Adefunke Adewumi has been supporting indigent communities, providing shelter for homeless victims of domestic violence, and empowering widows and single mums across the nation through her non-governmental organization, Black Diamond Support Foundation (BDSF).
The inspiring women’s advocate recently set a new record with first of its kind all-female-owned real estate initiative, Queens Estate, under her UNMASKED-Her Truth platform.
Defunke’s passion for seeing both children and adults live to their full capabilities and for women to thrive birthed her 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 sells a variety of African items across the world.
Defunke shares her inspiring story and her recent feat as a real estate investor, and how she is creating room for women to thrive in this interview with Esther Ijewere
My greatest inspiration was gotten from my late mother, Eyesorun Adewumi, she was a selfless philanthropist who cared for children, before she passed on to glory, a lot of women acquired properties under her guidance. My mum denied herself the luxury of life just to support total strangers who all later became her adopted family.
I grew up seeing my mum, coordinate meetings with female indigenes in the palace premises bi-monthly for mentorship and to ensure that they achieve great feats independently for a more comfortable future. My mum was extremely protective of me. She was my rock and a great provider for us. My dad used to be busy due to his work, he was a strict man, loving too, and a provider for the house, but my mum molded me to become who I am, through the deeds I see her do, and her lifestyle.
Black Diamonds Support Foundation
Black Diamonds Support Foundation was established to sustain and continue the legacy my late mum stopped, however, she limited her philanthropy gestures to her local community, we took a step further by extending our arms of love across the nation to impact the lives of the less privileged, especially, women, children, and elderly people. The foundation is divided into the following active departments, namely:
WATARA: Walk and Talk Against Rape and Abuse Project 5000 kids: Feeding indigent 5000 children during the festive period, Medical Outreach in Slums/Shanties, Medical Interventions/Emergencies, Project Pick A child Project Pad a GirlChild/ Education Sensitization and Support for Teenage pregnant mums/babies
We started small and now to the glory of God, we are established in 10 states where we function actively, and we hope to reach more states to help less privileged homes.
The inspiration behind Queens Estate
The Queens Estate is a great achievement for us, and I am beyond excited that it’s the First All Female-Owned Estate in Africa. It started as a joke and as the goal-getter that I am, I couldn’t let it die a joke.
I am pleased to announce that our Queens Estate in Epe, Lagos, is finally a reality, and I want to extend my heartfelt congratulations to the 88 women who have taken the bold decision to be part of this dream and vision. You are all amazing, and I am honored to have you stand by my side.
I must give a special shoutout to Dr. Ibrahim Adekunle Israel, CEO of EverMark Homes and Properties, he has been our knight in shining armor, supporting the vision of the Queens Estate project greatly. He has been instrumental in all the necessary documentation processes to secure the properties. He stood with us through thick and thin, and we are eternally grateful.
Unmaskedhertruth was born out of my desire to see fellow women flourish and realize our full potential as women of color, and I am bursting with pride as I reflect on how far we’ve come.
At “Unmaskedhertruth,” we are committed to providing a haven where every woman can share their stories without fear of judgment. We understand that women innately crave a place where they can unmask and reveal their true selves without bias, and we’re proud to be in that place.
We are a sisterhood movement that provides support to women across all spheres of life: physically, emotionally, financially, spiritually, socially, and mentally. Our group is a haven of truth and passion, and we’re thrilled to have been changing lives since inception and challenging the status quo. Matricahy is as important as Patriarchy. We are women and we deserve the honor.
What and who inspires me to be better
The lifestyle of my late mother whom I grew up to know, giving and volunteering in her philanthropic causes inspires me. Children are also my greatest motivation, picking a homeless child inspires me, as seeing an indigent child doing well in school, seeing a sick indigent child being well.
Hoping that all children have equal access to quality education, free health care, and total well-being for them to achieve their potential without any hindrances.
Why I support vulnerable persons with food
Growing up with a mother whose whole life is about feeding every mouth that is needed, it’s inborn.
Nigeria has been ranked 103 out of 121 countries in the 2022 Global Hunger Index, a position that signifies the nation “has a level of hunger that is serious”. My goal is to ensure they and others get the lifesaving support they need.
With support from individuals and a few corporate donors through the Black Diamonds Support Foundation, we create sustainable means of nutrition by establishing and supporting families with raw food within our selected communities. We reach the majority in a front-line model in the following methods: School feeding, Community-based nutrition interventions, Skills acquisition, and Job placement for beneficiaries
My greatest reward
My greatest reward is Genuine Smiles, seeing people smile from the bottom of their hearts is my most priceless gift. I do not do what I do for personal, social, or material gains.
Challenges of being a business owner
As the CEO of an NGO, our forefront vision is making our world a much better place by helping to fight injustice, poverty, hunger, man’s inhumanity to man, environmental abuses, global health challenges, gender-based violence, and many more. To achieve all these and more, we need grants, and sourcing funds from donor organizations had been difficult.
Lack of funds: running a foundation doesn’t lie in accomplishing projects alone. After the success of a certain project, we would want to maintain contact with our beneficiaries and make sure that there is continuous progress. Apart from that, the foundation would also want to be able to help more individuals and communities depending on their needs. To do so, we need to constantly acquire funds. In some cases, NGOs become complacent and simply wait for donations or previous supporters to contact them.
Although Black Diamonds Support Foundation has been funded by myself, friends, and very few corporate organizations occasionally. Not having enough funds not only poses difficulties in accomplishing projects but also puts NGOs in difficult positions there are also many operational costs.
Lack of networking: NGOs working together to reach their goals will provide more efficient results from my perspective. However, a lot of NGOs also see it as a form of competition, and some see it as a means to hijack and sole acclamation of glory for personal interests.
As a Realtor, it is no doubt that shelter is one of the most basic human needs in life. It is in truth very essential. The shelter is universally regarded as the second most significant human need, after food of course. Having a good house to return to after the day’s work brings absolute comfort. There are a lot of challenges such as :
The Land Use Act: A lot of realtors do not take this factor seriously.
Lack of infrastructure: basic amenities such as good roads, drainage systems, etc.
Documentation process: The process of documentation and property registration takes too long.
High Cost of Building Materials: the high cost of building materials and how it affects property development cannot be overstated. Most building materials are imported leading to their high cost.
Shortcomings of Mortgage Institutions: there is a limited number of mortgage institutions in Nigeria compared to the rate overseas.
And so many more, though we are getting better by the year compared to a decade ago we can do better.
Queens Estate In 5 years
I hope that by then, my initiative would have provided affordable residential estates to over 5000 women across Nigeria states and globally.