Our personality of this month is Ifeoma Fafunwa – Founder and chief creative director of iOpenEye, a Nigerian production company driving social change through performance art.
Born and raised in Lagos, Ifeoma Fafunwa’s craft is inspired by the city of Lagos and most of her work debuts in Lagos but also has an international appeal. Her creativity has been expressed across a range of different media including advertising, architecture, interior design, film and of course, theatre.
Ifeoma Fanfunwa left the shores of Nigeria when she was 16 and coming back was the catalyst she needed to take up the banner for her country, which she describes as her “biggest love and heartache.” “When I came back I was very fascinated by choices, decisions, limitations and how the country was affected by the way women see themselves in society.” She said in an interview.
Ever since her return back to Nigeria, she has been involved in the creative industry from directing The Vagina Monologues to founding her company iOpenEye Limited, which has gone on to create workshops and produce her signature play, “Hear Word”.
One key interest to Ifeoma was to ask Nigerian women these questions after the release of her play Hear Word!; “Where is your focus? Do you not care about your children? Do you not care that the country is on the right track? Stop whining and moaning and get to work, this country needs everybody.”
Ifeoma believes that women are the nurturers of society around the globe. She once said in an interview; “The story of women is so important because women, right now, are what we have not tried for Nigeria. Women are what we need in terms of their involvement. Unfortunately, women are not effective, they are not engaged in the proper things. What if we put our resources into empowering those women to nation building?” asks Ifeoma Fafunwa
In 2014, her own production HEAR WORD! hit the stage in Lagos Nigeria. The play has been performed for thousands around the world and to a wide variety of audiences. This epic production describes life from the grassroots up. it talks about the small things every day that we take for granted.
Ifeoma Fanfunwa is empowering women Nigeria and most especially Africa through theatre arts. She has joined the league of inspiring African women into taking action and doing remarkable work to improve the health and well-being of Africans. It is important that we bring women to the forefront of leadership and decision making in order to improve the state of our country, says Ifeoma.