Funmi Iyanda is a multi-award winning Nigerian Entrepreneur, Writer, Film and TV producer, TV Host and Philantropist. She is executive director at Oya Media, a London based media production studio and brand advisory set up to develop, produce and facilitate Films and TV shows for cinema, television and the web. She was co-founder and executive director at Creation Television UK. Funmi is best known for independently producing and hosting Nigeria’s most popular and groundbreaking talk show New Dawn with Funmi Iyanda, which ran nationally for eight years with unprecedented and yet unsurpased ratings . Famed for her intelligent, nuanced and irreverent interview style; Funmi quickly rose to become one of Nigeria’s most watched and revered TV personalities.
She has since gone on to produce and host a string of internationally nominated productions including My Country Nigeria, a 3 part series commissioned by BBC, and nominated for “Best News Documentary” at the 2011 Monte Carlo TV Festival. She is also the producer and host of BANFF nominated chopcassava.com, a gritty and innovative web series documenting the 2012 Nigerian fuel subsidy protests.
Her shows have been syndicated across Africa, including the critically acclaimed Talk with Funmi (TWF), an audacious socio-reality documentary television series. Funmi, along with a 30-man crew embarked on a harrowing but fulfilling road journey around Nigeria, capturing the people and conversations of the country. The result was a thought-provoking, illuminating and entertaining journey into the life of Nigerians.
Over the years, she has successfully started up four media companies which in addition to her own shows, have produced numerous TV documentaries, shows, events and special communications projects for media organisations as well as clients across spectrum of government, corporations and socio development. During her tenure as CEO of Ignite Media, the company turned over $6 million in two years employing 16 full time staff and 23 contractors, consultants and contract staff.
An innovator in her industry, Funmi has won tremendous recognition for her pioneering work in the media. She was honored as a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and named one of Forbes 20 Power Women in Africa. Funmi is a member of the Tutu Africa Leadership Institute Board and Aspen Institute’s Global leaders Network. In addition, she serves on the Board of Farafina Trust. She is a graduate of the University of Ibadan and holds a certificate in Global Leadership and Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School. She is also an honorary fellow of the University of Cumbria UK, a BBC 100 women to watch lister and a UN women global equality champion.
She is the founder and board member of Change-a-Life foundation, a social intervention project birthed on her show New Dawn. Over the years, Change-A-Life has evolved into an independent charity with a respected Board of Trustees and dedicated staff. The foundation has affected the lives of many indigent families and children through its scholarship, healthcare, counselling and micro-finance schemes.