Media Guru, Funmi Iyanda Talks Career, Feminism, When She Realised She’s A Woman & More In New Interview

Funmi Iyanda looks absolutely stunning as she covers Guardian Life magazine’s latest issue. She is a petite woman who has definitely not only made a name for herself in the media industry but also held her spot.

During an interview with the magazine, the veteran talk show host, broadcaster, journalist, culture figure and CEO of OYA Media talks about her life, career, patriarchy, misogyny, feminism, sexuality and more.

Read and enjoy below…

On when she realised she is a woman;

“I didn’t recognise I was a woman early enough in life, ”she admits with a girlish giggle, her eyes closed while the makeup artist dusts theme royal blue.

“My mother died, my father brought me and my brothers up. Nobody taught me how to be a woman. It’s all conditioning. This is really important for young girls, because when you don’t tell them they can’t do this they won’t know they’re not supposed to do it!”

READ ALSO: “Why a woman’s worth is closely tied to motherhood” –  Funmi Iyanda Shares Inspiring Note

On when she realized she was famous, Iyanda said;

“When my father told me as he walked down our street every morning, he could hear my voice coming from every house… That’s when I knew I was famous.”

When asked about feminism, the glamorous mother of one speaks on the topic admitting her “whole life is misogyny”, as being a female talk show host back then was not half as fun as it seemed.

“As a journalist, I wanted to do politics and they put me in woman. I refused, what is woman?

We say we like powerful women but we don’t because we’ve been conditioned to accept that power is a masculine thing and that there’s limited power scope for women.

One of the ills of patriarchy is that women have been forced for centuries to negotiate power and personhood by stealth and manipulation so a woman in full unapologetic feminine power often reads like a threat to both men and women.”

The upsides of her job seemed to be helping people although, sometimes it sounds a lot more like a downside. She admits several interviews made her break down in tears.

READ ALSO: Who Knew Ace Broadcaster, Funmi Iyanda Ever Struggled With Low Self Esteem?

“There was one with a little boy with a hole in his heart. At some point we were calling someone on the set and the person started crying and the mother started crying and the father started crying and the boy started crying and I started crying and we were all crying. We raised enough money but sadly, he died.”

“I once interviewed people who were scooping petrol out of a gutter. I said you saw the big event that happened last week, you saw people burnt, do you want to die? And they said: Aunty, I never die like this? The desperation, I will never trust anybody in leadership who doesn’t understand human desperation. The basis of Shari’a that they misinterpret is the prophet says first you must create utopia.

It’s a way of the prophet saying you are not in a place to judge anybody unless you create a world where they are fully human. We have to be really careful, right now, I see a lot of things that are done as a trend but in Nigeria, we can’t afford that. If you read the everyday stories, the depravity of those stories is mind boggling. That it can occur is because our system is broken. That’s why I use the term ‘tear pant’.”

“‘Tear pant’ is like when even your mother can’t hold you back. Because this is about your life and your future. In no time you will be 50 or 60. You have to tear pant at a certain stage, and until we get to that point, anything will happen and nothing will happen.

That’s why what we’re doing now is so important and that’s why I’m challenging women, especially creatives, in this way. The role of a person who can shape the imagination is very important because you can shape how people think about things.

Force them to think deeper, ask hard questions, be wise. Because without wisdom you will lose the platform you are using. Don’t let people change your art form, you’re not doing this for them, that’s why when you’re talking to people, in the back of your mind while you’re smiling, think, ‘Forget. Forget.’

Don’t allow yourself to fool yourself, others are always going to do it but you must not fool yourself, that’s my challenge for you, that’s why I came to do this interview.”

Photo credit: Guardian Life



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