by Chi Ibe
Award winning producer and broadcast journalist, Funmi Iyanda returns to the television screen with another ground-breaking documentary chronicling the lives and times of a modern Nigeria. ‘PH Stories’ documents Funmi’s journey as she talks to locals, artists, writers, celebrities and politicians, exploring stories in and around Port Harcourt, the garden city and business capital of the Niger Delta. PH Stories will start airing this Sunday on LTV and every Sunday in March on Silverbird TV, NTA Network and Channels TV.
After wrapping up production on Nigeria’s most lauded studio talk show, New Dawn, Funmi Iyanda teamed up with acclaimed UK based Nigerian film and commercials director Chris Dada on a journey round Nigeria capturing the conversations of its people. A Cannes finalist and Saatchi & Saatchi World Top 100 Directors, Chris Dada has succeeded in creating a series of docu-dramas that are an artistic blend of talk show, reality television and gritty news reporting. Inspiring real life stories, illuminating and eye-opening interviews, capture the imagination and offer a fresh perspective on the diverse cultures and experiences of the Nigerian people. Lagos Stories, an episode in the series was nominated Best News Documentary by the Monte Carlo Television Festival in 2011.
In search of the stories and voices of the Niger Delta, Funmi Iyanda and her crew travelled to Port Harcourt, following the trail of Kaine Agary’s award winning novel ‘Yellow Yellow’. A short boat ride from Port Harcourt brings Funmi to the beautiful island of Bonny, rich in history and natural beauty and home to Nigeria’s Liquid Natural Gas project. Bonny is also home to Monkey Village, where you’ll find Funmi engaging a melee of interesting individuals in her signature down to earth and frank style, eliciting openness and honesty from people on the fringes of society–mixed race descendants of foreign oil workers and Nigerian women, militants, armed robbers and drug dealers. Finally, Rivers State Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi drives Funmi and her crew around the city, visiting various innovative government projects and discussing issues of poverty, job creation, power generation and true federalism.
Speaking on the project, Funmi said: “I wanted to create a platform where authentic Nigerian stories told by Nigerians could be heard as I truly believe that nobody can tell our own stories the way we can.” Funmi Iyanda and Chris Dada’s combined experience, skill and talent is yielding international quality, creative and engaging programming that explores African cultural stories from an African perspective.
Funmi was honoured as a Young Global Leader (YGL) 2011 by the World Economic Forum for her work in media advocacy and was recently named one of Forbes 20 Youngest Power Women in Africa.
PH Stories is a Creation production.