FUNMI OLUMADE - ROLE MODEL & AMBASSADOR
Funmi Olumade (Iyameto of Canada)
Title: MC Comedian / BioActivist / Community Leader
Officially Inducted into the “National Wall of Role Models” on June 7, 2014 ( See full list www.BlackCanadianAwards.com )
Are there as many opportunities for Blacks in Canada that can produce role models and institutions like Beyonce, Tyler Perry, Obama, BET, etc?
Not many but with determinations and perseverance one can get to where one wants to be.
Mention a few of your favorite Black Canadian Leaders, Artists and Role Models?
Bromley Armstrong – a civil right leader and activist
Zanana Akande – A teacher , school principal, and a politician married to a Nigerian
Irvin Cullings – A politician
Jean Augustine - First African Canadian woman elected to the Parliament of Canada
Tonya Lee Williams – An actress
Chief Yinka Farinde – A Nurse, a Musician, and a promoter.
Chief Emmanuel Mbulu – A philanthropist
To mention but a few.
Should & do Blacks support black music, events and businesses?
Blacks should support black music, events and businesses but we do not do enough. We prefer doing businesses with non-blacks mostly because of lack of trust. We need to believe in each other and those bad eggs amongst the blacks need to change and develop integrity. If we support each other, it will be a win-win affair.
What is your understanding of Black History in Canada?
My understanding of black history is the reflection of our past and how our ancestors came to settle in Canada and fight for us what we are enjoying today. Those years of slavery and segregation, the struggles of our forefathers and how we got to where we are today. An example is Rosa Park's story. In history, I see that have shown the innovative and creative sides. Have shown that we are just as equal, and educationally sound through our commitment, determination and perseverance. We are the descendants of Kings and Queens, that have ruled countries in a Continent of black people full of treasures and intellectuals. No one can tell our stories to our children as our forefathers. We have culture and our children can only know of this culture through Black History.
“My name is Funmi Olumade and a Canadian citizen, I know, but where are you originally from?”. Those that sound familiar. Black History in Canada reminds us of where we are coming from which gives us the opportunity to present positive role models to our young generations to emulate. This means being active in schools, churches and communities and also Volunteering our time to an organization which will have great positive impacts in our young generation.
What's your favorite food, music and movie?
Favourite food : Jollof Rice, fried plantain and Fish
Favourite Music: African Juju music (Sunny Ade)
Favourite Movie: Coming to America
What's your inspiration or how do you get motivated?
Positive people in my life inspire me. I obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology at York University at the age of 40, while holding a full-time job, volunteering actively in the community, and caring for two young boys as a single mother. By giving back to the community and not looking at what I can get in return motivates me.
Tell us a little bit more about yourself? - MC COMEDIAN
People call me Funmi Olumade but my full name is Olufunmilayo Olumade (a.k.a. “Funmi). Olufunmilayo means “God gives me joy” while Olumade means “God has the Crown”. I am an MC Comedian. I am also an event coordinator, a Master of Ceremony for birthdays, traditional engagements, weddings and I have hosted and emceed different events in Canada, America, London, and Nigeria. My passion for acting, comedy, poetry, story-telling and cultural dance started since elementary school. I am a skilled dance leader, a comedian and an actress who has performed in various stage productions. In 1995, during CELAFI, I was a storyteller. I am a member of AfriCan Theatre Ensemble since its inception and I have performed in the company’s production of “The Gods are not to Blame” and “Our Husband Has Gone Mad Again” both by Ola Rotimi, “Death and the King’s Horseman” by Wole Soyinka as well as “Esu and the Vagabond Minstrel” by Femi Osofisan. I have also acted in the movie “God’s Own Country” by Femi Agbayewa as well as the movie “Scoundrels of Faith” by Bayo Akinfemi. In 2009, at the BUZZ Festival, I played the role of the Second woman in an excerpt of the new play, "Woman King," by Modupe Olaogun and Olabisi Gwamna which is about Funmilayo-Ransome Kuti (Fela's mom) and the Egba women's uprising. In 2011, Abedorc Production awarded me with “MC-Comedian” Award for my contribution to the Entertainment Industry. Planet Africa also featured my profile in one of its magazines.
I currently work for Canada Post Corporation as a Letter Carrier. Giving back to the community, I was a Special Events Coordinator from 2009 to 2011 East Team Canada Post Employees United Way Campaign. Fighting for justice, I am an active member with Canadian Union of Postal Worker, Scarborough Local 602, a shop steward, a member of several committees and currently 2nd term Ontario Region Representative for the National Women Committee of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers. I also representative CUPW, Scarborough Local 602 at Durham Region Labour Council and was elected in January 2012 as Member at Large on the Executive Board of DRLC.
For the past 20 years, I have devoted herself to serving her community. I was the Executive Director, Community Liaison for Miss Nigerian-Canada Pageant for three consecutive years, one term Assistant General Secretary and two terms General Secretary for the Nigerian Canadian Association (NCA) in Toronto for four years under the leadership of Presidents Evans Enyolu and Hamed Hamis. I have served as a PRO and two-terms Vice President for the Yoruba Community Association (YCA) in Toronto under the leadership of Presidents Biyi Opaleye and Pastor Moses Olasusi. I also volunteered my time as Yoruba class teacher at Yoruba Language Class organized by YCA.
I also served on “The Immigration Fairness Committee” formed by the NCA to lobby our Canadian government to ensure that Nigerians are treated more fairly when they apply for any type of Canadian visa under the Chairmanship of Julius Adeleke. In 2010 and 2012, I was one of the volunteers at the Eko Club International Medical Mission of Hope to Nigeria. I was also the Convention Secretary for the 2011 ECI Convention held in Maryland, USA. I am currently on NCA Board of Directors I am also tje President of the Queens of Nigerian-Canadian Community (The Queens) and past Social Secretary and General Secretary of Eko Club of Canada.
Funmi may have been a Confidential Secretary, a data entry operator, a letter carrier, a health care aide, a personal support worker, but my heart has always been in entertainment. I love culture and loves to be creative. Entertainment is my passion.
As a devoted community leader whose devotion and service to the community has been recognized by numerous awards, to mention but a few, in 1998, AfriCanadian Journal recognized and awarded me the “Woman of the year”. In 1999, I was awarded O’dua Award of Recognition. In 2000, Miss Nigeria-Canada Pageant awarded her Community Service Award. In 2004, As a result of my active involvement in organizing many community events, the honorary title of “Iya-Meto of Canada” was formally bestowed upon me by the Yoruba Community Association. I coordinated the 1st Nigerian Canadian Youth Talent Show in May 2006 that was organized by the Yoruba Community Association. In October 2006, I was awarded with the YCA President Awards for my dedication to the community. On January 01, 2010, I was appointed as Canada Representative and Matron of First Ever YORUBA RADIO IN North America TIWA N TIWA, a new educative, informative and hilarious Yoruba program. With my frequent participation in Nigerian community events, I have endeared myself to the Nigerian-Canadian community by promoting good spirit and harmony. My high energy level and my enthusiastic smile help to build a bond of trust between myself and the community. I bring positive energy everywhere I go.
Only God keeps me going for His joy is in me. Counting what the Lord has done in my life inspires her. I have many role models with positive influences. The list is never-ending. Some of them are dead and some are still alive.
I may have been a data entry operator, a letter carrier, a health care aide, a personal support worker but my heart has always been in entertainment. I love culture and love to be creative. Acting is my passion.
Tell us something not many people know about you?
I am a Bioactivist. To know more about my Bioactivism visit www.mymorinda.com/3681121
In addition, when Afribana was introduced in 2009 Caribana Parade, I was the first ever "Afribana Queen" that went in front of the judges during the parade to showcase our rich culture.
What would you like to be remembered for?
I would like to be remembered for my positive energy, promoting good spirit and harmony.
How did you get to where you are now and what more should we expect?
Steadfastness and prayer. Believing that it is not too late to achieve my goals. Doing things that I love doing. I believe that following my passion sky is the limit and I will get there one day.
How do you balance work, family, friends and leisure?
I wear many hats and I am able to balance work, family, friends and leisure with the support and understanding of my lovely boys, friends and family. People often wonder where I get my energy from. To this, I reply: “With God, all things are possible.”
What's your experience as a Black person in Canada?
My experience as a black person in Canada is very good. It is a country of Opportunities. Canada is a multicultural society and I am a flexible person that adapts to any environment. The negative experience I had was asking for Canadian Experience as a new Immigrant in Canada. How do I get Canadian experience if I am not being hired in the first place.