By Eric Elezuo
One of the basic achievements of the Beijing Women Conference of 1995 was creating untold courage among women who are determined and committed to making a paradigm shift towards affecting humanity for the positive reasons. One of such women is the strong woman at Nigeria’s foremost bank, First Bank, Mrs. Folake Ani-Mumuney, who is the General Manager as well as sits atop Marketing and Corporate Communications Department of the bank.
Ani-Mumuney, simply known as Folake or FAM by friends and well-wishers, is a humble combination of beauty, brains and workaholism. She is a stress-free achiever, who also chairs the Board of Directors of the insurance arm of the group.
Born to the family of late erudite former Medical Director of the National Orthopedic Hospital, Dr. Francis Owosina, who served between 1977 and 1989, Folake could very well be said to be a chip off the old block, striding in the very transparent footsteps of her forebears. Her father is reputed to have developed the modernised general and specialised Orthopaedic and Emergency Services department of the hospital in addition to introducing hip replacement and spinal surgery when he held sway at the hospital. He was also the brain behind the recognition of the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi as a World Health Organisation collaborating centre in 1979 as well as establishing the Post Basic Nursing School and the Residency programme in Orthopaedics.
Versatile and very prolific, Folake holds a degree in Philosophy and Law and also a Diploma in Business Computing System Analysis and Design in addition to several management certificates and affiliation to many professional bodies.
She began her prolific and illustrious career with the British Airways, where she was responsible for Brands Policies and Communications across Europe and African region comprising 59 countries. She was practically running 59 countries, more than the size of the African continent at a time. It could only be as a result of her doggedness and desire to be the best one can be. She equally managed portfolios as Business Analyst, Strategy & Business Planning Manager, New Business Development Manager and Head marketing & Communications Manager Africa. And she was quite young then – a typical example of not too young to run product.
Her dexterity attracted the presence of the richest man in Africa, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, who promptly co-opted her into the group. Bringing her experiences to bear, she initiated the speedy turnaround of Dangote Industries as its Chief Marketing and Communication Officer. Her days at Dangote are remembered with fondness for the giant strides she took.
It was from Dangote that Ani-Mumuney moved to First Bank where she presently serves as Head of Marketing & Corporate Communications and General Manager. She is known to be the brain behind the meteoritic rise in the fortunes of the bank as she continuously dishes out one form of market oriented policy after another.
It is not for granted therefore, that her prolific nature was rewarded in 2017 when she emerged as the 10th President of the Advertisers Association of Nigeria in a keenly contested election. She therefore made history as the first female president of the association. Folake is known for creating firsts.
Between September 2017 when she took over the mantle of leadership of the association and today, Folake has walked her talk, creating a level playing ground for stakeholders as well as room for profit maximization in members’ respective businesses. Her intelligence and willingness to positively affect lives have remained her propelling philosophy to greater heights.
In the testimonies of those who had been privileged to work with her or just come across her, Folake is a quintessential enigma, down to earth and full of respect – a virtue she confessed to receiving from her disciplinarian parents – her late father and her still bubbling over 80 years mother.
With the likes of Wasiu Abiola of Nigerian Breweries, Nkiru Olumide Ojo of Stanbic IBTC, Nnena Osi Anugwa and Onome Asgbara of Dufil Prima on the driving wheels with her, Ani-Mumuney has been able to steer the progress of ADVAN forward, initiating new vistas and building on the achievement of the past executives.
The communication and marketing expert, who has conquered the fields of aviation, manufacturing and banking, was appointed to chair the insurance brokers’ arm of the group, FBN Insurance Brokers, while maintaining her position. Her appointment was contained in a notification to the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE), shareholders and the general public. Her elevation is a function of ability and trust.
In November 2019, Mumuney, who is also the Vice President, World Federation of Advertisers, was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2019 Marketing World Awards in Ghana. She bagged the prestigious award having delivered superior product values to the market, exhibited excellence in upholding concrete marketing strategies, displayed uniqueness and conveyed clear messages to consumers.
She is known to stand far above competitors, making her a candidate for recognition, awards and celebration at all times. She is endowed with a great personality that speaks for itself, and is widely respected and admired for her wits and intelligence. Her career, in short, is one big story of excellence and achievements.
A philanthropist of immeasurable standard, Folake has engaged in veritable corporate social responsibility, including individual based assistance to persons and communities. She is known to have put smiles on the faces of everyone that has come across her in one way or another, and has a retinue of gratitude in the bargain.
Folake is happily married with lovely children who are gradually carving a niche for themselves in their various little ways.
Ma, for being who you are (intelligent, productive and humane) and striving to make life bearable for as many people, you are our Boss of the Week. Congratulations!