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'Being a Tourism Ambassador is a Dream come True' Miss Tourism Ogun Top Model

Funmbi Olaleye, 19 year old, is Miss Tourism Ogun Top Model and the Tourism Ambassador for the state. A young and vibrant undergraduate with vast skills in acting, dancing, Voice Over and singing, is a goal driven lady. In this exclusive interview with Tourismline, she narrated her life, achievements and prospects.
 
Tell us about Miss Tourism Ogun State.
It’s a platform to empower young ladies. Participating in the pageant changed some aspects of me. It helped me to discover parts of me that I don’t know or thought about. It is the biggest pageantry in Ogun sate. It’s also a national pageant because the winners get to represent Nigeria on the continent and beyond.
 
As an ambassador of tourism in Ogun state, how have you harnessed the opportunity given to you?
As Miss Tourism Ogun Top Model, Fashion has been my major selling point. The project assigned to me during the pageant was the Centenary Hall which is over a hundred years old and was established by the past Ake Monarchs in Egba Land, Ogun State. The hall though, a tourist site, has been abandoned. In a bid to create awareness for the Hall, I decided adopt it as my project. We have written several letters to the state government to no avail. It is sad that the present government is not interested in tourism, so we are just hoping for the next administration to take keen interest developing tourism in the state.

As an actress, a tourism ambassador among many other things, how have you been able to hold yourself accountable to your duty?
I will say planning and time management has helped me a lot. Everything I do still comes back to tourism. My meddling, acting, singing, we have to travel, so it all revolves around tourism. So, I manage my time  and take the office as my number one project during this tenure and I make sure if anything comes up, it is the first thing I have to attend to.
Your office comes with its own challenges. Tell us about it.
It is not easy as a female especially the part where you have to approach a male. You get different kind of responses but I just have to maintain a standard I can’t compromise.

Talking about being female, we have issues regarding gender equality, feminism amongst other issues going round on social media. As a female tourist ambassador, how have you been able to carry out these activities knowing there are male counterparts out there who are equally successful in one area or the other?
“Everyone wants to see a female especially one with a pretty face but once you see a female handling anything, they get more attended to than a male. And I maintain good working relationship with the male counterparts and they give me their support. Also I have a good manner of approach. The second aspect is the aspect where the men want to sleep with you before they have anything to offer. But I tell younger models, if you approach any man or company with a brain and not just beauty, they will have something good to offer you.”
 

L-R: Managing Editor, Tourismline Mr. Taiwo Akintunde, Brand/Media Consultant, Mr. Olawunmi Ojo, MD/CEO Teemark Group, Dr. Taiwo Ayodeji, Miss Tourism in Ogun State, Miss Funmbi Olaleye, and Convener Miss Tourism Ogun State, Mr. Oladiran Olalekan during a courtesy visit to Teemark Group head office in Lagos recently.
 
What are you doing to leave a mark of legacy in your office?
“I started with my modeling career. No one had done anything pertaining to modeling so I decided to bring fame to Ogun state’s tourism with modeling which I believe has broken the record. Anything I’m doing, I try as much as possible to refer to Ogun State. For example, people only know Olumo rock whereas there are over 30 tourist attractions in the state. We also have a beach, where we did a shoot and it has been trending on and off social media.”

What are your next plans in the world of tourism?
“One of my major aims is to develope a lot of tourist sites in the state with the support of the government because we have people travelling out of the country to get married when we have so many tourists’ sites over here. It brings us back to our history and culture. I also try to organize seminars with schools to educate children on their culture.”
 
How do you carry your peers along and how have you been able to use your office to establish a working relationship with your peers especially in the school environment?s
“I just try to be as humble as possible. No matter the appointment I get, I try to inform my boss. I don’t do things alone. I carry my team along so they always know what is going on. My peers in school, home and all, I make sure I have a good audience with them even on social media. I take suggestions from people and all. It’s all around humility.”
How have you been able to combine tourism with acting?
“I haven’t really concentrated on acting because of school and a lot of things surround it. It’s one step at a time. Mainly, acting for me has been with advertising. I haven’t taken it as a career maybe till when I have had breakthroughs.”

How did modeling started for you?
I started as a kid, mainly with advertising. After my secondary school education, I decided to go into it modeling fully. There have been so many challenges. You have to train, you have to keep fit, be dedicated, be creative, be hard working, and the competition is high especially where you have a lot of pretty females. But I have been able to go about it with wisdom.
 
Are you in a relationship and how are you coping with it as a public figure?
It can be difficult but you just have to have an agreement between you and your partner. You might need to keep it private, low-key, you have to come to an agreement on how much the public should know.
  
Talking about family, how do you merge being a child with public figure?
Since I was young, I have always been the type that is goal driven. Whenever I want to do anything, I like to be left to my world. When I wanted to go into the entertainment industry, my mum supported me. My elder sister is a makeup artiste too and my mother knows when to let us have our time. But sometimes, it could be annoying because they want to make you feel you grew up in their hands. My father allows us do whatever we want to do as far as we succeed.
 
Photos by Opeyemi Taiwo and Team Miss Ogun Tourism 

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