By Kehinde Ajose
Funto Ibuoye is a purpose driven young woman who is passionate about helping women live their dreams and fulfil their God given assignments. Thegraduate of Accounting from Covenant University and a Chartered Accountant authored her first book in 2013-Bbeautified, every woman’s guide to true beauty, exquisite style and pure inspiration.
This visionary damsel is the co founder of LACE(Ladies After Christ’ Example)a faith based initiative for young girl .In this interview, she opens up on what true beauty means, why she is hosting the Becoming conference, how women can be change agents, among other issues.
What inspired your book Beautified?
After I graduated from Covenant University I went to a make-up school while awaiting NYSC. During this period, I read a lot of books on beauty and all of them talked about physical beauty. It was hard to find a single book that talked about holistic beauty- in and out beauty.
So I started with sending out BBM broadcast messages on beauty tips that focused on both inner and outer beauty. The feedback I received after each broadcast was very encouraging and so I got inspired to put all the tips into a book; hence, beautified.
What is your definition of true beauty?
True beauty to me is being beautiful on the inside so much so that it reflects on the outside. True beauty is not just about having a beautiful face; it’s about having a beautiful heart and a beautiful soul.
There is this very profound definition of true beauty I love- “True beauty emanates from a woman who boldly and unabashedly knows who she is in Christ.” I feel like the author of that definition took the words right out of my heart.
How long did it take you to write the book?
It took me about 3 months to compile all the broadcast messages on beauty tips I had sent out and edit them to be suitable for publishing in a book as well as include additional content. However, it took 9 months to edit and publish the book, because it was quite a challenge finding great pictures we could use to depict each topic in the book. So that’s a total of 12months altogether.
What is the most inspiring testimony you have gotten from the book?
I have received a lot of inspiring testimonies as regards the book- beautified, but one that really got my heart was from a mother who read the book and told me she was so blessed by the book she was going to keep it for her daughter who is about 6/7 years old to read it as well; she also said she would like me to mentor her daughter. That was quite inspiring for me.
How can women become agents of change?
Women can become agents of change simply by discovering who God created them to be and stepping out in courage to be just that. I believe that God has given each of us an assignment and it’s our duty to find out what that assignment is and fulfil it. It’s only when we walk in purpose that we truly can be change agents, rising against the norms, breaking barriers and blazing every trail.
What drives you?
Honestly, I think God Himself drives me. The mere thought of knowing that this God who created the whole world knows every single detail about me, drives me to want to know Him more and discover all he has created me for, and just go ahead and fulfil His purpose for my life.
I do not think that I am self-driven; left to myself, I do not like stress and I like to live life simply and easily without any hassles; but when I think about God and how fickle life is, I know that I cannot afford to just sit still and not make a big difference in this world. So it’s like God drives me. He drives me to want to be a better person. He drives me to want to help others be better. He drives me to becoming all He created me to be.
What exactly inspired Becoming conference
The Bible talks about older women teaching the younger women but I realized that in this age, most of the older women are busy pursuing their own dreams and careers and leaving the younger women at the mercy of house helps, friends who do not know any better and the internet; learning all sorts because no one is really taking the time to teach and mentor them.
I started organizing gatherings in our sitting room for teenage girls from my church back in 2011 and then it metamorphosed into LACE (Ladies After Christ’s Example) which I co-founded with a friend of mine. I see a lot of young women who are just living life passively with no sense of purpose and it just makes my heart ache.
There is so much more to life than just going to school, getting married and having children. That’s why I founded The Beautified Network, a for-purpose and faith-based initiative for young women.
The sole purpose for Becoming is to bring together, women who have ‘become’ i.e. achieved a decent level of success and significance in their respective endeavors, and have these women share the stories of their journey to success as they inspire the younger women towards pursuing their own purposes and living up to their full potential. I strongly believe that women are an invaluable element for social transformation and there is no better time to empower them than now, especially in this dispensation of a new Nigeria.
What do you intend to achieve through this conference?
Through this conference, I want young women to come together to-worship God who created us and empowers us to live out the kind of life He has planned for us. Without Him, our lives would definitely have no meaning. Listen to and be inspired by the stories of older women who have ‘become’ so they also go out and work towards ‘becoming’ all God created them to be.
Network with other young women towards building purposeful friendships and encouraging each other on the journey to ‘becoming’.
What is the greatest price you have paid for your passion?
This would be giving up my career as a Chartered Accountant and pursuing a career which is closer to what I am passionate about.
How do you create the balance between pursuing your passion and your day job?
During week days after I get home from work, it’s like I take off my 9-5 hat and put on my passion hat, so most of the time at nights or early in the mornings before work and most weekends , I’m working on my passion projects and then during the week, I’m at my day job. It definitely hasn’t been an easy task but I’m determined to keep at it until my day dream (passion) finally becomes my day job.