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Don't limit yourself and dream big! Interview with Funmilayo Onuma, Country Manager, Silverbird Cinemas

For this month's interview, we are delighted to be joined by Funmilayo Onuma, Country Manager, Silverbird Cinemas Ltd. Funmi was a mentor in the 5th edition of the UNIC Women's Cinema Leadership programme and is here sharing her experience.

UNIC: Tell us about your daily habits that keep you inspired and motivated.

Funmi: I practice exercise and meditation, and I usually take an early morning walk to clear my head. Then I feel ready for any strategic planning. I also practice praying and gratitude, as I end my day praying and reflecting on my daily activities. I also listen to inspirational and uplifting music throughout the day.

UNIC: Looking back at your career journey, what are you the proudest of?

Funmi: I am proud of being a self-starter and of having built creative teams at Silverbird Cinemas. I also make a point of not allowing my gender to define what I can and could achieve.

UNIC: What were the biggest challenges you encountered throughout your leadership journey?

Funmi: Heading a team with different age groups (especially Gen Z, who can be pretty challenging). Standing out as a woman in a male-dominated industry has also proven to be a big challenge.

UNIC: What are the key insights you know now that you wished you knew at the beginning of your career?

Funmi: Don’t limit yourself and dream big!

UNIC: Having a demanding role, how do you balance your work and personal life?

Funmi: I find that proper planning is crucial, and you also require a support system (family, friends, and paid help).

UNIC: You were a mentor in the fifth edition of the UNIC Women's Cinema Leadership Programme. How was that experience for you?

Funmi: It was a great experience to be able to share my knowledge and recount relevant experiences in the industry.

UNIC: What advice do you have for current mentors and mentees?

Funmi: First, it’s necessary for each mentor to understand the “why” and “what” of their mentees. They need to know why they (mentees) want to be mentored and understand their career goals so they can take them on a journey.

For a great mentor/mentee relationship, there must be a connection between both parties for communication to flow easily and to get the best out of the mentorship session.

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