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Apr 24, 2009

Black Celebrity Profile: Funmi Iyanda

She attended Herbert Macaulay School in Lagos, Nigeria, and then went to the University of Ibadan where she graduated with a degree in Geography. Fresh out of University Funmi explored her deep passion of sports and for people when, between 1995 and 2003, she became an active member of the NFA. It was during this time that Funmi was consulted to act as chairperson to Nigerian sports legend Charity Okpara as well as Chioma Ajunwa, who two years later went on to win an Olympic Gold Medal.She reported on the 1999 female World Cup, the All Africa Games in Zimbabwe, as well as the Sydney Olympics in Australia. She also worked on a documentary on the team that participated in the African Cup of Nations in South Africa in 1996.

Good Morning Nigeria

She produced and presented "Good morning Nigeria" a magazine show. The show became a hit, with its "Heroes" segment which exalted the achievement of deserving members of the society and "Street Life", which unlike many shows at the time went out to the streets in search of compelling stories of the challenges Nigerians face.

The show beamed its searchlight on injustices to Nigerians, especially vulnerable members such as women and children. The show was syndicated on national television and in other states like Jos & Benin. In addition, her broadcast credits include Milo World Of sports (Presenters).

New Dawn and Other Works

Armed with the experience gained during the era of "Good morning Nigeria" Funmi sought a bigger platform to reach people and in 2000 she began presenting the programme "New Dawn".

"New Dawn with Funmi" started in 2000 and ran daily on NTA 10 Lagos. The success of the show made it the longest running independently produced programme on NTA. The programme has used its influence as a vehicle for social change and transformation by advocating the cause of the vulnerable members of the society with a bias for women, youth and children. Some of the shows initiatives include the "Change-A-Life" programme and foundation that has provided educational scholarships to over 50 young children, interventions in healthcare to needy members of society at no cost to beneficiaries, youth mentoring programmes as well as documentaries.

Funmi has also written regular columns in Tempo Magazine. On occasion she still serves as guest columnist for Farafina Magazine. She has also written for PM NEWS, Punch, Daily Trust & Vanguard Newspapers.

End of New Dawn

Funmi announced on her blog that after eight years, New Dawn was coming to an end with a broadcast of the final show in September. "What I’d like to say though is this: I was done on the dawn, done with inspiring people (which I never set out to but honoured to have achieved), I am set now to ignite those who would like to come along with me to exciting new possibilities the beginning of which will be a brand new show."

Personal Life

Funmi's maintains a personal blog.

Her efforts have been recognized with over 10 awards since 1999.

Funmi serves on the Board of Action Aid International Nigeria, Positive Impact Youth Network amongst others and is an ALI fellow.

In her spare time Funmi reads, watching movies and supports her favourite football team, Chelsea FC.