Nollywood Hardtalk | 29 May 2011 04:01 CET

Sex for role is up to the actress -Muna

By Sulaimon Olanrewaju


Muna Iyanam, Principal Consultant, Gazzelle Kuture, Lagos, is a professional image maker with special interests in public relations and marketing communication. The President of Women in Film and Television in Nigeria (WIFTIN) let Sulaimon Olanrewaju into her world of image branding, revealing her style, what drives her and how she maintains a healthy work-life balance.

TO Muna Iyanam, image is everything. But she says it is unfortunate that not many Nigerians as well as corporate organisations take cognisance of this as they go about their activities as if image does not count. It was this realisation and the desire to do something about it that propelled her to establish Gazzelle Kuture, a brand positioning organisation which assists individuals and organisations to create positive public perceptions about themselves.

According to her, “Nigerians need to be educated on the impact that good brand positioning, be it corporate or personal, has on everything concerning business and an individual's goals and expectations. Our niche in Gazzelle, especially for organisations, is adding a breath of fresh air to their businesses. For the individual, we make sure that your personal style corresponds with your political, corporate or social position. Communication comes as both verbal and non-verbal, therefore, it is my job to ensure both are speaking the same language.”Having established a reputation as an image manager, Muna has decided to lend a helping hand to her gender mates in the make belief world by championing the establishment of the Women in Film and Television in Nigeria (WIFTIN) with a view to projecting them and their works.

Speaking about WIFTIN, she says, “it is an affiliate of Women in Film International, a worldwide NGO boasting of more than 10,000 members in over 40 countries. Some of our members have won the Golden Globe Academy Awards. WIFTI supports its members in all chapters and acts as a resource for film finishing grants, award winning directors, producers and actresses. It is here to help promote the works of Nigerian women in the media as there are so many opportunities for festivals for WIFTI members and also for everyone.”She says the Nigerian chapter of WIFTI chose March 8 as its day of inauguration to showcase the first benefactor of the international opportunities offered by WIFTIN.

“She is Khadijah Kuranga, whose documentary Braveheart was chosen out of over 40 entries and was given the honour of being showcased all over the world in all WIFTI chapters on the 8th of March, which incidentally marked the 100th anniversary of the International Women's Day Celebration.”

Speaking on the changes she wishes to effect through WIFTIN, she says, “We would like to see women take the opportunity offered by WIFTIN to educate themselves and in turn promote their work. We have seen more women producers, directors and cinematographers, writers coming out of the closet, they have written, produced and directed superb productions such as Tinsel, Waiting Years, The Perfect Church etc.”

Muna believes that the challenges facing women in film and television are not different from those encountered by women in other professions, although she admits that sexual harassment is a reality in the industry.According to her, “Sexual harassment does exist, though these days, it is hard to know if it is the man or woman who is sexually harassed! At the end of the day, it is up to the woman to know her worth, hold firm to her values and if it's not working out, find another job produced or directed by a woman! You must not put yourself in the position to be harassed. This is not to say that there are no honorable men or desperate women who will do anything to land a role.”

Muna sees herself more as being stylish than fashionable. She says, “It is my job to always look stylish! That is what I do for people and businesses.

“ My personal style is comfortable chic! I will not buy an outfit because it is the fashion of the moment, I choose my wardrobe based on the timelessness of the style, comfort and cut. If I come out looking fashionable, then we both can agree I am a person of fashion!”

She, however, says she is label-crazy. “I am most definitely not label conscious! I also advise my clients not to be as, sometimes, it results in a total waste of money. I don't have any favorite designer! If an outfit suits my need and pocket, then you are my favored designer of the moment!”

Though considerably successful, Muna is driven to do more by the fear of failure. She explains, “I am driven by passion, fear of disappointing those that have put so much trust and faith in me! And the fear of failure!”

The delectable mother of three admits that combining her professional commitment with her matrimonial responsibility has been daunting but adds, “I have a wonderful, understanding and supportive husband who is my backbone and fantastic family support without which, it will be absolutely impossible to have a stable work-life balance.”

To Muna, success is not in riding choice cars or living in sprawling houses, though she lacks neither. She says, “Success is being together with my husband and handing over to our children a legacy built over the years with love, tears, grit and friendship. Success is looking down the road at all the people that have crossed my path and I have impacted upon, living successful lives. Success is being a complete woman, wife, mother and entrepreneur!”And for her legacy, “A foundation built on God, a family that is bound together by love, trust, friendship and loyalty and a healthy business that supports and touches many lives over decades!”

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