Adefunke Oluremi Adewumi is a goal getter and a force to reckon with. She is committed to supporting indigent communities, providing shelter for homeless victims of domestic violence , and empowering widows and single mums across the nation, through her non-governmental organisation, Black Diamonds Support Foundation (BDSF).
Adefunke’s popularity increased with her annual outreach tagged ‘PROJECT 5000’ – An event which comes up every year, on the 26th of December, and brings together a minimum of 5000 indigent children from various slums across the state, and they are given free medical attention, free back-to-school packs, food, clothing, and a Christmas party. Her passion for seeing both children and adults live to their full capabilities and for women to thrive, birthed her creating the ‘ UNMASKED – Her Truth’ event, which allows women to be free, and be themselves, without the fear of being judged or condemned.
The Alumni of the University of Ado-Ekiti and Master of Arts in International relations and strategic studies from Benue state University is also the CEO of The Food Sense Shop- A business that boasts of selling a variety of African items across the world.
Defunke is a passionate Gender-based Violence advocate who has continuously used her platforms to advocate and support victims of domestic violence, rape , child abuse and molestation. and lend her voice to voiceless single mums in the society. She is committed to adding value to humanity and living intentionally.
She shares her inspiring journey with Esther Ijewere in this interview.
I was born into a family filled with love and independence, my was my first role model , she was a skillful entrepreneur and counsel head . My mother was a perfectionist, and she could multitask diligently. She was a major mentor in what I’ve grown to become today. My house was always occupied by total strangers, homeless and orphaned children, widows and impoverished women and men because my mother was a philanthropist to the core. She embraces everyone and would even prefer to give her last drop of water to a thirsty stranger than for her to drink it.
I would say the life she lived molded me into what I do now , going over the edge to get things done and being able to spearhead multiple things at a time from my childhood .
Inspiration behind Black Diamonds Support Foundation (BDSF)
My mother’s legacy is the inspiration behind Black Diamonds Support Foundation, she was a lover of children , women , widows , orphans and the homeless. After she passed on to glory there were lots of people who depended on her for survival and I could not sit by and watch her legacy die.
Why I bring 5000 indigent children together for my annual project
Yes I do that to put smiles on the faces of these underserved children in mostly neglected communities. We have been running it for years. Unfortunately, It couldn’t hold in 2021 due to the covid 19 safety guides , instead we did project 5000 food boxes , we supplied 5000 families with raw food items that is enough to last for the festive period ( rice , noodles , spaghetti, semo, oil, garri, yam flour , pepper and tomato pastes) we also supported children with back to school items like bags and books.
Motivation behind my food items brand; “Food sense shop”
The Food Sense Shop was born out of my love for healthy foods, I appreciate nature alot and it had always been my dream to own my own raw food brand where I can change the common use of additives and chemical preservatives in our food items. Majority of the sickness out there is as a result of unhealthy foods and drinks we take in. To cause a change in getting local foods without preservation, led me to start the food sense shop.
My passion and drive for issues that affect women and children, such as rape, domestic violence and molestation, and we can get the society involved
I have been a victim of domestic violence, sexual assaults, child discrimination and abuse. This has been a drive for me to rescue as many as I can and my late mum for women and children when she was alive had been a force to do more than she had done. The helplessness of vulnerable women and children are heartbreaking, they can be traumatizing. I can’t just keep quiet when I know there is something I can do in my little way to help people. I can identify with them, I’ve been in their shoes, their hurts and abuse and hunger is like mine. We have gone to slums across the country to do our bits and we hope they pass it on too.
Challenges as an entrepreneur and stakeholder in the GBV sector
The economic meltdown is a major challenge for an entrepreneur like me, the prices of raw materials have skyrocketed by over a 100% and this kills business by paralyzing the demand curve. Despite being in the business of locally harvested crops. As a GBV Survivor and advocate, the laid-back attitude, insensitivity of our people, the cultural patriarchal communal living system, impunity, lack of funds and emotional trauma we face is extreme these days. Forget all the paperwork and policies. We are still far behind in getting it right as a country in the area of prompt sensitivity to GBV.
other projects and activities
Unmasked hertruth: A women group we created to intentionally be Deliberate to be better as women in all ramifications. A healing, learning and networking hub for women 16+.
We are also trying to raise funds for our humanitarian projects this year and extend our Humanitarian Services to more zones in Nigeria, and expand food sense shop in a global model as the number one choice for African (Nigeria) locally foods suppliers.
3 women who inspire me and why
My late Mum: She was a phenomenal legend. A giver per excellence. Philanthropist to the core who goes all out of her way to ensure women and children in her community do well. She is a lover of Humanity, she works for others to be happy
Tobore Anne Emorhokpor: She is the drive for the majority of our projects and goes all out to ensure our humanitarian projects do not go unaccomplished. Our coming together had helped us to achieve so many feats because she is selfless and committed to ensure women and children are not helpless in her own way.
Ellen DeGeneres: Her heart of giving is second to none and she is non judgemental and love everyone no matter who they are and help as many as she can help, without thinking of who or what they are
My perception of marriage as it relates to the Nigerian society
To me marriage is a union of togetherness and when I say ‘togetherness’ , it is in the entirety of its sense , in all aspects of the union . I am not a believer of the average Nigerian mentality that most couples practice, you’re married and you can both do what you like in the way that pleases either of you, a union should be about support, communication, motivation, growth , loyalty, commitment and a foundation built on God.
Stigmatization of single mums
There is so much stigmatization, Cultural setbacks and society victimizing single mums. There is so much to be done, but if single mums can give support to each other,dignifying their option of taking the bold steps of living for their kids despite societal judgmental insensitive patriarchal approach to them, they will rise above all the odds that is a daily factor to limit them from their goals in life. I will also want single mums to stop the pity party victimization of themselves. Being a single mum is not a disability. Be dignified
Being a Woman of Rubies, mom, entrepreneur, women’s advocate, and support system to many, and managing it all
I take each day as it come, as I know that each of these roles must not fail. So I do well in planning, delegating duties to others.