#WCW: CELEBRATING FUNMI IYANDA!

#WCW: CELEBRATING FUNMI IYANDA!

Hello WORriors! It’s #WomanCrushWednesday and our Woman Crush is Funmi Iyanda!

Olufunmilola Aduke Iyanda (born 27 July 1971), better known as Funmi Iyanda, is a Nigerian talk show host, broadcaster, journalist, and blogger. She produced and hosted a popular talk show New Dawn with Funmiwhich aired on the national network for over eight years. Funmi is the CEO of Ignite Media, a content-driven media organisation operating out of Lagos. In 2011, she was honoured as a Young Global Leader(YGL) by the World Economic Forum and was recently named one of Forbes 20 Youngest Power Women in Africa.

Iyanda was born in Lagos to the family of Gabriel and Yetunde Iyanda. Her father was originally from Ogbomosho and her mother from Ijebu Ode. She grew up in the Lagos Mainland area, however, her mother died when she was seven years old. She attended African Church Princess Primary School, Akoka, Herbert Macaulay School in Lagos, Nigeria, for her primary education and then went to the International School Ibadan for her secondary education. She also attended the University of Ibadan, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Geography.

Funmi’s foray into television began when she started producing and presenting Good Morning Nigeria, a breakfast magazine television show. The show became a hit, with its “Heroes” segment, which exalted the achievement of deserving members of the society, and “Street Life”, which unlike many shows at the time went out on the streets in search of compelling Nigerian human-interest stories.

The show focused on the injustices suffered by Nigerians, particularly the vulnerable members such as women and children. The show was syndicated on national television.

The first show she anchored was called MITV Live produced by Segun Odegbami and Tunde Kelani. She also explored her deep passion for sports, entering the world of sports journalism. She worked on a documentary for the 2006 African Cup of Nation and she covered the 1999 female Football World Cup, the All Africa Games in Zimbabwe, as well as the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games in Sydney and Athen.

Armed with the experience gained during the era of Good Morning Nigeria, Funmi sought a bigger platform to reach people and in 2000 she began producing and hosting the programme New Dawn.

New Dawn with Funmi started in 2000 and ran daily on NTA 10 Lagos. The success of the show made it the longest running independently produced show on NTA. The show used its influence as a vehicle for social change and transformation by advocating the cause of the vulnerable members of the society, particularly women, youth and children. New Dawn gave birth to the “Change-A-Life” social intervention project. Over the years, Change-A-Life has affected the lives of many children and people through its scholarship, healthcare, counselling and micro-finance intervention scheme. The scholarship scheme supports 98 children.

Funmi has also written regular columns in Tempo Magazine. On occasion she still serves as guest columnist for Farafina Magazine. She has also written for PM NEWS, The Punch, Daily Trust and Vanguard Newspaper.

In 2010, after a two-year hiatus, she returned to the silverscreen with Talk with Funmi (TWF), a groundbreaking television show, directed by Chris Dada. Talk With Funmi journeys Nigeria, from state to state, capturing people and conversations around the country. It is a thought-provoking, illuminating and entertaining journey into the life of Nigerians from all over the country. The show talks to people everywhere – from ordinary citizens going about their business to celebrities in unusual but natural settings. TWF is syndicated on channels across Nigeria.

In 2010, Funmi Iyanda completed production on My Country: Nigeria, a three-part documentary celebrating the 50th anniversary of the country’s independence, which was aired on the BBC World Service. Lagos Stories, one of the episodes of the documentary, was subsequently nominated in the category for “Best News Documentary” at the 2011 Monte Carlo Television Festival in Monaco.

In 2012, Funmi Iyanda and her creative partner Chris Dada released Chopcassava.com, an innovative web series documenting the January 2012 fuel subsidy protests that took place in Lagos, Nigeria. A web series because it could not be aired on Nigerian TV, the series presents an insider view of the Lagos protests, in which people of all classes took to the streets demanding a reversal of the 117% hike in petrol prices. The protests swiftly evolved to encompass issues beyond petrol prices, with protesters focusing on government profligacy, as well as the endemic corruption in the country. Wildly popular, chopcassava videos went viral, with one of the videos gathering over 100,000 hits in five days.

Chopcassava.com was nominated in the non-fiction webseries category at the 2012 BANFF World Media Festival, in Alberta, Canada.

An innovator in her sphere Funmi has won tremendous recognition for her work in the media and for her humanitarian and philanthropic interventions. She is an African Leadership Institute Tutu Fellow and a participant of the ASPEN Institute’s Forum for Communications and Society.

In 2012, she was honoured by the Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola, for her commitment to gender advocacy as she returned from a five-day UN advocacy trek up Mount Kilimanjaro. The climb was organised by the UN to raise global awareness on its campaign to End Violence against Women and Girls and brought together climbers from more than 32 African countries in a historic advocacy journey up Mount Kilimanjaro. Funmi Iyanda joined South African rock band the Parlotones, South African actress Rosie Motene, human rights lawyer, Ann Njogu, Congolese singer Barbara Kanam, and many African women and men who play an active role in their countries on the gruelling trek up Kilimanjaro. The climbers arrived at Africa’s highest summit on International Women’s Day, 8 March 2012, and displayed their African national flags.

Funmi serves on the Board of Farafina Trust and Positive Impact Youth Network. She was at the forefront of the Occupy Nigeria series of protests in January 2012. The protests were to resist the implementation of the government’s fuel subsidy removal policy.

Women Of Rubies celebrates you, Funmi Iyanda!

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