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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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Monday, May 12, 2008

Goodnight Professor

I met professor Akande as an indigent 19-year-old JAMBed (3 As, 6credits out of a tin roof, no teacher, Jakande school and a Jamb score well within cut off for the course I wanted but caught in the indigene trap) university hopeful. I wanted to study law; she was the Vice Chancellor at LASU. I wielded a letter from a person who knew a person, who knew a person who knew her. Nevertheless, she ushered me into her office without undue drama, a small, smiley but severe lady. Watching her attend to the endless stream of visitors as well as talk to me was like watching an octupoid table tennis pro. She patiently explained my lack of options and advised I re sit the exams applying to LASU 1st and 2nd choice (I have repeated that advise to many other students). I of course went on to the university of Ibadan instead to study geography as I would be damned if I worked another six months teaching kids from house to house to raise the JAMB fee.

13 years later she sat opposite me on NEW DAWN and I told her the story, after which we developed a mutual admiration society. Prof Akande was a true leader of people, women and causes. She was always available, always helpful, always concise and no nonsense but eternally committed to the projects that sought to improve humanity and deliver a better society for all especially women. We will miss her but we are also challenged to carry on her baton.

Here is the last time she was on NEW DAWN.

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wellsbaba said...

awhh.....saw her obituary in d dailies....auntie funmi,u knw one of things I admire most bout u?ur spartan strong will n definiteness of purpose!I tripped when I heard u say on TV u had to KNOCK FROM HOUSE2HOUSE and ask if they wanted a teacher so you could offer your service n earn some pay to pay jamb fees....my dear thats some herculian feat compared to the laziness n imorality(yahoo yahoo,aristocrazy) of my peers!big up auntie!we are lookin up2u

Anonymous said...

In line with the cliched saying, "every disappointment is a blessing" i honestly believe you may not be where you are today, doing the good you're doing if you had gone ahead to be a lawyer. Things have a way of working out for good in the end.