In honor of his 80th birthday, former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo has covered the latest edition of ThisDay Style magazine.

The photographs were shot by celebrity photographer TY Bello. They show the iconic leader in a number of poses, including one where he plays traditional Yoruba game, Ayo.

TY Bello, who shared the photos on her Instagram, also shared a story of the backdrop used for the shoot.

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She wrote: “About 13 years ago I asked an assistant to help me source a gold velvet fabric for backdrop for my portraits .It was meant to be large and in the tone of gold …rich.. like the highlight on a very dark persons skin…He didn’t nearly find what I wanted.

“He however came back with a small sized unimpressed ash colored fabric that looked really old.. I was disappointed. It didn’t occur to me that he just handed me gold .. real gold.. that boring piece of fabric became my favorite backdrop .

“I went on to photograph 3 Nigerian presidents against it. It was also the best shade for post production . It was light enough to compliment most skin tones ., yet dark enough to be augmented in post production.

“In this portrait my ash colored backdrop was brushed to a rich gold to compliment Baba’s aso oke. Sometimes we don’t find exactly what we are looking for. .. but we must learn to appreciate what we have been handed … it may just be golden #tybellophotography #photostories #obasanjo at 80 for @thisdaystyle”

Check the photos out below.

Olusegun Obasanjo for ThisDay Style Olusegun Obasanjo for ThisDay Style  Olusegun Obasanjo for ThisDay Style