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Mar 29, 2023

B.N.T.U. Stann Creek Member Ifasina Efunyemi Vies For B.N.T.U. Presidency

The Belize National Teachers Union has scheduled its 2023 Convention for April thirteen. A new executive will be elected at the convention. Senator Elena Smith has served as President of the B.N.T.U. for three terms and is no longer eligible to hold the position. So, the union’s presidency is up for grabs and two long-standing union members have put forward their names as candidates for that office. They are Ruth Shoman and Ifasina Efunyemi. The next person to sit at the helm of what is widely considered to be one of the most robust and vigorous workers union in the country must be able to navigate the ongoing, sometimes difficult, negotiations between the joint unions and G.O.B. So, the selection of a new B.N.T.U. president is no small matter for its members. Today, we caught up with one of the two candidates, Ifasina Efunyemi, to find out more about her bid.


Ifasina Efunyemi

Ifasina Efunyemi, BNTU National President Candidate

“I have been in the union since 2009 is when I actually officially became a member of the BNTU. Yes, in my work as a media person, I work with Love FM and I’ve done interviews with the BNTU. I’ve covered different activities that the union has been engaged in, but entering the educational profession, I knew that it was imperative that I be a part of the BNT, a part of unionism, a part of advocating for teachers. Advocacy is my life. It’s what I’ve been doing since my teens. So it wasn’t difficult for me to decide to be a part of the union and to be an active member of the union. So I joined in the Stann Creek branch and that’s where I’ve been active since the last fifteen years. Every industrial action that has happened over this time period since I’ve been in education, I have been actively involved on the front, at the National Assembly as well as locally in Dangriga. My executive asked me would I be interested in running for the presidency, and I said initially, no, I wasn’t even thinking about that, And they were like, please, and I said, well, I would have to do some reflection on this. I would have to do spiritual consultation on this because I’m guided by spirit. That’s why I’m called the Ifasina. It means Ifa opens the way that is the Yoruba system of consultation. And we must be guided by spirit in being guided by spirit we can make song decisions. And when I asked Ifa, Ifa said, this is a good fit for you. You’re going to bring healing and transformation for the union, so go right ahead. It is based on that, that I decided, okay, I will.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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