Nigerian Entrepreneur, Funke Bucknor sits #WithChude to discussed how she dealt with competition in the events management industry, grieving her late sister, Tosyn and learning to be vulnerable.
She shared how she coped with competition, especially from the people she had trained. On how she was able to move on she said, “My business is 21 years now. At that early stage, 5 years into the business, I was just a young girl, aged 24 to 25. I didn’t really understand many things, all I just understood was that I just wanted to deliver good work for my clients, and it required staff. 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 and invested in them. Then they wake up and say, ‘I’m leaving’. At that time, it used to hurt, it was painful, but thank God for people around me. That’s why it’s always also good to surround yourself with good people. People that are like your mentors, that will guide you. People that have also gone through what you went through. So, I had friends like that. For example, Tara had just experienced this. So, she will just say ‘Funke, look, it’s part of life.’ I will go and read, I will sit down 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. 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, for some I’m not going to love you more than I should love you. Even if I’m loving them from afar, but I will love you sha.”
On Tosyn’s demise, she shares, “I cried. I think after Tosyn passed and I wasn’t dealing with that properly and I had to go into counseling for a few months last year. Then I did cry in one of those sessions because of the bottled-up grief, the burnouts, anger, and everything. My dad passed, 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, and he’s lived a good life. I didn’t really think much of it. But I was a bit angry because I kind of felt the hospital should have told me he was dying but they didn’t tell us. So, I was a bit angry with that and my sister too was upset at that time. If they had told us he was dying, we would have been with him every morning, afternoon and night, sleeping with him, and holding his hand. So, it was just a case of ‘Daddy we’ll see you in the morning’ and then we left and learnt he has passed in the middle of the night. Then Tosyn passed. Ah! When Tosyn died, I was angry, I thought, ‘why will God take my sister, we’re just 2 children! And I’m the firstborn. My mummy lost two children before Tosyn when they were young. Now, she has lost 3 children, now it’s only me.’ First of all, I felt the burden of loving my mother was a bit much for me. I was angry with God.”
“Tosyn had been a sickler, and I had even been detached from her, because I thought she was going to die anyway. So, it was a lot of things. I think I have now started understanding some things myself, why I was the way I was with people. I now started cultivating friendships and making myself vulnerable. Because I never wanted to be vulnerable”.
Watch the excerpt, here.