Oluwafunmilola Iyanda: The unsung heroine touching lives and breaking the odds of journalism

by Duchess Magazine

Olufunmilola Aduke Iyanda better known as Funmi Iyanda, was born in Lagos to Gabriel and Yetunde Iyanda on July 27, 1971. Her mother was from Ijebu-Ode, a town in Ogun State, Southwest, Nigeria and her father was from Ogbomoso, a city in Oyo State, Southwest, Nigeria. Iyanda was raised in the Lagos Mainland, but her mother passed away when she was just seven years old.

Iyanda today, is a talk show host, broadcaster, producer of film and television, media executive, philanthropist, journalist, and blogger. For more than eight years, she produced and served as host of the talk show New Dawn with Funmi, which aired on the national network. She also serves as the CEO of OYA Media, formerly Ignite Media.

A breakfast magazine television show called Good Morning Nigeria marked Funmi’s first venture into the world of television. The “Heroes” segment, which celebrated the accomplishment of deserving members of society, and “Street Life,” went out into the streets in search of interesting human-interest tales of Nigerians.

The show was primarily concerned with the injustices experienced by Nigerians, especially the most vulnerable groups, such women and children. National television broadcast the programme as a syndicate.

Produced by Segun Odegbami and Tunde Kelani, MITV Live was the first programme she hosted. She also entered the field of sports journalism to further explore her intense love of sports. She worked on a 2006 Africa Cup of Nations documentary and covered the 1999 Women’s World Football Championship, the All Africa Games in Zimbabwe, the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games in Sydney and Athens.

Iyanda’s passion and captivating level of creativity advanced her to become one of Nigeria’s most popular TV personalities.

Iyanda received recognition from the World Economic Forum for her web series in 2011 and was recognised as one of Forbes’ “20 Youngest Powerful Women in Africa.”

Upon her return from a five-day UN advocacy climb up Mount Kilimanjaro in 2012, she was awarded for her dedication to gender advocacy by Lagos State Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola. The climb, which brought together climbers from more than 32 African nations in a historic advocacy expedition up Mount Kilimanjaro, was coordinated by the UN to increase awareness of its campaign to end violence against women and girls worldwide.

Funmi Iyanda served on the boards of the Positive Impact Youth Network and the Farafina Trust. In January 2012, she took part in the Occupy Nigeria demonstrations. The government’s strategy of removing fuel subsidies was the target of the protests.

She was named one of the top 100 women of 2014 by the BBC.

Iyanda is a member of the African Leadership Institute, a Tutu Fellow, and a participant in the ASPEN Institute’s Forum for Communications and Society.

She received her primary education at the Herbert Macaulay School in Lagos, Nigeria; her secondary education at the International School in Ibadan; and she attended the African Church Princess Primary School in Akoka before she proceeded to the University of Ibadan, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Geography.

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