Linda Ikeji’s New 24m Car: An Inspiration and Evidence of the Growing Nigerian Middle Class

Popular Nigerian political blogger, Omojuwa, wrote of his first encounter with former president, Olusegun Obasanjo. According to him, Obasanjo had given a speech in a foreign country and during the question-and-answer session, Omojuwa, characteristically, stood up to ask him questions that implied that he, Obasanjo, was part of the Nigerian problem. As expected,Obasanjo defended himself and talked about how the economy improved during his regime. After the event however, Obasanjo, in a private conversation, inquired of Omojuwa who he was and who he was working for. Obasanjo was sure he had been sent by one of his political opponents and detractors. When Omojuwa told him that he worked for himself, Obasanjo asked what his profession was and when he said “Blogging”, Obasanjo told him that blogging wasn’t a profession. Well, we now know he was wrong.

The Nigeria blogging community was agog two days ago when Linda Ikeji(popular celebrity blogger) posted a picture of herself and her newly acquired 2014 Ranger Rover Sport which she bought for twenty four million naira. While some wondered what purpose she intended to serve by showcasing the latest addition to her cars, I mostly worried about her safety as she also, in the same blog, showed her other two cars. But Linda is a savvy businesswoman. She knew that the post would draw traffic to her site and it did. She posted the post at past 12 in the morning, a time when most Nigerians were asleep. Because of the time difference between Nigeria and here, I guess I was among the first to see it as there were no comments when I read it. By the time I checked back again, there were more than three thousand comments on that one post. If there were that many comments, you can imagine how many people viewed the blog and how much money it translates to for the blogger. As for me, once she doesn’t cause harm to another with her posts, I don’t mind.

I had wanted to write a blog about how the Nigerian economy is improving and how there seems to be more opportunities for young Nigerians. When Linda’s story broke, I thought it would set the tone for a blog on the subject. Everyday, I hear stories of Nigerians finding opportunities where none existed before now. The other day, I learnt that one of my classmates in the university is now a magistrate, and another I called to console on her dad’s death told me she is now with a State ministry of justice. And thanks to Facebook, I see that several of my classmates are doing well in private practice and some are in the employ of the Federal Government of Nigeria. Actually, the opportunities for Nigerian graduates has increased tremendously in the last decade since the consolidation of the banking sector and entrance of telecommunication giants like MTN and Globacom in the Nigerian economy. I personally know many people who are employed in those two sectors. And I am very optimistic that with the privatization of the power sector in Nigeria, many more opportunities will open up. The impressive growth of the Nigerian economy has also been noticed by the international community prompting more multinational companies including Walmart and Shoprite to invest more in Nigeria.

Because Nigeria is a hugely untapped market, unlike other developed countries where there is stiff competition for the attention of consumers from several corporations, practically every business has the potential to grow in Nigeria. As such, anyone in Nigeria who is willing to think outside the box can arguably make it easier there than elsewhere. I read somewhere that 90% percent of children born today will, when they grow up, have an occupation that do not exist as of today. And I can see why. Take the internet for instance which hasn’t been around for more than thirty years, think of how many occupations, including blogging, that are made possible by it. Just by blogging, Linda Ikeji, Sisi Yemmie and Omojuwa have become household names because they found their respective niche as a celebrity blogger, a lifestyle blogger and a political blogger. I also read of a seventeen-year old Nigerian who makes more than $3000 a month by blogging about how to become a successful blogger. Of course there are so many ways to make money but this is just an example. I also know a young lady who is successfully running online retail and wholesale businesses that guarantee delivery in all the thirty-six states. That is how to stand out from the crowd.

In Linda’s controversial post, she also wrote about hard work and the need to not give up. According to her, she had previously dabbled into some other jobs including modelling and writing before she got her breakthrough as a blogger. But unfortunately, many youths in Nigeria believe they cannot make it in Nigeria, that they must leave our shores before they can become successful. As we have seen, that is not true. It is not easy anywhere, not in the United states, not in the United Kingdom. It takes determination to make it anywhere. There are only a few Nigerians in the United States who can afford a brand new 2014 Range Rover Sport or who can afford the luxury vacations most Nigeria’s middle class enjoy. So for those looking to flee Nigeria, just know that what you are looking for in Sokoto (state), may well be in the pocket of your sokoto(jumper trouser). We can only succeed if we learn to make lemonade from whatever lemon life gives us.

PS: I don’t blog because I intend to be the next Linda. She has really worked hard for many years and is reaping the fruits of her labor. For me, the fulfillment I get from blogging comes from the occasional call or email I get from someone I have never met requesting for more information on something I blogged about. If my blog helps somebody in some way, I am really content. Of course that doesn’t mean that I am averse to opportunities.

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8 thoughts on “Linda Ikeji’s New 24m Car: An Inspiration and Evidence of the Growing Nigerian Middle Class

  1. Really happy for Linda, I am a daily visitor of her blog. She is obviously reaping the fruits of her hard labour. Nigerian economy isn’t as promising for young people like in the past years. I can count how many young graduates in the last three years that are gainfully employed. Our society places much emphasis on the wrong ideals. People are being thrown out of their employ daily (the banking sector as the major culprit) while the so called giant telecom companies have learnt to employ their staff as contract staff to pay cheap labour( obviously copying from banks). It’s really a sad situation here but we keep praying to God for our leaders to prioritise our needs, right.
    And to you Anne,you are gradually carving a niche for yourself,as you make us happy with your educating and intelligent writings, I do hope u someday start reaping like Linda.

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    • I always value your comments, Amara, because they provide more insight into a subject under discussion. I know there has been downsizing in Nigerian banks contrary to what we had about seven years ago where they were a key employer of labour. I knew telecommunication companies paid well, in the hundreds of thousands but didn’t know they now employ people on contracts obviously to avoid paying benefits. But now more than ever, there are more opportunities for people who want to be entrepreneurs. There are creative ways to make money especially with the internet that brings people, demands and supply together. For example, when I wanted to get my transcript from Madonna University, because I obviously couldn’t go myself, I would have been willing to pay say ten thousand Naira plus costs and expenses to someone for just a trip to Madonna. But my lovely brother, Ifeanyi did go for me and was kind enough to not give me a bill. I think that if someone can start a business like that, to help Nigerians in diaspora get transcripts from their former schools, some will be willing to pay much more once the service proves to be reliable. And it is not just in Nigeria that the job outlook is poor. Sometimes I wonder if it is even worse here. But then again, yesterday, I read a girl’s comment on another blog about how after she studied engineering in the university, she couldn’t find a job. She printed flyers to tutor students in Maths for SAT and she said beyond her expectation, business started coming and is booming. The most important of all, she loves teaching and she is enjoying it knowing that she is adding value to people’s lives. We often ignore the talents and skills we have. I know a good friend who is currently unemployed but has a good dress sense, she coordinates colors and accessories beautifully like it is second nature to her , without any effort. If she starts a fashion blog, I will definitely be her fan because I know she is an authority on the subject. So we all have latent skills waiting to be used. It just takes the courage to start and everything is easier.

      And you my dear, inspire me because you are an enterpreneur yourself. Sincerely, it is time we all stop waiting for these employers. Let’s find a need and fill it. Let’s build our brands and see where it leads us. And thanks very much for your compliments and Amen to your prayers!

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  2. Thanks for appreciating my comments. I do agree there are plenty opportunities for entrepreneurs and people are gradually ‘catching the fever’ of self employment. It does pay, happy I am. I do hope that all those who are not gainfuLly employed should think ,see the need and take the lead

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  3. My dear Anne, just stopped by today after a very long absence from your blog and i must say i am impressed by your blog contents. They really inspire. Linda ikeji is a success story today. She is celebrated and am sure can never be poor if she manages her finances well but many would only see the choice cars and luxury vacation trips she goes on, not bothering to find out how much hard work it takes to keep her blog at number one. Many dont even bother to find out her earlier battles with life, what and what she did before she became successful blogger. There is a favorite clip which DSTV extracted from the AMVCA(African movies viewers choice awards) of Veteran actor Olu Jacobs where he was making a speech after receiving an award; in Olu Jacobs voice ‘if you dont succeed the first time, you try, try, try and try again’!. Those words struck and have stuck with me ever since. Nigeria is blessed with both human and natural resources but we boast of one of the highest levels of unemployment in this part of the world. Our population alone is enough incentive to any one who decides to be an entrepreneur. All you need do is identify a need and then channel your efforts to meet that need. We mustn’t all be employed by blue chip multinationals or banks or oil companies. Who even says we must be employees and not the employers. I feel Nigerians should borrow a leaf from the Chinese. In china almost every house hold is producing something. We should all try to learn to meet a need in this country. I always tell my friends that Agriculture alone should keep most of our unemployed generation busy. I am currently employed but i want to start a Plantain farm. Nigerians love plantain and its also not that cheap in the market. The crop is so naturally blessed that a plantain farm re-invents itself from one generation to another. Once the parent tree dies another springs up naturally. We have the fish ponds, poultry farming, snail farming just to mention a few. We must not all do white collar jobs. There is also the get rich quick syndrome amongst the current generation. The road to success is slow, rough but sure. Patience is hugely required.

    I will say to most of our unemployed today to take their destiny into their hands, learn a skill and be self employed. Do your research well, define your target market and work hard. If it seems you are not succeeding, keep trying. If you try, and try and try again, am telling you, you will see the light at the end of the tunnel. Our destiny is in our hands and we must learn to take it! Keep up the good work Anne, and am sure your good work is not going unnoticed.

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    • Oh your comment had me oohing and aahing, so insightful and inspirational. It has concrete examples of business areas one could venture into. You know, what you said about a plantain farm struck a chord with me. My dad had one piece of land that he bought for other purposes but incidentally, there was plantain in it. Because plantain propagates itself, the plantain kept multiplying and was even overtaking the other parts of the farm without any maintenance or effort from us. We always had enough plantain to eat then that when it was time to uproot the plantain and use the land for the intended purpose, I was having second thoughts. But it wasn’t my decision to make. A plantain farm is self-sustaining and can be managed without much hassle. So, good luck with the idea. Who knows if you will have the next Ota farm. And one of my cousins, a graduate is running a fish farm in his father’s house and I believe he is making it. I wish that as many unemployed Nigerians as possible will see your comment. I am very inspired by it. Thank you for your valuable contribution, and yes, I will keep Olu Jacob’s advice in mind for those times I wonder if it is worth it.

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  4. Pingback: Linda Ikeji’s N600,000,000 House: The Law of Compensation, The Streisand Effect etc. | Anne Mmeje's Blog

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