Blogging is one of the most lucrative business ventures to explore in the 21st century. By simply writing about a specific area of interest, many people have made a fortune, and many more are still making money in the business. Individuals like Oluwaseun Osewa of ‘Nairaland’, Ovie of ‘NotJustOk.com’, Tosin Oladokun of ‘Nigerian Facts’, and Jide Ogunsanya of ‘Ogbonge blog’ have all distinguished themselves as top-earning bloggers in the country today.
Nigeria has a high concentration of bloggers. These days, there is at least one blog for any issue of concern online. Two individuals who have distinguished themselves as outstanding bloggers in Nigeria are Linda Ikeji, and Uche Eze Pedro. Both women run the country’s biggest and most popular entertainment blogs, and both are very influential in the blogosphere. They are the top two Nigerian bloggers, and they both have their own peculiarities.
In comparing both of them, we shall consider their background and success stories, their uniqueness, their achievements and then also their net worth.
Linda Ikeji is a well-known blogger and entrepreneur. She runs the popular Linda Ikeji blog which receives hundreds of thousands of visitors daily. She was born on the 19th of September, 1980, and she hails from Imo state in Eastern Nigeria.
She discovered her love for writing at age ten, and at age 18, she was enrolled at the University of Lagos to study English Language. Her family background was a very humble one, and they were not buoyant enough to fully support Linda’s education. So, she resorted to doing odd jobs and moonlighting on weekends to raise extra money for her bills. She worked as a waitress at a hotel in Lagos, and she also once ventured into modelling for a while – though her modelling career ended effectively before it even took off. At other times, she also worked as a Freelance Writer, and it was during that time that she honed her writing and blogging skills.
After graduation, she decided to start blogging full-time to keep herself engaged. Her sole aim at starting was to just express her thoughts and opinions about certain matters online; and little did she know that her blogging business would later grow into a multibillion-naira business empire.
On the other hand, Uche Eze Pedro had things quite differently. Uche was born on the 26th of July, 1984. Her primary and secondary school education took place in Nigeria, but she relocated to Canada for her university education. She graduated from the prestigious University of Western Ontario, Canada with a first degree in Business Administration. She owns Bellanaija, one of Nigeria’s most popular fashion and style blogs, as well as a string of other businesses.
Interestingly, both Linda Ikeji and Uche Eze Pedro started their blogs in the same year.
Both Linda and Uche are unique in their own ways. They both own multimillion naira business empires, and they are both incredibly talented.
Linda Ikeji is unique for the following reasons and more:
- Her story is a typical example of ‘grass to grace’. She had it rough in her early years, but she was able to navigate her way through life’s murky waters to become one of the wealthiest self-made females in Nigeria today. She has grown to become a real inspiration to many young girls, and she constantly offers support and mentorship to young female entrepreneurs.
- She studied English in the university, so it can be said that she is engaging the knowledge she acquired in school to make a living.
- Little is known about her work history before she became a blogger
- Linda Ikeji’s blog is a leader in the entertainment news industry. Her blog is the number one hub for trending entertainment news, celebrity info, and basically everything related to showbiz.
- She is very wealthy, and has choice properties and possessions in exclusive parts of the country. She reportedly owns a 600-million-naira mansion in Banana Island, Lagos state
- One of the things that makes her unique is that, despite her wealth, she remains down-to-earth and easy to relate with. She is very passionate about young girls who desire to become entrepreneurs, and she constantly offers them opportunities to excel.
- Incredibly, Linda Ikeji is still single and yet-to-be married. Even though she has a child, she is not legally married to any man, and she has repeatedly emphasized that her relationship with the father of her child is over.
- Her approach to blogging is perhaps her most unique feature. Her niche is basically showbiz and entertainment news, then she also dwells heavily on celebrity rumours and trending gist. She is always updated on the latest developments in the world of entertainment, or any information about any celebrity; and in most cases, people troop to her website to confirm any news that they hear before they decide on them.
On the other hand, Uche Eze is unique for the following reasons and more:
- She studied Business Administration at a Canadian University, but is running a successful career as a blogger.
- She began blogging because she was bored. She often had breaks from her academic work, and decided to use those periods to blog for fun. She had no clear intention of starting a blogging business at the time that she started blogging. However, months after she started blogging as a hobby, she had an idea to start a fashion and entertainment blog named Bellanaija.
- Before she began blogging fully, she worked with Shell Petroleum Canada. She also had brief stints at Cadbury Middle East and Africa, and Cadbury Nigeria. She stayed in the UK for a year before finally relocating back to Nigeria.
- Uche Eze is also very passionate about helping young ladies fulfil their dreams. She is a well-known philanthropist.
- Her site draws hundreds of thousands of visitors from different parts of the world monthly.
Their Achievements and Awards:
Speaking about their achievements, both bloggers have achieved quite a lot in their respective careers. They have both been recognized by international organizations for their contributions to the world of entertainment, and their awards speak for them.
For Uche Eze, blogging has offered her the opportunity to make impact in the lives of people, and she has won numerous awards for her contributions. In 2008, she was rated as one of the top 100 individuals who shaped the year in review. The full list of all her awards is below:
- Best Use of Technology award nomination at the Future Awards, 2010
- Outstanding Contribution to Fashion Communication Award – African Fashion International, 2010
- Online Publication of the Year – FAB Awards, 2012
- Young Media Entrepreneur of the Year – British Council, 2013
- Young Media Entrepreneur of the Year – Future Awards, 2013
- Creative Industries Awards for Bloggers – Creative Industries Awards, 2015
- Best African Blogger – Kids’ Choice Awards, 2016
- Most Popular Website (Bellanaija) – Africa entertainment Award, 2016
- Fashion Blog of the Year (Bellanaija Style) – Glitz Style Award, 2017
- Best Blog – Beatz Awards, 2017
- Innovation Award – ELOY Awards, 2017
- Social and Digital Media Person of the Year – Spice Lifestyle Awards, 2018
Asides these numerous awards won, she has also been recognized by a number of local and international organizations, as shown below:
- In 2008, PUNCH Nigeria named her as the 22nd most influential person that helped shape the year in review
- For her contributions to the fashion and entertainment industry, she was included in list of 30 most promising young entrepreneurs in Africa, which was compiled by Forbes in 2014.
- In 2010, She was featured on Oprah Winfrey’s show titled ‘Beauty Around the World’, alongside Lisa Ling and Jessica Simpson. She discussed fashion and beauty trends peculiar to Nigeria and Africa.
- In the same year, she also got featured in an interview on CNN with ace broadcaster Isha Sesay.
- She is a distinguished fellow of TED Africa, and was also chosen as an associate of the Nigeria Leadership Initiative, NLI.
Today, Bella Naija has grown exponentially to become one of the leading fashion and style bogs in Nigeria and Africa. Beyond entertainment and showbiz, the website has also been a valuable tool for driving social activism and human rights campaigns in Nigeria.
Now, speaking about Linda Ikeji’s achievements and awards:
- Nigerian Blog of the Year – Nigerian Blogger Awards, 2012
- Best Entertainment Blog – Nigeria Blog Awards (NBA), 2013
- Website/Blog of the Year – Nigerian Broadcasters Merit Award, 2013
- Outstanding Blogger of the Year – Media Board Awards, 2014
- Best Gossip and Gist Blog – Media Board Awards, 2014
- In the year 2012, she was named on Forbes Africa’s list of the 20 most prominent women in Africa. She was also described as a case study for a successful blogging career.
- In the same year, the BBC featured her on a special ‘Focus on Africa’ program.
- In 2014, she was an internet phenomenon. Her name ‘Linda Ikeji’ was the most google-searched term in Nigeria for that year.
- In 2018, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree at Trinity International University, Georgia, USA for her contributions to the field of media and entertainment in Africa. Other Nigerians who were also awarded such honours include Mike Ozekhome, renowned legal practitioner; Steve Egboro, ace Event manager and film producer; Dr. Obeahon Ohiwerei, Chief Executive Officer of Keystone Bank Limited, and a few others.
- In the same year 2008, she bagged the Global Leadership Award in Digital Media from the United Nations Global Awards.
Part of Linda Ikeji’s landmark achievements is the diversification of her business outfit. In 2016, she launched her own online television network called Linda Ikeji TV (LITV). The network airs several programs all related to entertainment and showbiz. They produce some original programs and also purchase some TV content.
Following up that groundbreaking development, she would eventually launch an online radio broadcasting arm, which is now one of the fastest growing online radio outlets in the country today. To cap it all up, she later started her own customized social networking website called ‘Linda Ikeji Social’.
Such is the business nous of Linda Ikeji, and it is no surprise that she is currently Nigeria’s wealthiest blogger.
She runs a philanthropic initiative tagged “I’d Rather Be Self-made: No Thanks!” This initiative offers support to young females within the ages of 16 to 25 years who want to become entrepreneurs. When the project initially took off, she donated up to ten million naira as seed fund for the winners.
Another area in which to critically evaluate both bloggers is in the area of their net worth. According to Forbes, Linda Ikeji is the richest blogger in Nigeria, and one of the richest in Africa.
Linda’s personal net worth is an estimated 8.9 million dollars, which is equivalent to 3.2 billion naira. Her blog, Linda Ikeji’s Blog is worth in excess of 12 million dollars. On the other hand, Uche Eze Pedro’s personal net worth is approximately 2.6 million dollars, which is equivalent to 934 million naira.
Linda is known to be very flamboyant. She currently lives in a multi-million-naira apartment in a high brow area of Lagos, Nigeria, and she also drives the latest cars. Uche, on the other hand, appears to be more modest than her blogging counterpart, even though she is also wealthy and famous.
Linda Ikeji is not married. She has a child named Jeremy, but has since severed ties with the child’s father. However, Uche Eze is currently married to a certain Bode Pedro, son of former deputy governor of Lagos state Femi Pedro. The couple got married in June 2012 and welcomed their first children, a gorgeous set of twins in April 2015.
Of comparing both bloggers in terms of achievements and contributions, there may be no end. They are both unique and peculiar in their own ways, and they both inspire thousands of young people all over Nigeria and Africa. Nonetheless, of the two titans, Linda Ikeji is wealthier, more influential and more popular than Uche Eze.
If this was a contest, Linda Ikeji would be declared the winner.