Friday, 11 November 2016

“I Cannot Marry A Poor Man, I Can………” – Linda Ikeji

Linda Ifeoma Ikeji is the famous blogger Nigerians don’t get tired of talking about. Presently, She is regarded as Nigeria’s Queen of blog and now she is revolutionizing blogging as she recently launched her ultramodern social media, Linda Ikeji Social.

In this interview with Ifeoma Ononye, she speaks on why people believe she took money from Dasuki, her real age and top three qualities her would-be-husband must possess.

Can you tell us about Linda Ikeji Social (LIS)?
The unique platform Linda Ikeji Social represents a revolutionary innovation in not just news reporting but also in facilitating social interaction. LIS creates a virtual meeting place that combines the dissemination of news as well as enabling social connection and interaction.

LIS came up as a result of feedback from the blog that people need a platform where they can not only get breaking news, but express their positions on issues as it affects their world. They can also interact and connect with friends as well as get all other important information about products and services around the world. LIS is like online blog and facebook rolled into one.

News sharing is tied to what we do every day on social media. We all have a responsibility to share things we witness that we feel could bring about change in society.

It’s a platform where you can land the home page from anywhere you are navigating from, view notification and messages and also you can submit your story and get paid, as well as make money while networking. I encourage people to sign up on the platform. I dream of being the Oprah Winfrey of Africa.

How has the journey been so far, from when you were hustling for modeling jobs to becoming a social media mogul?
The journey has been amazing. I didn’t expect to be here today. When I started hustling back then for modeling jobs, the first thing I came across back then was blogging before Facebook, Twitter, Instagram became known and popular. To be honest, when I started my blogging in November 26, 2006, the last thing in my mind was that it is going to change my life as much as it has. It was just a place for me to be creative because I love to write. I didn’t think that five years from then that all these would happen. I didn’t envision that I was going to come this far. It has been an amazing journey and definitely something that I am grateful for. Everyone is on social media but not everyone can say that it has changed their lives so much. I am grateful to God for how far I have come with his help.

Back then, blogging was not that popular, what exactly attracted you to it?
At first, I didn’t know there was anything called blogging. I never heard of it back then. At the time I was a model and kind of people knew me. I was a little popular in my own way. So Bellanaija wrote about me and my friend in United Kingdom sent me the link to the story. So I went to read the story online and that was my first encounter with blogging. Before then, the only thing I do online was just to check my email and that was it. I read the comment and it was a beautiful experience for me. I went back to Bellanaija the next day to read other stories. I was going to Bella’s blog for four months and I discovered other blogs. I enjoyed the whole experience because I loved to write. That has always been my passion. While growing up I wanted to be a journalist. Then one day I told myself that I can as well start mine since I liked the blogs so much. It took three minutes to start a blog and that was how I started blogging.

Some may want to know at what point that Linda Ikeji blog started paying off?
When you are passionate about something, you put your all in it and that was what I did. I started blogging consistently and passionately until 2010. It never occurred to me that I have built a lot of followership in that time and brands were watching. By the end of 2010, I had thousands of people following me and I never knew it would translate to money. The first time a company approached me to pay to post something, I found it very strange. I didn’t know that people like Bellanaija and Sahara reporters were charging. I had to ask a friend to send me an advert rate. It was in January 2011 that I had my own advert rate and I started sending it out to people. By February, people started paying me and since then, it’s been great.

Between the time you started and when you started getting paid, was there a time you wanted to give up?
Yes there were many times, I wanted to give up. I had bad times back then but the worst was in September 19, 2010. It was my 30th birthday. I was broke, I was angry because I have been done doing modeling in a long time. I was still struggling, I was still borrowing money, I was depressed because I felt like a failure. I will cry and cry but will still open my laptop and blog. I didn’t know that my breakthrough was at the corner and that God was leading me to it. After my 30th birthday, my life practically changed.

You have blogged a lot of news; positive, negative and controversial especially about artistes. For example Wizkid, what is your relationship with them?

I don’t want to talk about Wizkid. I have a cordial relationship with a lot of entertainers. I have had run-ins with a few of them but in recent times, I haven’t. It was when I was a bit carefree and careless with the stories I write. In a year now, I have not had any big issue with anybody.

How do you handle it when they threaten to sue you?
The only person I have threatened was wizkid. Their threat does not scare me because I believe I do more good for them than bad. And they acknowledge that. Some of them are my friends. Some of them have been to my house, some of them are on my WhatsApp chat. The negativity that comes with blogging is fine. I mean, it’s blogging, you write about people. Some people may take offense; some will react in different ways. I have been doing this for ten years and if by now I am not used to back lash, then I should get out of the business.

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