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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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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Who ate all the pie?

So what’s with the odenku denku children who waddled unto the pitch during the Manchester United/ Portsmouth match on Sunday?
As it is my new year (its not new year?) resolution to mind my business I will not wonder aloud why the match to promote the Calabar based Tinapa was played in Abuja or why the children were not properly and uniformly kitted? Or why…..

My concern really is about those poor roly-poly children and an emerging tendency towards juvenile obesity in middle and upper class Nigeria. For starters I can bet you my last kazo that those children are off springs of government officials. Why bother auditioning deserving athletic children from a cross section of the society when you can use your own bored, sedentary over indulged little geezers? Why give little aspiring footballers a life enhancing opportunity to meet their heroes when you can give your Nintendo addict a nifty bragging tool amongst his and her mini Dolce and Gabanna wearing friends in school next session?

I totally get that. What I don’t get is the sort of crass ignorance that this alarming trend amongst the children of the rich (don’t have accurate starts but how many obese children have you seen in your neighbourhood ramshackle local government authority school?) betrays.

Why is it that as soon as a bewildering majority of my people earn, acquire, obtain or receive their blessing, they stop eating whole natural food and proceed to clog their arteries with fat, salt, sugar and additives saturated, over processed, imported food? I often see my people at supermarkets pushing bulging trolleys of dead, dehydrated food with a huge swagger and a huger purse.

Affluence seem to be encouraging too many to over indulge, over feed (mostly on fast food) and over protect our children.
Most of the children on that field on Sunday do not deserve to be there and their inclusion has done nothing but reinforce a sense of entitlement and nepotism which will stunt their development and send signals to other children that their efforts won’t count. As a friend once said, the child sitting at home in his original Arsenal souvenir shirt and shiny Nike boots waiting for the driver to take him to football practise at the Astroturf will never be as good a player as the one who has hopped on okada or BRT bus and gone to play on the patched sands under the bridge at Orile. No be curse.
Sunday, July 27, 2008


I had a Forrest Gump moment. You know that moment in the film when Tom Hank’s character stopped running, turned back and wearily walked home.

Like the Gump character, my race started with the need to get away from something although l did not know it at the time. So about 13 years ago l started running. I ran long and hard, hardly pausing for breath, maybe l occasionally paused to help a few people along the way but l ran with every fibre of my being. Along the line people took inspiration, imagining l had a great big reason for running, some threw me pure water, some watched in various shades of fascination, exasperation and irritation. A minute number watched in growing concern.

As the years wore on I began to flag as my unreplenished physical and emotional reserves ran dry but my mental strength carried my aching bones, blistered digits and spastic nerve endings forward. Sometime this year l had a few emotional upheavals (you will need to wait for the bookJ) that unbalanced my finely tuned knife edge existence and stopped me in my tracks. I stopped and looked back and l saw the many eager faces behind me, so l summoned all my mental energy and took a few steps forward then it happened. A complete blackout, a Paula Radcliffe at the Athens Olympiad moment. I just could not go on. I figuratively collapsed at the sidewalk exhausted in everyway impossible.

In the last few weeks, l have come out of the metaphoric coma, picked myself from the sidewalk, dodging the okadas and gawking onlookers and wearily walked home. I have embarked on an intensely personal journey of recovery, healing and nurturing. I have had support from and taken inspiration from the most unexpected things, events, places and people (living and dead). I am trying to take care of all bases, physically, spiritually and emotionally. I feel fucking fabulous.

It is still work in progress but l am quietly excited about where l am, how l am evolving and where l am going, the products of which will become clear in the near future.

I am in my rest period and thus will be irritating you with a few convoluted ideas and explanations in the next few weeks but yes aje ti de o, Ms Witch is back in the building.

Birthday Girl

Yes it is my birthday today and thanks to Facebook and other social networking tools, l feel so loved this morning. Thank you all so much, eri mi wu o, gbogbo yin na le ma a r” alanu o. Ditto all the requests to please start blogging again, l am appalled at how many of you read this rubbish ramblings of a bipolar and how geographically, socio-economically and chronologically diverse y’all are. Don’t you people have anything better to do with your online time? No mind my waya mouth o, l am tickled pink, blue and orange. A daa fun yin jo, eyin alaye mi bambam! Blogger abeg translate.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Back soon

Hello people!

You may have been wondering what has been keeping FI from updating this blog for the past weeks, like I said in the last post, FI has been busy.

But don't worry; she will be back with you on Monday.

Have a lovely day