Saturday, 24 December 2011

Funmi … A new dawn on the globe


DON Raymonde Aprile says in Mario Puzo’s Omerta, “do not count on the gratitude of deeds done for people in the past. You must make them grateful for things you will do for them in the future.”
  For Olufunmilola Aduke Iyanda, better known as Funmi Iyanda, years back she started on a journey, which today the world is grateful for; she is not only reaping the fruits of that past, and perhaps, now, she has an express command to do more in the future.
  The World Economic Forum recently honoured the lady, who turns 40 on July 27, as a 2011 Young Global Leader. Other leaders for 2011 include CNN’s Hala Gorani and award winning author, David Eggers.
  The talkshow host, blogger and broadcaster couldn’t have wished for more at 40, when life truly begins. Now, she joins the ranks of Oprah Winfrey, CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Mandla Mandela, MP South African National Congress as global leaders.
EACH year, the World Economic Forum recognises up to 200 people under the age of 40 for “their professional accomplishments, commitment to society and potential to contribute to shaping the future of the world.”
  The 190 YGL honourees for 2011 were selected from a pool of over 5000 candidates from 65 countries and all segments of society. They reflect different kinds of leadership in different parts of the world.  From amongst these candidates emerged Funmi Iyanda.
  The World Economic Forum is an independent international organisation committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.
  Set up as an independent not-for-profit foundation, under the supervision of the Swiss government, the Forum of Young Global Leaders works in close cooperation with the World Economic Forum to integrate young leaders into deep interaction with other stakeholders of global society. 
FUNMI, the CEO of Ignite Media, producers of television programme Talk With Funmi, a show that has travelled around Nigeria, capturing the conversations of its people, said,
she is humbled and honoured to receive this award.
  “Along with my fellow honourees, I look forward to sharing our unique challenges, and creating opportunities for interaction, the exchange of ideas and best practices and a roadmap for a better future,” she remarked.
  Fresh out of school, the University of Ibadan Geography graduate explored her deep passion for sports, entering the world of sports journalism. She covered the 1999 female World Cup, the All Africa Games in Zimbabwe, as well as the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games in Sydney and Athens respectively.
  Not long after, she started when she began producing and presenting Good Morning Nigeria, a breakfast magazine television show — an instant hit, considering the issues treated such as Heroes, which exalted the achievement of deserving members of the society and Street Life, which went out on the streets in search of compelling Nigerian human interest stories.
  After some years, Funmi turned her searchlight on other endeavours, which incidentally led to New Dawn with Funmi in 2000.
  She says, “to do some of the most sublime things in the world. You need to put everything you have and what you don’t have.”
  The success of New Dawn with Funmi, which ran daily on NTA 10 Lagos — a show, which was used as a vehicle for social change and transformation by advocating the cause of the vulnerable members of the society, particularly women, youth and children— led to the birth of 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, counseling and micro-finance intervention scheme. The scholarship scheme supports 98 children.
LAST year, Funmi Iyanda completed production on Talk with Funmi, a unique television show directed by Chris Dada. Talk With Funmi (TWF) 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.
  TWF is a multi-segment variety show set in multiple locations across Nigeria. It brings truly inspiring real life stories, fresh perspectives of the diverse cultures, tangible information and inspirational experiences of real people from various parts of the country into the homes of Nigerians in a fun filled engaging and entertaining manner.
  The show talks to people everywhere — from ordinary citizens going about their business to celebrities in unusual but natural settings.
   Funmi recently completed production on My Country: Nigeria, a three-part documentary on Nigeria celebrating the 50th anniversary of the country’s independence. The production aired on the BBC World Service in 2010.
  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.
  Funmi serves on the Board of Farafina Trust and Positive Impact Youth Network.
   She also watches movies and supports her favourite football team, Chelsea FC.

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