You all must have read or heard the news trending all over the Nigerian media. Linda Ikeji bought a house on Banana Island. Apparently, this is a really big deal. My first reaction when I saw the news was,:”Way to go Linda!!”, until I began reading the comments all over the place. Seriously?!?! I was puzzled at first, because the message that accompanied her posting pictures of her house was a truly inspiring one, but the comments were baffling. From my observation, they came in these forms:
- Linda, please go and get married
- Linda, but you shouldn’t have bought such an expensive house naa, you’ll scare potential suitors away with your obvious success
- Linda, you shouldn’t be so loud about your success, remember that this is Nigeria
- Linda, this house is too trashy for N600 million.
- There is no way in the world Linda made such money through mere blogging.
- Dear Linda, you should have used the money for charity instead of spending so extravagantly
Now let me share some things I have observed from this event and my own perspective on them. You don’t have to agree, but just read on, you may find them interesting.
- The Nigerian Obsession with marriage. I have decided to take this as a normal reaction from our well meaning people concerned about her legacy (tongue in cheek). I understand that Linda is a full grown adult, beautiful as well as intelligent, and a good businesswoman. Linda is 35 for crying out loud. If at this stage, she hasn’t been able to find someone she would be willing to spend the rest of her life with, why should her wealth suddenly make her rush into one? To validate her success? My opinion is that everyone wasn’t made to get married at 25. Some were meant to marry and have babies before starting a career, while some were meant to succeed at a career before venturing into marriage. No two destinies are the same. By the way, from her posts, it is obvious her single status is not by choice. Remember her “who will marry me” hashtag? She DOES intend to get married someday. She even indicated that she would move out of the same mansion when she gets married. Who’s to say she won’t even pop a ring on us out of the blues? Another thing, is being single and successful such a bad thing? The funny thing about this is the fact the same people breathing down your neck to get married are the same ones who will make snide remarks behind your back if said marriage goes sour. SMH for our people. Why not just wish her well and pray for her all round fulfillment? Rejoice with those who rejoice, remember?
- Bringing down your standards/muffling your success for the sake of marriage: When I was in catechism, I was taught that marriage is the union before God of a man and woman to become husband and wife for the purpose of companionship and procreation. For this, the bible says you will find “the bone of your bone and the flesh of your flesh”. I believe this applies to all spheres of one’s life. Even if she doesn’t marry someone as rich as she is, it is my fond hope that she marries someone whose mind grasps the magnitude of her wealth and remains comfortable with it. This takes a man with a healthy self esteem, who knows himself enough not to be defined by wealth. The wealth is already there, whether she buys a house or not. Why should she have to hide it in order to attract a man? Are we about to begin teaching a 35 year old hardworking woman how to spend her money? Where were all the men when she was 30 and broke? About Nigerians plotting her downfall out of jealousy, or armed robbers/kidnappers setting their sights on her because of her wealth, this isn’t new. A certain man from one of our neighboring towns was kidnapped and his young wife made to pay ransom, and he wasn’t even rich; probably just made his first few millions. Point is, anyone can be kidnapped or attacked. God’s protection is the surest guarantee.
- People appoint themselves judges over issues that do not concern them: Let us understand something: Linda surely saw other houses, but chose to buy that one. The money has been paid, and work has begun. People were asking why the pool was dark!!! For goodness sake, it was empty! LOL! Obviously she didn’t pay for just the house. She paid for the neighborhood as well. Hello, did you hear the name Banana Island?
- The fact that you did not succeed at something doesn’t mean someone else can’t: When I read people saying she didn’t make this money through blogging, I just laugh. If only they knew how much a single advert goes for on LIB. The other day out of curiosity I counted the ads and I got 20 at a time. Lets assume she was paid N500,000 monthly for these ads(I know she gets more from some). Do the math. Remember that during the elections she was also paid massively for advertising for APC. THAT is on a whole other level. She has repeatedly said she does nothing else but blog from 4am to 12 midnight, and has no other job but this. In a day she posts as much as 50 times! She has been at it for about 9 years, and only started making real money from it about 5 years ago. Despite the inspiring message she posted alongside photos of her house, I guess people will believe what they choose to believe anyway.
- We have misdirected grievances: Instead of having hurt feelings when someone with an honest hustle makes it big and then feel entitled to show them how to be charitable, let me ask, why not direct your grievances at our corrupt government officials who cart away YOUR money? Maybe its because they don’t speak of their acquisitions. Why would they, when its bought with ill-gotten wealth and probably overseas too? Lord knows, anyone who worked hard and honest and got well paid would be happy to show the result of his hard work. As for charity, ever heard of Linda’s “I’d rather be self-made” project which she uses as a platform to empower young women and discourage them from seeing prostitution or trading their bodies as the option out of a bad financial situation? It’s surprising that when she does these things, they don’t get as much publicity. You know, she could be a secret giver, who’s to tell? Charity is different from philanthropy anyway.
The society we live in would be better if we could learn to live and let live. When one errs, point it out with love, not with the intention of his downfall. Rejoice with those who rejoice and one day others will rejoice with you too. Those who are pointing out how wrongly she is spending her wealth, please be calm until you experience what she must have experienced while growing up and having to struggle the way she did, maybe then, buying the house of her dreams wouldn’t be such a great deal to you. Her parents aren’t complaining either, since they went through the hard times together. By the way, it’s just a house, she could always sell it since its a prime piece of real estate and is bound to appreciate in value. It is an asset and a wise investment. Just my opinion though. Whats yours? Share! See photos of her house and the accompanying inspiring message here.