in his eyes. And it was Miles Diggs aka fan’s favorite paparazzi „diggzy“ who took the shots.
Diggzy took the shots – for free
Miles took the pictures on his camera and immediately messaged them to Ojani. Miles, who was part of press, was able to bring in his phone, unlike attendees. Hence why Ojani was able to share the shots right after leaving the closed event: „He could’ve charged me or trademarked his pictures, but he sent them scratch free. No filter, no trademark. He approached me, was really kind and made sure I got that moment. I’m extremely appreciative of that.“
The clash with Rihanna lasted no longer than a minute. The 2-hour-event was crowded with more than 200 fans, her team behind the book and members of press. But for Ojani „her hug felt like it lasted years.“ He is happy now knowing that the woman who gave him so much strength and courage was standing right in front of him, knowing what she had impacted in his life.
Did he expect meeting her? No. He did not even think about a small interaction. So how did he feel after that special encounter? „I cried and cried and cried and cried“, he told us. „It was so magical, it still is.“ Of course he is also extremely thankful of his sister: „Without her, I wouldn’t have had the best night of my life. She was extremely happy to see the photographs. She couldn’t believe it.“
*Ojani allowed us to share his entire story: „Yes, I’m fully out now, so everyone knows.“
Editor’s note: Rihannas-Rehab.com is an independent German fansite distributing original content since 2008. This is our first article in English. We might share more soon.