Interview by Rachel Ogbu
Funke Adeniji is a woman on a mission to change the perception of healthy living within the African Caribbean Community in the UK. It is this mission that has led her to write her first book ‘The Truth About Health Exposed’ in which she hopes to inspire and empower people from all walks of life to tackle health challenges on a daily basis. Through her lifelong career as a pharmacist, she has gathered a wealth of knowledge and experience in helping people achieve health-related goals.
Funke’s specialist knowledge in HIV and infectious diseases as well as an MSc in Global Health Policy from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine has given her a wide overview of health and led to an increased interest in public health and wellbeing. ‘The Truth About Health Exposed’ is a holistic guide which covers the basics of health including physical, mental and social wellbeing as well as topical issues such as hygiene, supplements and food. The book also covers sexual health; the influence of culture and religion on individual health behaviour; as well as principles to help guide health behaviours.
In this interview with Rachel Ogbu, Funke elaborates on her journey so far…
Question: Please can you introduce yourself?
Adeniji: I’m a pharmacist, author of a book and CEO of an NGO called WESIE- Women Elite Sports Empowerment Initiative
Question: When did you establish your brand?
Adeniji: It’s difficult to say when the brand itself was actually established as its a work in progress, but in terms of what I’m building now I would probably say about 6-7 years ago
Question: How long have you been in business?
Adeniji: I started what I’m currently doing almost 7 years ago.
Question: When did you decide this is what you wanted to do?
Adeniji: I decided to write a book to further WESIE’s mission of empowering and educating communities on health and wellbeing just over 2 years ago. The aim was to reach out to more people and break down the whole concept of health in a holistic manner.
Question: Can you list some exciting milestones in your life with the dates? (eg: awards, honours, personal highs) Top career moments so far?
Adeniji: Emmm….a tricky one, probably key highlights would include gaining a scholarship to do my Masters in a prestigious and Internationally Renowned school, followed by the completion of the First Street Basketball Tournament (for women) in Nigeria and the arrival of my book after spending two years to write and publish it.
Question: How do you feel about all the recognition you’ve received?
Adeniji: I feel shy and humble yet grateful that I am able to get a platform to share my knowledge and experience to hopefully help others live healthier and more productive
Question: What is the best career advice you’ve ever received
Adeniji: …’Careers are built on opportunities and not plans
Question: Have you ever had moments when you wanted to quit?
Adeniji: Most definitely, it’s challenging to say the least running an organisation like this and takes a lot out of you. It definitely highlights the importance of passion which is always needed to go the distance through the good and bad times
Question: Which living person do you most admire, and why?
Adeniji: Hmmm……I don’t think there is one. I admire different aspects of people at any given time. Names of such include Winnie Mandela and Hilary Clinton. Women who somehow have been able to change their world and the world of others
Question: What is the worst job you’ve done?
Question: You are known for thinking big and taking risks, both in business and in your personal adventures. What’s the secret to your drive?
Adeniji: Passion, I’m driven by my passion and a strong desire to effect change and have an impact.
Question: What’s your advice to young people trying to weather the economic hardship?
Adeniji: Hold tight! Seasons come and go. Above all be creative in trying to weather the storm
Question: Please give us a tip on how to remain successful?
Adeniji: Stay focused and don’t live in the past by resting on your achievements.
Question: What’s the next big project you’re pursuing?
Adeniji: To organise a unique basketball event for women across 3 states minimum