Nigerian web video star Linda Ikeji opened up about her grass-to-grace story on the latest episode of Forbes Woman Africa’s Against All Odds.
The media mogul, who has become one of Africa’s successful bloggers since she started blogging in 2006 and recently launched an app-based subscription channel, was interviewed by host Peace Hyde.
Ikeji spoke about her journey to success and addressed her transition from modelling to blogging, the controversies and challenges she has faced, and her current projects.
“I started modelling at age 17, not as a passion but as a way to make ends meet. I did a lot of part-time jobs while in school – one even included me selling beer at hotels. I would leave school at 1pm and start selling from 2pm to 10pm, and in turn get paid N1500 [US$4.15] a day,” she said.
When asked if she ever imagined achieving her current fame, Ikeji said: “I never expected it. As a matter of fact, I started blogging in November 2006 as an extension of my writing hobby and because I was inspired by BellaNaija’s blog, which started in June 2006.”
She continued: “I was going through my stats recently and it dawned on me that all this has been a gradual process. From 10 views in 2008 to a thousand, years later, then a million and so on. It didn’t just happen, I had to stick to it.”
Ikeji also outlined some of the challenges she has faced along the way. “I’ve been involved in a couple of controversies with celebrities and politicians. I remember in 2012 when I was involved in one and the guy promised to bring down my blog.
“Then one day I woke up to find my blog deleted and this guy gloating on social media that he was behind it. But one thing about me is I may get knocked down but I never stay down. I got it up and running again in two days.”
Ikeji also said she has long had a passion for building up others, especially young girls, and has started an initiative called Self Made to help others achieve their goals.
“I don’t want to be just a rich blogger. I want to impact society, I want to help young girls grow without having to succumb to negative ventures to do that. When I speak to young people, I tell them that passion is what will get you there, not just money.”
As well as being a top blogger, Ikeji is also the CEO of Linda Ikeji TV, which airs talkshows, drama series and reality content. LITV launched this month and has a number of originals lined up.
Against All Odds is produced by Forbes Women Africa for CNBC Africa. It profiles women who are trailblazers in diverse business fields in Africa and who inspire younger women to be bold and break boundaries.