Apetebi Ogunfunmilayo Egunyemi Fagbenro
Apetebi Ogunfunmilayo Egunyemi Fagbenro began her journey in Yoruba Culture in the late 1990’s. She was introduced to an Egungun Ancestrial Society in Dallas, Texas in 1999. There she learned basic orisa knowlege and found that Ogun was the deity that walked with her. As she continued to study, she was given her first name, Ogunfunmilayo, meaning Ogun gives me joy and the joy is in the birth of the child. By the end of 2001, Funmi traveled to Abeokuta, Nigeria. There she met Oluwo Fatai S. Fagbenro Amusan, Oluwo of Ibara Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria during the Egungun Festival. She was initiated by Oluwo to Egungun during her 17-day stay. After her initiation, she was given her second name, Egunyemi, meaning Egungun fits me.
Funmi was born and raised, Gina Louise, in Washington, DC. She has a Bacholar of Arts in Literary Studies from the University of Texas at Dallas and a Master of Arts in Education - Curriculum and Instruction. She was a police office in Dallas Texas for seven years before she was wrongfully terminated for having locs. Although, she found no success with the discrimination law suit, she continued on her path as an educator. She has taught English to middle and high school students since 2001. She is also a musician; bass guitar, electric guitar, trombone, and percussion. As the owner of SistaBassBone Studios, she continues to perform locally as a free-lance musician and teaches beginner music lessons. She has two beautiful childen; a son, Ifatade, meaning Ifa gives the crown, and a daughter, Ifakorede, meaning Ifa gives the wealth.
After moving from Texas to Georgia, she became a member of Ile Ori African Cultural Center in Atlanta in 2006. As the musical director, she plays the conga, talking drum, and bells. She is a dedicated devotee of Ifa and assists as needed at the Ile. In 2009, she recieved her Isefa, Hand of Ifa, from Chief Kayode Faniyi, Agbongbon of Osogbo, Osun State, Nigeria.