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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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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Still swamped and fire fighting

Still swamped and fire fighting on 3 simultaneous projects to be delivered in December and unveiled (oh the mystery...yeye woman) soon. I am therefore unable to function beyond autopilot on anything else however I can still laugh at a good video and a cover story. My little brother sent this to remind me of why I used to punch him and this which is just cute.

Then there is this piece on Zanele, I admit I don't really understand what is sexy to the average Joe but I have always maintained that it is not size zero. Get a load of the rack on that chick, I want to see the red blooded male who will say no to all that milkshake, even I want me some (put your eyebrow down jo, its not what you think).
Wednesday, November 28, 2007

E Dey Happen Banking

One of my wise brothers call it E Dey Happen Banking. In this articleThisday's Ijeoma Nwogwugwu nails it on the head.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Hello stranger

So sorry for the absence and lack of update on JWC et al. I am swimming hard against that darned tide and barely staying afloat. No worries though, will soon hit calmer waters.

I took a moment to breathe and saw this absolutely hilarious dating guide by kpakpando. Even more apt as the December wedding/homecoming season approaches, too funny.

Back with you soon.
Thursday, November 22, 2007

Another gem from Mark Twain, hilarious!

Another gem from Mark Twain, hilarious!
Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Keeping it in the family (nepotism? you get the name, I get the car)

Well since there is nothing sexy in the news other than the odd removal of shaki shaki governors and allegations of corruption, I might as well do this now that I may get away with it.

My immediate younger brother is one of those annoying siblings, a better version of you in every sense. He was always the prettier of the two, heck he was the prettiest of the lot (10) until the eye candy came along but that's another story. He is the nicer, funnier, more accommodating one. He is also the better journalist and if I didn’t love him so much, I’d hate him. One thing for sure, next time around, if I had a choice in the matter I would choose him all over again because my Mighty is the most loving, loyal and cool brother a girl could ask for. He would kill me for this but he's too nice besides I am the family bully. So here is Mighty's random reports on the media and entertainment.

No related, but this recent interview with pastor Paul Adefarasin may be of more than relative interest to you. Here are some excepts.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Just another manic Monday?

Monday morning in Lagos, the pace is even more manic than usual, Christmas is upon us I fear and woe betide the man (not gender specific) who is unable to buy himself and his family some joy this Christmas. Even worse, damnation be upon he who is seen to be unable to buy joy as measured in toys, travel, rainment and merriment.

Just before you run out unto that ferris wheel being spun around by a deranged drug fuelled anjonu, pause for a moment and ponder on this poem by William Yates

“Get all the gold and silver that you can,
Satisfy ambition, animate
The trivial days and ram them with the sun,
And yet upon these maxim meditate:
All women dote upon an idle man
Although their children need a rich estate;
No man has ever lived that had enough
Of children’s gratitude or woman’s love

No longer in Lethean foliage caught
Begin the preparation for your death
And From the fortieth winter by that thought
Test every work of intellect or faith,
And everything that your hand have wrought
And call those works extravagance of breath
That are not suited for such men as come
Proud, open-eyed and laughing to the tomb.”

Linger if you may on the last three sentences. Identify what true happiness is. Choose it. The choice often requires bravery and sacrifice but then what are you living for?

Just to emphasize the point, here is a zen parable

“A man travelling across a field encounters a tiger. He fled, the tiger after him. Coming to a precipice, he caught hold of the root of a wild vine and swung himself down over the edge. The tiger sniffed at him from above. Trembling, the man looked down to where, far below, another tiger was waiting to eat him. Only the vine sustained him.

Two mice, one white and one black, little by little, started to gnaw away at the vine.
The man saw a luscious strawberry near him. Grasping the vine with one hand, he plucked the strawberry with the other.

How sweet it tasted!”

If you must die now as we all will eventually, focus on the good, choose to die happy.

Now you may go out to find and do fulfilling and enriching work that honors you and hones you abilities, learning and talents. Something that enriches you by enriching others. The strange thing is, people actually get paid for that sort of work….eventuallyJ.

At lunch, why not download and read this hilarious (Letters From The Earth) but thought provoking piece by Mark Twain.

It is going to be a great week!
Friday, November 16, 2007

Happily ever after

Oh by the way, I forgot to tell you, the speaker is married. It took all of 1 week but a wife has been found, sealed and delivered. Chikena! All is well that ends well.

Now to a really funny story, only I am not sure who should be laughing. Most of it happened on phone. Let’s ets all her Biola, she is a friend’s friend.
Biola: Hi Funmi, how now? I’m just calling to let you know that I am getting married next month o, so you must buy your aso ebi.
FI: HEY, congratulations, so you and Mike (not his real name) finally settled your differences
(Last month, I had been called in to counsel and hold the hankie in the latest episode of “Mike has started again oh” beating episode. They had been going out for two turbulent years).
Biola: Mike ke! That one na history jare praise God.
FI: You finally called it quits and you have found someone else and is ready to marry so fast? Good girl! Who is the lucky so and so!
Biola: It’s my first boyfriend from secondary school.
FI: Oh! You guys met again? How nice.
Biola: Met again? l have always seen him on the side now, l go to him for money when I’m broke, we have sex occasionally, you know, that kind of thing.
FI, So what has changed now?
Biola: The thing is, he has a problem with women; they won’t leave him alone so he can’t commit to one woman. His family is worried so they said he should marry me since I was his first girlfriend and they like me and I am Yoruba like him.
FI: But what does he want? What did he say?
Bola. He agrees now, he is not fooling me about the other women, he cant help that but he agrees that at least we have known each other since we were young especially when he didn’t have money so he choose me because yes his mum and family like me and he is ready to settle down now.
FI: If that is his story, what is yours? Why are you marrying him
Biola: (Deapan) Because I love him.

At this point, I meekly ordered my aso ebi and dutifully attended the wedding, the bride wore white. They separated 3 years later, his mother didn’t like her “barrenness”, he became violent and abusive, and she found religion. The last time I visited her; she had a curious book on her side table titled When God When?

Any other word but vagina

The next edition of Vagina Monologues promises to be very interesting as KIND with the help of the likes of Wole Oguntokun and Pamela Braide are planning a Nigerianized version. Let’s see how that will pan out. Meanwhile, Pam is collecting stories and here is how you might be able to get involved.

Temi’s pieces

We have been friends since one hot afternoon in 1993. It was in Idia hall at the University of Ibadan that I saw this 6.2 female with a body for days, flexing down the long corridor, humming Rum Shaker in my direction. I knew this was a kindred spirit and she is one of the most amazing human beings I know as I should since we have been through the highest of highs and the lowest of lows our love and friendship firmly in tact. Sometimes I want to strangle the yeye gal for her sheer bloody minded obstinacy, other times I want to gather her in my arms and protect her from her own humane vulnerabilities and yet still other times I cant stop laughing at her madness. Recently I couldn’t stop marvelling at Temi’s latest expression of her near genius mind, a curious mixture of scientifically trained processor and artistic genius. If only she weren’t so bloody stubborn but then I wouldn’t love her so much.

One day I will tell you the story of the passion, perseverance, determination and sheer discipline that goes into the production of each Michelangelo bag and shoe but then you can see the creativity and attention to detail cant you.

Ban ban ban

Finally, the house has ordered NBC to ban the airing of any clip or any debate on the recently ended big brother Africa 2 on Nigerian airwaves. Apparently the house fancies itself to be the Supreme Military Ruling council which is its prerogative but such ill conceived knee jerk reaction negates the possibility of a robust in-depth investigation into whatever breach in best practises could have occurred and reveals shocking ignorance about how pay TV works as against free to air. More importantly it fails to address real challenges within the Nigerian media space, which encourages exploitation and abuse.

Have a great weekend. I am planning to vegetate on my couch watching classics from Tunde Kelani and Quentin Tarantino.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Stop, download, grab your favourite drink and read slowly

One of the giants sent me this 46 year old piece by Chief Obafemi Awolowo.

Not a day has passed on the relevance of the issues raised, barring the bit about Russia.
Monday, November 12, 2007

The lover takes it all (expert opinion from ms I who saw all of 5 episodes in 92 weeks)

Last night during the Big Brother Africa 2 finale show, I, the shrimp, the giant and I suspect a large percentage of Nigerians had the odds firmly on Ofunneka and were as shocked as she obviously was when Richards’s name was announced. She never did recover her poise till she fell into her fathers (?) arms post eviction.

I had wanted Ofunneka to win because she was a strong, hard working girl, she obviously was not cooking and cleaning and counselling and dancing and crying and laughing as part of a game but as part of the entity that was herself. My brain recognized that fact and wished her well especially after the statutory rape (please refer to Linda Ekeji’s comprehensive post on this) fiasco. However there was a devilish little part of me that wanted Richard to win, as that would present many more twists to the tale. If Richard were to win, will he share with Tatiana, will he stay with Tatiana? Certainly not Tatiana as I have little doubt the air headed little so and so would have proceeded to share the loot with that retarded Richard. She did save him once from eviction offering herself instead in a modern day ode to some unnamed Greek tragedy. Now I do not dislike Tatiana on the contrary I thought she was an engaging, happy soul and a sexy woman. I was also persuaded to believe that she trully is in love with Richard. The twist came faster than I expected when she came out of the house and announced that although she did love Richard she had agreed with him that they would both go back to their respective partners if the said partners will have them back. At that point she lost me.

Fast forward to a gloating Richard after he won the $100,000 prize declares also that yes there is a pact that he and Tatiana should return to their respective partners if the partner would have them back. So what other stupid pact do the big brother Romeo and Juliet have in stock? The plot thickens even as I suspect that Mrs Richard might stage a comeback, $100,000 may just buy the lothario some stand by your man reprieve. So where is the love in all of these unless of course those two are messing with us? Is the joke on us? Will the wife come back? Will the fiancé forgive? Will the love endure, and who will get the biggest endorsement? Now you understand why Richard won don’t you?

Who is Eric Wainaina from Kenya? Any relation of Binyavanga? Good question considering the socio politic slant to his song FANCY CAR performed during the finals. It was also the question on all our lips as we swayed and “drove” along to his smooth performance of the song. It echoed sentiments that every African can relate with and had a nice catchy Afro pop/reggae/soul appeal. I really liked it. His band also appeared professional and the performance was streetwise but smart.
One bet I did win was that the closing performance can only be by either D’banj or PSquare. There are no better entertainers in that genre in Africa right now, always delivering electrifying performances whatever the limitations. Last night Psquare did not disappoint.

Btw, Ofunneka need not worry, what she needs now is a good talent agent to leverage all the name recognition and exposure. Fortunately she is smart, articulate, high energy and in possession of a pretty good body. She is also likeable and focused so good luck to her. $100,000 is nothing compared to what she can make as last night’s show proved that baring SA, most of Africa’s advert spend is from Nigeria.
Friday, November 09, 2007


Spent the past few hours pimping my Mac, upgrading from 0S X Tiger to the OS X 10.5 leopard and adding iWork and iLife 08. Off course l intend to get the iphone but l am too squeamish about the ethics of owning one in Nigeria (as quite a few people do) because l know there must have been some magamago in the process of getting it working here.

Yes l admit it, my name is Funmi Iyanda and l am a Macoholic, Appoholic and Joboholic. I know I am an irritant who's bought into the whole "the underdog ethical geek wins saves the world" hype but l do like my hype with substance. The leopard? OMG! It's the sexy secretary with the killer bod and the intellect of a maths genius and the flexibility of a circus soleil acrobat, plus she is fun! So l have been preening and looking down my nose as windows, vista and linux enthusiasts one of whom showed me this little post and the ensuing yabis. I think you might quiet enjoy it.
One day the thinking, the offbeat, the different and the geeky will rule Nigeria. Or at least most of the economy. One day.

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Much ado

The news this morning is that Mr. speaker is being accused of not having done his youth service and of chronic bachelorhood (don't laugh o), apparently a text detailing these grievous nation destroying offences had been circulated amongst members prior to Hon. Bankole's election as speaker. The speaker turns 38 today and is calling a press conference to address these urgent national issues.

Abeg na me don crase finish abi na dem? A man is being crucified for his marital status? A man who if we go by his qualifications must have spent quite a bit of time focussed on education and a political career and is maybe only just prime for marriage if he chooses it. What will happen if like Condi Rice a person with great leadership qualities chooses not to either marry or bear children? What about all the married fools (some with five wives and 20 concubines) who have led us into a quagmire? Of course marriage is good especially if you get it right but it is not a prerequisite for great leadership. Some may need to have children of their own to have compassion for others, but there are many who do not. More alarming are the multitude who remain evil despite producing a football team from their loins. I know men in high political offices who do not know which class their child is in and who boasts about not having seen the wife for months but pacify her with a new diamond earring when she vexes. Of course the allegation is shadow chasing but how low are they going to sink? Abeg guys, guys! If you are going to drown a person, find a real boulder to weigh them down, this pebble attempt is laughable.

As per the NYSC, you mean say anyone still dey take that shambolic waste of national funds seriously? It has become irrelevant and dysfunctional providing one of the last bastions of "chop up" for lazy contractors with friends, family and cronies in strategy positions. That said, l do subscribe to the ideal of the NYSC and believe that as long as it is part of the requirement for public service all public servant must complete it. Mr. Bankole does not have the age exempt but isn't there a clause about it being waived for those who have received military training? The speaker is a Sandhurst graduate so that might suffice, l do not know whether it covers military training outside Nigeria though. All those are questions he must address but this let's nail him attempt is too obvious and these "offences" are puerile.

As stated in a previous post l don't know the speaker from Adam and have no attractions towards him nor the venerable institution of marriage so this is no favour currying attempt.

He is unwittingly carrying the fragile hopes of my generation, as long as he pursues his job with integrity and diligence, we will support him, we will also ask hard questions of him to keep him on track. So down with the greying, paunchy, self-righteously married baying dogs and let’s get down to the business of legislation, starting with the bloody budget.

Come on Silvy

I have spent the past 48 hours with blotchy itchy skin and an irritable bowel and l blame Silverbird squarely. Now you all know that the galleria is one of my favourite haunts in Lagos but what is it with the recent bad selection of movies? Common Ben, Jide, Guy, Michael "fukus fukus" (in-house joke) guys! Enough of the mindless unfunny slapstick comedy cum brain pureeing b rated sci fi/non horror horror movies chowder we are being fed, I'm dying here.

From bad something (can’t be bothered to remember) to dark is rising and invasion which is the latest remake of body snatchers, l have slowly regressed into downing bags and bags (ate 3 on Monday) of sugared popcorn to numb my pain. The problem is l am allergic to sugar (a lifetime of living on it caught up with me) so l break out in itchy rashes and my weak knee joint aches. I know they must have commercial films to break even and there is a dearth of great films from Hollywood, Nollywood and Bollywood but please please mix it up ok or l fear l shall expire in a sugar induced seizure if l have to watch one more no brainer without a good script, fairish acting, above the line cinematography or great effects redemption.

Keep these dates

The CORA organized Lagos Book fair is here again. This is the schedule of activities.

Also, here is Wole Oguntokun and Bolanle Austen Peter's Theatre at Terra initiative
Monday, November 05, 2007

Big No No

The giant with the Big Brother addiction is away on vacation so I have not been given the usual updates or coaxed to watch thus I did not cotton on quickly to the unfolding scandal. The first person to alert me is an anti censorship, pro Big Brother journalist friend of mine and the level of her anger convinced me that something had gone horribly wrong.

The gist (I didn't watch) I have gathered over the weekend is that as usual the housemates were supplied with copious amounts of alcohol and got riotously drunk, woke up with hangovers then were assigned tasks involving even more ingestion of alcohol. By afternoon, the two girls Tatiana and Ofuneka (Nigerian) were comatose and lying prone on a drunk Richard who proceeded to fondle Ofuneka in the nether regions even whilst the girl was obviously too inebitrated to know what was going on, although her body naturally responded. Now, sebi you know I am a near flaming liberal but if this is what occurred, it is grossly irresponsible of MNET and the globally troubled Big Brother franchise has run its course in Africa. What Richard did is statutory rape, and all the underlying issues of uncontrolled promotion and facilitation of excessive alcohol consumption, rape and abuse promotes the proliferation of HIV infections and the AIDS pandemic in Africa.

Why did they drink all that alcohol? They want to fit in, win the audience and the tasks and eventually win a $100, 000, that surely is a form of harassment. As a media professional I know that everything and everyone is a pawn in the race to win ratings but to what extent? If the story is true, we must demand that the various regulatory bodies in all the countries to which BB is broadcast around Africa, look into the issue of best practises on the show, otherwise its time Big Brother stopped watching.


Wole Oguntokun and I visited the juvenile welfare centre on Friday and what I see is that beyond our intervention what is required is a total overhaul of the social welfare system especially as it concerns children. I am going to focus on trying to get information out of all the relevant government agencies and slowly start encouraging the sort of alliances that will foster those necessary changes. What will be required of us will be strategic and effective advocacy using the JWC as a launch pad. This is more mid term; the long-term objective will be to institute a functional social welfare system for children starting with Lagos.
What we need in the immediate is a volunteer who will work with me and start to the groundwork, update everyone on developments and knit the efforts together. Lets see who is ready to move beyond just talking to doing, yes it is a direct challenge to you. In the meantime what is needed most now is a vehicle for picking up abandoned children, moving some to orphanages and finding the families of others in far flung places. That and regular food, clothes, toys, books, games and DVDs to keep the children engaged.

Update: Alakara Juvenile Centre

Sincere apologies for getting back late to those outside Nigeria who want to contribute to the Alakara Juvenile Centre course.

Please find below the account details….


SORT CODE: 60-91-04


IBAN NO: GB55 SCBL 6091 0412 5444 58
ACCOUNT NO: 0101254445850 (USD)
: 0001254445801 (GBP)
: 5601254445896 (EUR)

Kudirat Initiative for Democracy
Account Number : 0012080133940001 ( USD )
: 0012080133940002 (EURO)
: 0012060133940001 (NAIRA)
Friday, November 02, 2007

Nigeria's most eligible bachelor?

Have you seen him? Tell me you have seen him, did you notice the gap, the smile, sandhurst/oxford/Harvard education too, please please tell me he is single. It is almost midnight and I'm right in the middle of a tug of war between sleep and one of the giants. What is eating her I wonder as I croaked who? The new speaker of course, have you seen him? Do you know him? When are you going to interview him, is he single?

Its 7.40 a.m. now in Lagos and that scenario has been played out over 6 six times by different excited females so as an advocate of all that interests and give women joy, I called Hon Femi Gbajabiamila whose phone was switched off, I forget, politicians are not morning people. Why Femi, well it just happened that I ran into him last week at his wife's lovely and quaint café salamander in Abuja and he had Dimeji Bankole in tow.

As is his tradition Femi goes for my jugular on the effect of Ettehgate on the political progress of Nigerian women. I bark back and hard, Femi digs in deeper on other areas of my (in his words) rabid feminism and elements of the media, I prepare to go from bark to bite but then, in steps a soft but firm voice with a trace of a British accent bearing a pearl of down to earth logic. Who be dis I wonder even as Femi and I carry on, it's a game, and we both know it and love it. It called lets argue just to check the health of the old grey matter.

So ladies, that's my one and only encounter with the 37 year old new speaker, all I can tell you is that I am prone to feel people before I see them and what I felt from that encounter was good. For one he did not piss me off with some stuffily dressed, pretentious, supercilious, ridiculously exaggerated British public school accented brand of bullshit. He was courteous, smartly dressed in simple bùbá and sòkòtò, listened and made meaningful contribution to the conversation. In the interest of research I have dug up this little tit bit and discovered that he is indeed single, l do not know if he is searching, I shall ask this and other such nation building questions when I sit him down to a television interview. He didn't light my female fires as he seemed to have a Tom Crusoid challenge (I like my heels high) but it seem that generally we have got a good pin up for young, educated and progressive politicians, lets see how long the infatuation lasts or if indeed he will prove worthy of our national love.

On my part I am placated by the fact that we may have lost a woman (deservedly so) but we have hopefully gained a dynamic youth. Stop crossing your fingers.