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Funmi Iyanda
Lagos, Nigeria
Funmi Iyanda is a multi award-winning producer and broadcast journalist. She is the CEO of Ignite Media and Executive Director of Creation Television
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Friday, May 18, 2007

Our day as a "Lifers"

PiX: Top row::Tolu (2nd from the left) and Bill (3rd from the left):
Down row: Fola (4th from the left)

::::I’m out of town on a workshop and I’m letting a member of my staff guest blog this one time, till I get back.::::

"Bill...join the life class"
Those words were from the boss and there was no room for talk back. I who had just marched my colleagues up to the life class was treading the same path they had trodden a few minutes before me...hmm! As I slowly walked up to the life class platform, I wondered how I was ever going to look Tolu in the eyes again. Pride they say goes before the fall and here was my own fall.

Working on TV is a constant hassle, a race against time and our reality is "deadlines".

The show for the day was ready, our boss (the consummate professional) was sitting on her "throne" getting dolled up for the camera and here were three of us: Tolu, Fola and I - the latest additions to the new dawn family trying to run the show in the absence of Funmi Akinsola (floor manager) I had bragged to Tolu that I would be filling in for Funmi, while she and Fola would have to join the life class.

I guess you need to know why members of staff had to join the life class. Our life class on New Dawn is drawn from a wide range of young people who watch and love the show New Dawn. They write in and are invited to the recording. But for some reason, most of the people who had written in from the week before where from out of town...hence our dilemma. We had a scanty life class (an exception, not the norm I assure you)

As if that was not enough wahala, Seki, the production manager was ill and would not be coming in, Abigail had to be in the production booth and Mutiu was going to be covering the whole show, with an extra camera, leaving the three of us with duties...but not enough duties to keep us from filling in the gaps on our life class chairs.

A thousand curses on my need to watch F.I (that's what we call Funmi Iyanda in the office) getting made up, while flipping through her research documents. And on my need to watch the set being readied for the show...watching the lights being pulled into place, being switched on, seeing the curiosity on the face of the guests and the slight tension of the uninitiated at the prospect of sitting before a camera.

But most of all, I love the way F.I. sits on her chair, getting made up, going through her script and managing to converse with and relax the guests and life class members, putting them at ease and loosening them up for that spontaneous edge that comes across so beautifully on the camera.

And lest I loose my story in all of this....

Funmi Akinsola walked in at this point and that one extra space gaping at F.I. from the life class had to be filled by poor old me.
I who had relished the idea of having the life class, the guests and F.I. focus on me for their cues was now sitting on the life class form...and looking like the ghost of Christmas past. Tongue tied and with an ache in my back I sat there, prepared to just get through the recording with nothing more on my mind than filling the space and getting away, I was surprised to find myself liking the class, laughing at the antics of my friend Tolu and leaning forward and looking for ways to contribute to the class.

Funmi Iyanda's charm had worked its magic on me, as it had on the guests and the rest of the life class...I guess that's the reason why we all love her and have followed her 12 year long career on TV.

Guest blogger - Bill/Tolu


All Blog Spots said...

nice blog

Admin UD said...

Well, Fumi, wat kain yu say again. Your TV show has a lot of testimonies associated wit it. All da best and hav a fun filled weekend!

Ms. Catwalq said...

aren't you lucky to work in such a creative and productive place?

billie-blogger said...

True that! Catwalq

pamela said...

ukunnu.....(ill save your job and spare you the more colorful "hailings") great writing. I felt I was with you guys.

Ogoja Princess (aka Mama) said...

great writing.

Anonymous said...

mehn..i love ur dress in that picture-lol