Saturday, September 12, 2009

Celeb Read: Funmi Iyanda

Some months ago, I was reading through a popular Nigerian magazine, it was an interview with a very popular musician and he was asked what books he reads. His response was simple, he hardly reads books and gets all he wants on the internet and on FB. I am not against e-books but for someone to bluntly say that he does not read made me very afraid. Sure he is a role model to so many youths. Soon, he will be a father and I am trying to imagine what he'll tell his kids. This prompted us to start the Celeb Read series; the first interview is with Nigerian TV diva, Funmi Iyanda. We hope to show you that some celebs still read.

Funmi Iyanda has become a name to reckon with in the Nigerian media; some love her, while others simply hate her guts. But no one can easily forget Good Morning Nigeria and New Dawn With Funmi, neither can the children whose lives have been touched via the Change-a-life-Project forget her in a hurry.

Your reading list: A list of ten best books of all time Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt, Ogboju Ode ni Igbo Irumole by D. O Fagunwa, The Prince by Nicolo Machiavelli, Creation by Gore Vidal, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelheo, Ake by Wole Soyinka, Half of A Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie The Prophet by Khalil Gibran The art of war by Sun Tzu

Books you are reading at the moment and why?
Jagua Nana by Cyprian Ekwensi, to refresh my memory and to determine if Jagua Nana was a misunderstood independent spirit often miscast in popular culture as a loose woman. The More You Ignore Me by Jo Brand because l like Brand’s wicked sense of humour and her refusal to be dragged into the eternal bastion of female non progress that the weight issue is.

Favourite book quote: I like these two:
  • “Work is love made visible. And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy”. Khalil Gibran, The Prophet 1923.
  • “The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently”. Friedrich Nietzsche, The Dawn 1881.
Why do you read? To stay alive; must nourish my mind in the same way l do my body.

What do you think of books? Liberation from the tyranny of ignorance

What will a book about your life be called? Yetunde’s daughter

Who are your literary heroes? Chimamanda Adichie, Agatha Christie, Gore Vidal and Mark Twain

What is the last thing you read that made you laugh?“Everyone knows that a ‘Do not disturb’ sign means don’t come in, we are having sex” – Mrs Mill’s response to a reader’s question in the Sunday Times.

What book changed your life? Still searching for it

What is the strangest research you’ve done? The argument about whether elephant eggs exists or not with my 8 year old. She won.

What is the worth of a book? Priceless.


  1. I agree with you that anyone who doesn't read is dangerous in these times when the world is moving so fast that what you knew six months ago is almost antediluvian today.

  2. So much love the title she chose for a book of her life. I hope she will think of writing it.