I CAN’T MARRY A POOR GUY – LINDA IKEJI - mymp3plus

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I CAN’T MARRY A POOR GUY – LINDA IKEJI

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From growing up in Idi Oro, a Mushin suburb of Lagos to
owning a mansion in the highbrow Banana Island, Nigerian
superblogger and former model, Linda Ikeji, admits that she
has come a long way. OVWE MEDEME caught up with her at
the recent launch of her new concept, Linda Ikeji Social, and
she talks about her struggle so far.
10 years is a long time. How would you describe the journey
so far?
The journey has been amazing. I didn’t expect to be here
today because when I started hustling in those days, social
media wasn’t popular in Nigeria.

The first thing that I came across was blogging. And to be honest, when I started in November 2006, the last thing on my mind was that it was going to change my life as much as it has. It was just a place for me to be creative because I love to write stuff down and I didn’t think that ten years from now, this would happen.

So it wasn’t something that I envisioned. It’s been an amazing journey, definitely something that I’m extremely grateful for.

A lot of us are on social media but not everyone can say that
it has changed their lives so tremendously. So I’m really
grateful for how far I’ve come.

Before you started making money from the blog, were you
not at some point frustrated?

So many times. The worst was definitely September 19 2010.
It was my 30th birthday. I was broke, I was angry because I
had been doing nothing for a long time and I was still
struggling, I was still borrowing money.

So I was extremely depressed and very angry with myself. I felt like a failure. I would cry a lot and then open my laptop to blog. I didn’t know that was where God was leading me to. And so, after my 30th birthday, my life really changed.

You’ve carried a lot of controversial news, particularly about
artistes. What is your relationship with them like, especially
Wizkid?
I don’t want to talk about Wizkid. To be honest, I have a
cordial relationship with other entertainers. I’ve had run-ins
with a few of them but in recent times, that hasn’t happened.
It was when I was being carefree and careless with stories
that I write. But apart from him, in the past year, I’ve not had
a big issue with anybody.

How have you been able to manage it with all the threats that are thrown your way? Doesn’t that leave you scared?
The only person that threatened me was him. No it doesn’t
scare me. I do more good for them than they acknowledge.
Some of them are my friends, some of them have been to my
house but the negativity that comes with blogging is fine.

Some people will take offence, some will react in different
ways. I’ve been doing this for ten years. If by now I’m not
used to the backlash, then I should get out of the business.

From the feedback you get, do you feel loved or hated?
It’s a combination of both. I get a lot of hate and I get a lot of
love. But I try as much as possible to hold on to the love and
not pay attention to the hate because I know the hate is
coming from a very different place.
Sometimes when I trend and I see some vile comments
about me, I’m like, you’ve never met me, why are you saying
these kinds of things about me? I’ve grown such a thick skin,
I just look at it and I laugh. I know when people are
frustrated and depressed because I have been there. I’ve
been depressed and I’ve been angry and my anger was
always towards those who are successful and when I say
hurtful things about them, it makes me feel better. So I allow
them that grace to just vent. I understand that success
comes with a lot of hate.
In fact, that is one of the ways to know you’re really doing
well. But of course, I get a lot of love. I get a lot of people
who tell me that I inspire them and those are the ones I pay
attention to.
Have you lost any valuable friendship because of a story you
wrote?
Absolutely not; I haven’t. I’ve lost people who don’t agree
with what I do but nothing valuable.
With this your new concept, don’t you think you are taking on
too much at a time?
I’ve been blogging for ten years and I’m bored. I want to do
something else. I’m 36, this is the time I have the energy and
passion to run this. Besides, I’m delegating. I have a staff of
over 30 people working here. So it’s not too much really. I
think people try to limit themselves. I don’t limit myself at all.
I feel like there’s absolutely nothing I can’t do.
You made a video on your birthday where you talked about a
lot of things. Why did you do that?
I just wanted to talk about it. It was my birthday and I just
wished I was married. It’s now that I want to get married. I
don’t wish I was married earlier.
Are you saying you’re not getting proposals from men?
I’m getting quite a lot. People say that when you’re
successful, men run away. It’s a lie. That is when they chase
you the more. But unfortunately I haven’t seen what I’m
looking for. It was my birthday and I just wanted to talk
about it.
What are you looking for?
I keep telling people. It’s not that men are scarce. They are
not scarce. The type of men that some of us are looking for
are scarce. If I want to get married next week, I can. I want a
man that I can look up to. Somebody that inspires me,
somebody that will push me, motivate me; somebody who
has had some success in his own career. I’m inspired by
successful people. I can’t wait to meet someone like Tyler
Perry.
Does that mean you can’t marry a poor man?
No, I can’t marry a poor guy and I’m being honest about it.
He doesn’t have to be rich but let him be successful in his
own way.
Have you had to review you standards when it comes to
men?
When I was 30, my standards were extremely high. But I
wasn’t really looking. I was just so focused on work because
I’ve always been so ambitious. I wasn’t focused on marriage
and kids and I felt like that would draw me back. So I wanted
to just do my stuff. It was just recently that I started asking
myself some questions. That I started thinking about it. Now,
I have only three criteria.
What are the three?
He must be successful. He must be a good man in the sense
that he has to be very supportive of what I do. If he tries to
stifle me, I’m out. The third one, is the one that likes to eat
groceries well (laughs).
Do you think you’re controversial or just misunderstood?
I don’t go out of my way to look for controversy. I think that
maybe I’m misunderstood. People forget that blogging, even
though it started as a passion, is now a business. There’s
Linda the blogger and there’s Linda the person.
Personally, if I was not a blogger, there are some things I
won’t pay attention to, because I don’t care. I have things to
do in my life. But because I’m a blogger, I have to pay
attention to little gossip. I have to pay attention to who is
clapping back because my readers wants to see all of that.
But personally as a human being, I don’t wish anybody ill, I
don’t want anybody to fail, I don’t want anybody to cry or feel
bad about comments. I think I’m misunderstood which is fine because people who are close to me know me and those are the people that really matter.
Kemi Olunloyo once accused you of benefiting from
Dasukigate…

The reason I didn’t make an issue out of the Dasuki stuff is
because it was overwhelming. I bought a house in Banana
Island for half a billion and people can’t wrap their heads
around it. They start thinking it has to be something shady.
Up until the scandal blew open, I never heard about the man
Dasuki. So I know I’m not guilty of anything.

When you get married, will you leave your Banana Island
mansion?

I will move to the man’s house; as long as it’s not a three
bedroom flat.

Why do you feel comfortable talking about your age?
I read somewhere online where they said I’m 42. Let me tell
you, it’s so easy to know someone’s age. Just find out the
year they finished secondary school. I finished Lagos
Anglican Girls Grammar School in 1997. I was 16 going on
17. So if I’m 42, it means I finished secondary school in the
80s.

The reason I talk about my age is because I was a
model. In fact when I did my first show in 1998, I wasn’t up
to 18. I had to lie that I was older than I was. I was 17 plus.
How can I now be 42 in 2016? People already know my age.

Source - The Nation

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