Funmi Iyanda is, without a doubt, one of the most notable phenomena in the Nigerian media industry. Through her unique style of anchoring on-air programmes, the on-screen goddess made her marks that have withstood the test of time.
Although a certified geographer from the University of Ibadan, the Lagos-born and bred Iyanda made her debut in the media industry when she produced and presented Good Morning Nigeria, Heroes, and Street Life.
The on-set of her career
Funmi Iyanda’s career began with her serving as the host of MITV Live, a show produced by Segun Odegbami and Tunde Kelani.
Out of her enthusiasm for sports, she wrote a documentary about the 2006 Africa Cup of Nations, including the All Africa Games in Zimbabwe, the 1999 Female Football World Cup, and the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games in Sydney and Athens.
With her exceptional talent, she grew in the field and owned it.
The birth of the ‘New Dawn’ and more
The program “New Dawn” premiered in 2000 on the national television station “NTA 10 Lagos”. With her exceptional talent, the show became the longest-running, individually produced program on the station.
With this, her show and identity became household names among Nigerians due to her constancy and distinctive interview style.
She produced and hosted several globally nominated programs, such as My Country Nigeria, a three-part series commissioned by the BBC and selected for “Best News Documentary” at the 2011 Monte Carlo TV Festival.
The acclaimed socio-reality television series Talk with Funmi (TWF), one of her programs, has been distributed throughout Africa.
Iyanda served as the CEO of Ignite Media, which is now known as OYA Media. The global production firm was established in 2015 by Funmi Iyanda and it has offices in London and Lagos.
Under her leadership, the company made $6 million in two years while employing 23 contractors, 16 full-time employees, consultants, and contract workers. She now serves as the company’s executive director.
The iconic media personality also formed four media enterprises. She also produced her own shows, TV documentaries, events, and special communications initiatives in the public and private sectors.
She also founded and serves on the board of the Change-a-Life foundation, a social intervention initiative born out of her television program, New Dawn.
Accolades and boards
As a prominent talk show goddess, Funmi has many laurels due to her exceptional work.
She was recognised as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and was featured in Forbes’ 20 Power Women in Africa.
She is also a UN Women’s global equality advocate, a BBC 100 Women to Watch list, and an honorary fellow of the University of Cumbria in the United Kingdom.
Funmi is a part of the Aspen Institute’s Global Leaders Network and the Tutu Africa Leadership Institute Board.