Linda Ikeji biography, early life, career, net worth

The advent of the internet brought with it a change in life style, especially the way people get information on diverse issues. One of the disruptions in the media world ushered in by the internet is the emergence of the social media, an interactive platform for content creation, information dissemination and consumption. Blogging is one of the major activities which the social media sector is known for. Since the emergence of the internet, several millions of blogs have been created. Many of them have died because their owners either lost interest or gave up on the idea. Many of these blogs have thrived and they continue to grow, earning their owners a steady income. The secret of successful blogging is ensuring a constant evolution of resourceful content. This is what keeps people coming back for more, especially if these blogs have highly resourceful contents that people find useful and interesting.

Nigeria has very successful bloggers who have become big brands across the world in the business of blogging. These bloggers are household names both in Nigeria and beyond as their blogs have huge followership with contents many users find useful. Among such bloggers is Linda Ikeji, one of the leading bloggers in Africa. Linda is one blogger that has become a huge brand not just in Nigeria but across Africa, with visitors to her blog, lindaikejiblog, coming from different parts of the world.

Who is Linda Ikeji?

Linda Ifeoma Ikeji was born on the 19th of September 1980 to Catholic parents. She is the second of seven children. She hails from Nkwerre, a local government area in Imo State, Nigeria. She began early in life to try out her hands in writing fictional stories at a young age of 10. She studied English at the University of Lagos (UNILAG), though she had dreamt of studying Mass Communication due to her fascination with news and investigative reporting. Her contributions to African media and business earned her an honorary doctorate degree on the 8th of August 2018 from the Trinity International University of Ambassadors in Georgia.

Linda can be described as the face of blogging in Nigeria. When an average Nigerian hears the term “blogger”, Linda Ikeji’s name often comes to mind first. That is how huge she has become in Nigeria’s blogging industry. This multi-talented entertainment blogger has built a blog so big that it has become one of the leading online destination for corporate advertisers in Nigeria. Her countless number of exclusive stories has made this former model the most authoritative blogger in Nigeria.

Early life

Growing up was not very rosy for Linda as she was born into a humble background. She faced financial challenges while growing up. Linda started doing menial jobs and side hustles at the age of 17 to assist herself through school and support her parents as well. At various times she worked as a model, bartender, waitress, usher, among others. Unlike many others who allow their background to discourage them, Linda saw it as an opportunity to encourage herself and strive to get the best out of life.

Linda revealed that her parents were once embarrassed when she was age 16, because they couldn’t afford N70 for what she didn’t reveal. She once wrote in one of her social media handles: “I was 16. I was standing there watching the insult being hurled and a little assault over N70. I saw the sadness and embarrassment as they saw I was witnessing it. They told me to leave but I refused and stood there and watched. After it was over I told myself as I walked home in tears; in this life, except there’s no God, nobody will ever insult them again over money. I don’t care how long it will take, but I will fight poverty with everything in me. The following year at 17 after I finished secondary school, I started my hustle. She became passionate about utilizing her talent especially in news hunting and distribution to make a difference in the world and today, she has ended up one of the leading bloggers in Africa.

 

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Early business attempts

When Linda graduated from UNILAG, she established a modelling agency and events management outfit, Blackdove Communications. This company was part of her early efforts to actualize her dream of impacting the media sector in Nigeria and beyond. She also established a magazine called FM&B in 2006 and the first edition was also released that same year. After struggling with both businesses, she decided to give up on them. Her magazine business could not succeed after three editions were published. She could not get adverts to sustain the business and she could not survive the time consuming and capital intensive nature of the project. Her modeling company, Blackdove Communication collapsed after she couldn’t afford to pay rent for the office complex. According to Linda, “I gave up on the office (Black Dove Communications) in 2010 when I couldn’t afford the rent anymore and moved my business back home. About a year later, the blogging I started in 2006 changed my life.” This is an inspirational comment which shows how determination to succeed in life cannot be truncated by a few failures. Linda’s life and entrepreneurship story is a source of inspiration to many young Nigerians.

Blogging career

Linda is one of the biggest names in Africa’s blogging industry. But the journey was not that smooth. It all started in 2006 as a hobby using blogger.com with her blog name as lindaikeji.blogspot.com. This was a time when the internet was not as prominent and widely accepted as it is today. Linda started blogging when many did not give such business a chance and the most interesting aspect of this story is that she used to upload stories on her blog from a cybercafe. At that time she still took blogging as a hobby, without any major goals or big dreams of become wealthy through this business. “When I was growing up, blogging was never the plan, I wanted to be a TV journalist, a presenter or producer,” she told FORBES AFRICA. Linda blogged for many years before she even made any money from it. It was actually in 2011, after about five years of blogging that she started earning income that changed her life. She later obtained lindaikejisblog.com that is viral today. Today, Linda is a celebrity blogger who is considered to be one of the most successful bloggers not just in Africa, but across the globe.

She once said she received a meagre 150 US dollars as her first paycheck when she first ventured into the world of blogging. She said a company came to her to advertise but she declined the offer and just asked that they sent their stories to be published for free. According to Linda, “My first paycheck was a hundred and fifty dollars. It came to me when I didn’t know we could make money out of blogging. So I wasn’t advertising at that point…I think the company had budgeted for me so the people were keeping the money. So ‘Dena’ got to a point where he got uncomfortable so he insisted I take the money.  So that was the first paycheck I got. And that opened my eyes to possibilities,” she added. Other advertisers started coming to her after her first advert; that was when she started charging five dollars ($5) and ten dollars ($100) until she grew to  become a big brand.

Linda has sustained her blog since 2006 when she first launched it. Evolving and captivating contents, including cutting-edge breaking exclusives, have kept millions of people visiting the blog on a daily basis from various parts of the world. Linda has continued to exhibit one of the attitudes of successful people which is the ability to remain true to a particular course until it yields result. They don’t run away or abandon a dream after a few failures. Linda has reflected this attitude a great deal on the way she has handled her blog. According to Alexa, the blog is ranking 25 in Nigeria and 2,933 in the world as of the time of this writing. This ranking might be true but it definitely does not reflect how huge Linda is as an outstanding brand in blogging. Let the numbers not deceive anyone into downplaying the growing influence lindaikejisblog still has till date.

The serial entrepreneur

Linda’s success as a blogger has led her to establish other businesses which are also thriving by every standard. Among these tech-based businesses and platforms are as follows;

Linda Ikeji Social: This is a social media platform which was launched on the 1st of November 2016 with the domain name lindaikejisocial.com. Linda started the platform with the intention of combining blogging with social media. The site attracted some 200,000 subscribers in the first week of launch and is currently undergoing an upgrade. Linda was inspired to start the network after she met fans who said they only visited two sites, the Linda Ikeji blog and Facebook.

Linda Ikeji TV: This is another huge project launched by Linda. This station called LiTV is a TV Network which was launched on June 9th 2018. The station prides itself as the home of entertainment where different categories of programmess are streamed live. The platform has six categories; TV Shows, Reality Shows, TV Series, Movies, Original and Live. Subscribers are expected to pay a monthly fee to gain access to the variety of programmes offered by this station.

Online Radio Station: Linda is living true to her dream of becoming one of the top media moguls in Nigeria with the establishment of television and radio station. She operates an online radio broadcast from Linda Ikeji media office.  Most of the programmess are streamed live on Linda Ikeji TV and the radio station is growing in popularity.

Linda Ikeji Music

Linda made an attempt to launch herself in the music industry but this did not work as planned. She launched a music platform known as LindaIkejiMusic on 21 November 2016. The platform became dormant three months after the Launch. This was of her few unsuccessful startups.

Controversies

Linda has also been called out for her controversial U-turn on views about life. She has always been an advocate of celibacy but many of her fans and followers were shocked when she took to her instagram in March 2018 to announce her pregnancy without previous news of engagement or marriage. She welcomed her son on the 17th of September, 2018 in Atlanta United States. The news and several comments that followed it went viral but Linda remained calm and cool and has since moved on with life after receiving several covert and subtle bashing from many from fans and followers who felt disappointed.

Linda’s blog which is also known for hot gossips has caused lots of controversial arguments with celebrities, politicians and top delegates. The blog was shut down by google on the 8th of October, 2014 for undisclosed reasons. However, the blog was restored on the 10th of October 2014.

Author

Linda has also tried her hands in writing books. Recall that writing was her first love which she started at the age of 10. Many years later, precisely on 5th May 2010, she launched her first book “It takes you – A book of Inspiration” at Genesis Deluxe Cinema, Lekki. The book contains 30 inspirational and life changing articles. Book writing seems not to be her major focus so she seems not to have paid much attention to this area.

Net worth

This is something that is difficult to ascertain accurately. There are different submissions about Linda Ikeji’s net worth but it’s no news that she is a billionaire who bought herself a house worth millions of naira and recently got a Bentley Mulsanne worth $310,395. An online business platform once rated Linda’s net worth to be around $40 million. When you checkout the empire she has built after her success in blogging, you won’t doubt this for a moment. In 2018, Linda was ranked by Forbes Africa as the richest blogger in Nigeria with a net worth of N3.2 billion. Linda lives in a $2 million mansion in one of the most expensive neighborhoods in Lagos, drives a $310,395 Bentley Mulsanne and travels across the world as often as she wants. She is truly a successful blogger and serial tech-tepreneur with amazing passion to remain at the top of the food chain in the digital media world.

Philanthropy

Linda is among very few entrepreneurs in Nigeria who genuinely use their wealth to try to better the society through philanthropy and charity work. She started a project called ‘I’d Rather Be Self-made, No Thanks’. It is through this project that she does a lot of philanthropic work in the society. This is a non for profit project aimed at assisting young girls within age of 16-25 who have great business ideas and are willing to venture into entrepreneurship. Linda disbursed the sum of N10 million in the first phase of the project and has always said she intends to sustain this project for a longtime.

Awards and Recognition

Linda’s great works in the media sector have received wide recognition and awards from different organizations. Among these awards and recognition are as follows; she was listed among Forbes Africa’s 20 most prominent women in 2012; she won the Nigerian Broadcasters Merit Award (Website/Blog of the Year) in 2013; she won the Nigeria Blog Awards (Best Entertainment Blog) in 2013; she also won the Biggest Google search trend in Nigeria in 2014; she also won the United Nations Global Leadership Awards in 2018. Linda was interviewed by the BBC on Focus on Africa Program in 2012, a very huge feat for a young Nigerian entrepreneur.

Finally!

Linda is a huge brand in the entrepreneurship sector in Africa and beyond. What many see today is a successful woman whose blog fetches her millions everyday but they do not know about the rough route she took to the top. Her story is an inspiration to many upcoming entrepreneurs in Africa. Linda is a model and a source of encouragement to many young Nigerians especially in view of the country’s discouraging entrepreneurship atmosphere with little enabling environment for success.

The Author

Chinenye Nwabueze

Nwabueze is a communication researcher with several years of lecturing experience in Nigerian universities.

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