Funke Bucknor-Obruthe talks about Tosyn Bucknor and Family on #WithChude
Chude Jideonwo’s guest on this episode of #WithChude is Nigeria’s pioneering event planner, Funke Bucknor-Obruthe, the CEO of Zapphaire Events.
Funke opens up about the pain of losing her Dad and her sister Tosyn, how she’s helping her mom cope with the loss, and the similarities she shared with her mom. She also shares insights on how she started her business and how important it is to have good friends.
See excerpts below:
On the pain of losing her sister:
“I cried, I think after Tosyn passed and I wasn’t dealing with that properly and I had to go into like counseling a few months last year. Then I did cry in one of those sessions…like I had to…the grief, the burnouts, anger, everything…
My dad passed, and then my sister passed a year after my dad. So when my dad passed, my dad was older. I just thought he was seventy-something, he’s lived a good life. So when he died I didn’t really think much of it. But I was a bit angry with that because I kinda felt the hospital should have told me he was dying but they didn’t tell us he was dying. So I was a bit angry with that and my sister too at that time was upset. If they had told us he was dying, we would have been with him every morning, afternoon night, sleep with him, and hold his hand. You know that kinda thing. So it was just a case of ‘Daddy we’ll see you in the morning’ and then we left and learned he has passed in the middle of the night.
Then Tosyn passed. Ah! When Tosyn died, I was angry, I was like why will God take my sister, we’re just 2 children o! I’m the firstborn. My mummy has lost two children before Tosyn when they were young now she has lost 3 children, and now it’s only me, Ahahn!
First of all, I felt the burden of just even loving my mother. I felt it was a bit much for me. I was angry with God. Because 2/3 days before that time I was at a revival, you know, I was…Ehhhh!…I was…serious prayer. I was like, God why you no show me say my sister go die? So I was very angry. I think that my dad’s death, then her death, just because Tosyn had been a sickler, I had even been detached from her cause I thought she was going to die anyway. So it’s a lot of things. I think I now started understanding some things about myself, why I was the way I was with people.”
On her business and the importance of having good people around:
“My business is 21 years now right? Like I said at that early stage you know, 5 years into the business, you know I was just a young girl, 25,24. I didn’t really understand many things. All I just understood was that I just wanted to deliver good work for my clients, hardworking discipline experiences and you’d require staff right?
And at that time, there were not many people that were in the industry. So I needed to get people and everybody that I got, I trained. I invested in them, I did everything. Then they wake up and say, ‘I’m leaving, my aunty said I’m gonna be this.’
At that time, it used to hurt, it was painful.
But thank God for people around. That’s why it’s always also good to surround yourself with good people. People that are like your mentor, people that will guide you, people that have also gone through what you went through. So I had friends, for example, Tara had just experienced this. So she will just say ‘Funke, look it’s part of life.’ So she will talk to me, another friend….I will go and read, I will sit down…even if I cry, I mean, we will cry now. You’d go and cry…but life has to go on. So what I’d do is, I’d come back and say that you know what, this has happened. But I am not going to be bitter. You know when you’re bitter, you tend to overreact and do things that even you yourself will begin to wonder about. And bitterness is a seed that grows. And you will just start hating everybody. So I said I’m not going to be bitter, I’m going to love. Maybe for some, I may detach myself, some I’m not going to love you more than I should love you and everything. So I said you know what, I’m going to love. I will love them. Even if I’m loving them from afar, but I will love you sha.”
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