Funke Olaode

- What influfl enced your to go Havingg highg mighty,gy pp ppoint yyou ffeel yyou changeg ffrom becomingg ‘Shopp yyou pplan Anyy planp T

what I do now as so much more than just acting, and in light of that, I would say I was being prepared and am still being prepared, but for something I never knew I was preparing for. In the last few years my life has taken unexpected turns into things I never thought I would be doing, or frankly wanted to do. I always wanted to be an actor and a producer, but I never saw myself as a host or a presenter, and I certainly never saw myself in ministry but you find purpose in unexpected places. When things like that happen seemingly out of nowhere, you never feel prepared or ready, but I have learnt to trust the purpose giver more than myself or my abilities. The first season of Shop Talk as an idea seemed to come out of nothing, things happened so fast and took shape in ways I didn’t expect when it started, but I am incredibly proud of what was created and the potential for impact and growth it could have on a ggeneratio­n generation of men throughout throughout­g Nigeria. g The success of the show and the qquality quality y of the content onlyy only comes from God, so prepared or not, we


into acting?

I remember when I first moved to school in the UK, I went to see a production of Les Miserables with my sister expecting to be bored, but being blown away. It made me decide to study performing arts at school and I fell in love with it. The opportunit­y to tell stories and see life from different perspectiv­es. Acting helped me find my confidence, interact with people and learn so much outside the confines of a textbook.

What were your parents’ initial reactions when you decided to toe the path?

I’m lucky; my parents have always been supportive of my passion and desire for the entertainm­ent industry. More than being supportive just in words they made sacrifices for me to be able to pursue the career path, so I am eternally grateful.

Having acted with the high and mighty, what usually struck you about those people?

One thing thingg I learnt when I was in a drama school, that I have carried with me is to never judge jjudgeg your yyour character. So where people ppeople p see, high highg and mighty, mighty,gy or intolerant people, ppeople,p I always alwaysy see out of their perspectiv­e. pperspecti­ve.p Even the “worse” of ppeoplep people have some sort of moral guidance gguidance and have a form of jjustifica­tion justificat­ion for all their choices that make sense to them.

At what exact point did you feel you have to change course from being an actor to becoming a host?

I wouldn’t call it a change changeg but more an expansion. expansion.p It wasn’t a decision I made, when I had the idea for Shop Shopp Talk it was birthed out of a desire to create a setting settingg for men to speak speakp openly openlypy and honestly honestlyy about a range rangeg of issues that could result in growth ggrowth and positivepp­ositive impact. impact.p So, hosting hostingg was birthed out of a passion ppassion for the content as opposed pp to the content being birthed out of a passion to host.

What is this ‘Shop Talk’ all about?

This season of Shop Shopp Talk takes on a new format. With the same goals of getting men to open up about a range of serious issues, this seasonShop Talk 3G is a series of roundtable discussion­s with a guest list spanning across generation­s, so as to create an honest and open dialogue between men across ages, hoping to have genuine impact and understand­ing of one another’s views and dispositio­ns. With the first season there was a lot of focus on relationsh­ips, but with this season we cast the net wider, talking about issues ranging from age discrimina­tion to mental and emotional health.

Can you throw more light on how it will run online?

Shop Talk will be released every Friday at 12pm, starting on June 15 on its YouTube page, ShopTalkNG, with media partners such as BellaNaija putting it out on their platform as well.

What do you plan to achieve?

The ggoal goal of Shopp Shop Talk and myy my longg long term ggoal goal ppersonall­yy personally are to influence ggrowth growth in the countrycou­ntryy and have ppositive positive impact impactp on the t trajectory­jy trajectory of our nation. I believe this com comes byy by empowering­pg empowering our communitie­s and the ppeoplep people within them, but most importantl­y importantl­y, p y instilling­g instilling the right rightg values and morals in our ou ppeople,p people, which comes from open, open,p honest dialogueg dialogue and pproviding­g providing the rightg right educatio education for everyone.everyone.y I believe men have a strong g role to pplayy play in that and must be equipped q pp with morals and values that we have lack lacked in recent ggeneratio­ns. generation­s. I wouldn’t say sayy I am well versed in all areas of this but I have th the desire to learn from the ppeoplep people around me and ppass pass on what I have and I’m learning. learning g I am ggrateful grateful for the pplatform platform myy my career is ggivingg giving me and usingg using what God has birthe birthed in me for ggood good and believe as opposedpp opposed to speakingpg speaking of all that is wrongg wrong we begin to find solutions and act on them.

Any plan to air the programme on TV or radio?

It would be nice for the show to ggrow grow from fr beingg being jjust just online to television and hopefully hopefu p that is somethingg something that could happenpp happen soon soon. More so than that, I believe that Shopp Shop Talk is more than just jjust a show. I desire to see it do d more than talk about issues and ppoten potential solutions, to coming comingg together togetherg with other like-minded Nigeriansg Nigerians to active actively work on fixingg fixing issues and building a better Nigeria.

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