GROWING UP, best-selling national fiction writer Funmi Anu Bankole had to sell drinks on the streets of Lagos to supplement her family’s income.
Since then, she has fought for prosperity to ensure that her own children have a better start in life than they did. Unfortunately, his goal of achieving this goal through the real estate market encountered many difficulties.
Finally, however, she is now enjoying success as a poignant family drama writer with a moral center.
When the Covid pandemic unexpectedly swept the world last year, Funmi Anu Bankole found herself in dire straits.
Since moving to the UK from her native Nigeria in the early 1990s, she has worked tirelessly to build a property portfolio to provide her family with a better standard of living than she had experienced in growing.
The real estate market has its peaks and troughs, and Funmi had weathered them all, but the arrival of the virus was a whole different matter. She soon realized with horror that her tenants were unable to pay their rent because they, like millions of others, had suddenly found themselves without a job.
It was then that a close friend made a life-changing suggestion for Funmi. After listening to Funmi tell his life story and experiences, they suggested it would make a great book.
Having enjoyed creative writing as a child, she rose to the challenge by starting to work on what would become her first short story, the semi-autobiographical Turning.
Since then, she has written and published five other books, including an autobiographical review of her Christian faith, Who is god?, and quickly gained a reputation as the literary queen of domestic drama.
Although his stories are stand-alone works, each of his short stories, which also include The boss, The prodigal daughter, Women waiting, and Born to rule-are thematically linked by two things.
First, they all share an informative and inspiring message on the importance of being successful in life, of acquiring wealth and social comfort for the good of the family. Second, they are all underpinned by Funmi’s unwavering faith in God and his guiding principle that hard work and a righteous life will ultimately be rewarded.
Each of the news revolves around a woman who faces extreme hardships in her life – a series of miscarriages in Women waiting, the rejection of his family in Turning, and children who turn to crime in The boss, for example, but who ultimately bounces back better than before after welcoming God into his life.
“All my books are based on real life experiences, whether mine or those of the collective,” explains Funmi, who is also a health worker.
“Anything can turn out to be the inspiration that triggers my next story, like things that I have encountered personally or observed through others, including articles in the press.
“The central character is usually a hard-working woman who wants to be successful but hasn’t achieved it so far. In this regard, I take inspiration from my youth: the hardworking girl who dreams of one day becoming a princess and living in a palace.
This yearning for material security is easily understood by looking at Funmi’s childhood.
Born in Nigeria’s former capital, Lagos, Funmi’s parents struggled to feed their seven children, and at just nine she began working as a street vendor to help supplement the family’s meager income. .
“It was a difficult life,” she recalls. “I was the second oldest child and I helped my mother sell things on the streets of Lagos.
“I went to school and when I got back I had to go to the streets, sell hot drinks in the winter and cold drinks in the summer.
“Before, it made me sad. I wondered why I had to go through all of this just to get food on the table when many young girls could buy and do whatever they wanted.
Despite this, Funmi did her best to excel in school, recognizing that a good education was the key to building a better life.
“I always tried to do my homework because I knew education would be my escape route,” she adds. “My work ethic was not strengthened until as a teenager I discovered the Bible and started going to church, acting under the duress that God needed to be a part of my life and feeling unwavering that I wouldn’t be able to achieve anything. without Him as part of the equation.
As an adult, Funmi left Nigeria for Britain, believing it would provide more opportunities to achieve the financial stability she had always dreamed of.
As the semi-autobiographical short story tells Turning, however, her plan to achieve it through ownership was not the fast track to wealth that she had originally envisioned.
Using her healthcare work to secure her first home, she embarked on a complex chain of remortgages to quickly acquire other properties.
However, monthly pressures to keep up with repayments, combined with market swings – especially in the aftermath of the Great Recession of 2007 – meant she was still as poor as when she started, if not poorer.
Funmi says, “I was working 24 hours a day, doing 16 hour days, and all of my income was going towards property maintenance and mortgage payments so the banks wouldn’t take back possession.
“On the outside it looked like I had money, but the reality was I never had any cash on hand. I had a young family but couldn’t send them on vacation or pay their school fees.
“Life was so stressful back then. The kids weren’t happy and no one seemed to understand that I was doing all of this for them.
Fortunately, life has improved dramatically for Funmi over the past 12 months. When the company reopened, she was able to sell several properties and regain control of her remaining portfolio, while enjoying a new source of income as a bestselling author.
Funmi is currently working on its next two short stories, including the intriguing The dancing horse, and has no intention of slowing down.
“I write because I want to share my experiences with others,” she says. “My greatest desire is for my readers to learn from my failures and successes, and those of others who have endured and overcome significant challenges in life.
“The only way to win is to stay positive and keep moving forward, no matter what obstacles you face. As the saying goes, God helps those who help themselves.
The six books by Funmi Anu Bankole—Turning, Born to rule, The prodigal daughter, Women waiting, The boss, and Who is god– are available on its website, www.FunmiAnuBankole.com, individually priced at £ 2.99 eBook, £ 5.99 for three or £ 9.99 for all six titles.