Sunday, 19 January 2014

There Is No Such Thing as Luck- The Linda Ikeji Story

Do you think Linda Ikeji's success is a matter of luck? Do you think successful people are lucky? I remember being at Anambra NYSC camp back in 2007, sitting on the grass talking to a friend of mine. I said something about being a lucky person, and she looked at me funny, like- 'you actually believe in luck?' I wondered why she had that look on her face, so I asked her what she understood about life and luck. We spoke for hours, and she opened my eyes to a new way of thinking. I can say that that singular event was the birth of the new me; the philosophical individual that wrote what you are reading right now.

The truth is, there is no such thing as luck. We make our luck as we go along, through our thoughts and ACTIONS. Thomas Jefferson said, and I quote- 'I'm a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.' What people perceive as luck is the result of planning and hard work. So, I have decided to start a new series on my blog, where i will be highlighting some parts of very successful individual's past; the ugly part that a lot of people might not know about. 

It is really the dream, hard work and dedication to a dream that brings the results. Success is not overnight, and anyone can be successful in what ever field he or she desires to be. I am starting it off with our very own, Linda Ikeji.

*In 1998, at the age of 17, she had to become a model to take care of herself and her siblings.

-According to her, she once lived on puff puff and Garri for weeks. What an odd combination, right? But that's how bad it was for her at the time. Read her words-  "I once lived on 'puff puff' and Garri for weeks in UNILAG and I was supposedly a top model but nobody knew what I was going through. Trust me, I know poverty."

*While she was getting her B.Sc at the University of Lagos between 2000-2004, she had to take up odd jobs to sustain of those jobs was being a waitress at a bar. She said, and I quote-  “I’d leave lectures, go to a hotel and sell beer from 1 pm till 10 pm. I did this for a few months. It wasn't easy but I had to survive”.

-Although she currently earns nothing less than 10 million Naira from her blog monthly, on her 30th birthday (5 years ago), she had less than 1 thousand Naira in her bank account.

*After graduating from the University in 2004, she launched a media company- Black Dove Communication. The company birthed a magazine (FM & B), which only made it to the third issue before crashing.

*She stopped modeling in 2005, as she felt she was getting too old for the profession. And in 2006, after being inspired by what was written about her in, she decided to start her own blogsite. She opened in 2006, but really started working on it in 2007. 

*She blogged consistently for 4 years before she ever made a kobo from her blog. In fact, in one of her recent blog posts, she admitted to crying uncontrollably on her 30th birthday back in 2010. She had put her heart in blogging for 3 years before that, she had tried different businesses and jobs since she was a teenager, but she had nothing to show for it at the time.

*It wasn't until 2011 (after consistently blogging for 5 years) that she started making money from her blog.

So you see, there is always a story behind every successful person. Reading all I've written above, would you still believe that her success is the work of sheer luck? I don't think so.

Is Being Gay a Choice?

I asked a lot of people this questions this week, and I got really shocking answers. Not to say i have the answer, but I can say I know what the answer is not. Since President Goodluck Jonathan signed the anti-gay bill into law earlier this week, the Nigerian cyber space (and the world at large) have been talking about the consequences of his actions. There are a couple of people that say they are happy with the law, and that America doesn't have the rights to dictate what we do in this country (following the condemnation of the law by the American Government). Well, personally, I do not care what Americans have to say or what they don’t have to say about Nigeria, what I care about is what happens in Nigeria, and how it affects me and the other citizens of our Great country. And to that note, I ask the million dollar question- ‘Is Being Gay a Choice?’

Are people born Gay, or do they wake up one morning and decide they want to be homosexuals? I have read a lot on this the last couple of days, and no one seems to have a concrete undisputed answer to the question. There are people that believe there is a gay gene, and that people that are born with the gene become gay; there are people that believe that homosexuality is an abomination sent from the pits of hell by the devil; and there are those that believe that homosexuality is a learnt sexual preference, thus they believe it’s a choice. As I said earlier, I do not have the answers, so I would like to have people tell me what they feel about this. And I am not talking of stereo-type answers that you have heard other people say. Think for a minute, put yourself in a Gay person's shoes, and then do a little research, before you answer me.

They are people that believe that people are not born Gay, but become so in their formative years as kids, based on their environment and what they are exposed to growing up. I think this is close to what I can agree with. Personally, I can’t say authoritatively whether or not being gay is a choice, but I can argue for why I feel it is not a choice. Just like the stereotypical homophobe would hit me with- ‘God made Adam and Eve and not Adam and Steve’, I would ask- What would make an individual deliberately choose to be discriminated against and persecuted if he/she had a choice of being a heterosexual. If you had a choice of just switching to being  normal and stop the hate against you, why not do that and let everybody be happy? That would be the sane thing to do, right? Unless people believe that Gay people are insane...and if that’s the case, what would 14 years in prison do to help their mental situation?

I think having sex is a choice, but wanting to have sex is not a choice. What I mean by that statement is- when a heterosexual man sees a naked woman that he desires, his thoughts are automatically that of SEX. He doesn't have to make a conscious choice whether or not he should get aroused by her, it is an automatic reaction in his body. But he can choose to control himself and not go along with the act by suppressing his feelings. As long as he is a heterosexual man, he cannot choose not to feel aroused by the sight of a naked woman; It is impossible. So, i also think it is impossible for a homosexual man to not feel anything sexual for another man. I hope you get my drift? If scientists or psychologists want to look into why that is so, and come up with how to reverse homosexuality to what the society sees as normal sexual preference (heterosexuality), that would be better option than criminalizing homosexuality.

So, lets take a look at what would happen if homosexuals are sent to jail in their thousands in the next couple of months in Nigeria- They are locked up with same sex as theirs (man with man and woman with woman), and that would lead them to have sex (sometimes forced sex) with many other homosexuals. And after 14 years they would be released to the society again. The purpose of sending people to jail in the first place is to make them remorseful of their acts and change their ways for the better; that purpose is defeated in this case, as it will only leave them worse off.

These are just my thoughts on the matter. I am not an expert on this issue, I just view things with an open mind. I always try to put myself in other person's shoes to understand why he/she does what he/she does. And in this case, I don’t think a Gay person would wake up one morning and decide to be Gay. How do you do that? You just flick a switch in your head, and Wala! You are gay? I think Homophobes should try flicking that switch for just a day to prove to world that being Gay really is a choice. I know why a lot of people think like this; it’s because they are repulsed by the sight of gay people. Well, I can understand that, but it doesn't mean you should hate them because you can’t understand why they are the way they are. 

In 2006, it was discovered that popular American pastor, Ted Haggard had been having a homosexual relationship with a male escort. This was a man who openly condemned gay people for many years. Senior pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, Bishop Eddie Long protested same-sex marriage for many years. It was discovered in 2010 that he had been having homosexual affairs with 4 members of his church. He bought the young men cars, and took them on separate trips around the world. UK Based Nigerian pastor, Albert Odulele was convicted of two counts of sexual assault in 2011. He had been having a homosexual relationship with a 14 year old boy, and another with a 21 year old man. Why am I saying all these? I am not judging anyone, I am just trying to understand why these Men Of God would choose to be gay, to the detriment of their reputation. I think I should leave you with that thought...ponder on it.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

10 Most Beautiful Villages in Europe

Check out the pictures of of the 10 most beautiful village in Europe. Looking at the pictures saddened me...these are villages, not even cities, and they are this beautiful. I don't even think the problem with Nigeria (and Africa as a whole) is lack of resources and money; the problem is from within. We have poor hearts, that's why our outer world is so dirty and disarranged. This also has to do with Advancement...Europe is far more advanced than Africa in all areas. It's the neatness and the orderliness of the villages that really fascinate s me.

The pictures of the villages below are of 1. Bled, Slovenia. 2. Gruyeres, Switzerland. 3. Cong, Ireland. 4. Telc, Czech Republic. 5. Pucisca, Croatia. 6. Tellaro, Italy. 7. Reine, Norway. 8. Hallstatt, Austria. 9. Bibury, England. 10. Colmar, France. The pictures appear as they have been listed above.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Dencia and Her Bleaching Cream- Whitenicious

Nigerian female singer, Dencia is getting more famous by the day; or should I say, more infamous by the day. She launched her bleaching cream named Whitenicious a couple of months ago, and according to her, it sold out the first week of launch. Now, she has expanded her business to cover the American market. She was featured on (one of America's most popular gossip sites), and she said her sales increased by 1000% afterwards. Whoa! That is one hell of an increase in a few days. I think she is gonna make a killing from this. There are a lot of insecure dark-skinned women out there that ain't comfortable in their own skin, and they would definitely give her a cream a shot.

I was on twitter yesterday and saw how people all over the world were talking about this girl, and I thought...This girl just put Nigeria on the map...but for the wrong reasons. There are a lot of people bashing her right now; talking about how she is not a proud African, and that her product is making beautiful black women believe they have to be fair-skinned (or, in her case, WHITE) for people to see them as beautiful. Look at this picture she took with Seyi Oni (PR Officer for Royalty Records) about three years ago when she was still solely doing music, and compare it with the one above. In this picture, you can see that she has already started experimenting with bleaching, but in the one on top, she is WHITE. 

Now, check out her real transformation in the pics below.

Her cream, she says helps people with dark spots bleach them out, and blend the whole skin color to a newer/lighter look. Sort of like how Michael Jackson had to bleach his skin because he had Vertigo, and he didn't like the patches that it left on his skin, so he evened out his skin color by bleaching. Hmm! Anyway, what can I say? People are free to do whatever they want to do. It is just that I think it works too fast, and it could have adverse side-effects people don't know yet. It bleaches the skin in just 7 days. I don't know mehn! Something just isn't right. I ain't knocking her hustle tho.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Nigerian Celebrities Speak Against Country's Anti-Gay Bill

I guess it is no news, as it is all over social media right now. Yesterday, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan signed the Anti-Gay bill into law. In lay man terms, Jonathan has just made being Gay a criminal offence in Nigeria...punishable by law, with a 14 year sentence. In light of this, some celebrities and prominent people in the society have spoken against the action. Let me be the first to speak. First of all, I want to say I wanted to do a whole write up on this, but I was so angered at the time, I knew that If I wrote with that anger, the product of my write-up would scare some people away. So, I just decided to share some opinions from people that align with mine. My problem with this bill is that people hate gays because they are different, and they don't understand why a man would be attracted to a man, or why a woman would be attracted to a woman. If you only take a little time to do research (outside what you religion tells you), you wold know that these people don't chose to be so. Why would someone wake up one morning and decide to be gay when he knows he risks the probability of being lynched (or even killed) in public?

Tosin Bucknor (Top FM On Air Personality) had this to say about the bill...

Rapper, Ruggedman also chipped in his 2 cents on Twitter...............

Lawyer/former minister of Aviation, Femi Fani Kayode also had his own opinion on the bill-

So, as I was saying earlier, my problem with the law is that it is going to criminalize people that are not fully understood. Why would you want to jail two adults that are homosexuals, who want to be in a relationship together? That is infringing on the human rights that those people should have. So, look at it this way...lets say Homosexuality is wrong, and people are not normally meant to like the person of the opposite sex, will locking them up change that? Will it solve the perceived problem? Lets say it's a demonic attack (like some Christians say) or a mental disorder, or a gene passed from down to the gay person; why not look into the solution of that, rather than criminalizing it. How is it even a criminal offence? Are gay people a threat to anyone in the society? I just don't like how hypocritical Nigerians like to be. They condemn people (without trying to understand them) because they say Homosexuality is a sin to God, and yet there are many things that is in the Bible that are recognized as sins that these same people engage in on a daily basis, without remorse.

My heart skipped a beat when a friend of mine (whom I always saw as being enlightened) told me he supports the bill because Homosexuality is a trend, and if left to continue in Nigeria, would lead more people to become Homosexuals. In other words, he said Homosexuality is contagious. That was the height for me. People are so backward and ignorant in this country. I want to say more, but I don't want to make this post too long. You can leave comments and we can discuss this issue further. Thank you.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

The Power of Hypnosis

I’m sure everyone reading this has an idea of what hypnosis is. You have watched movies where people have been hypnotized and made to do what they wouldn't normally do. I even remember watching an episode of SuperTed back when I was like nine years old, and seeing Spotty-man hypnotized by a man, who dangled a clock in front of spotty till he lost consciousness.  Over the years, Hollywood has taken hypnosis to another level, and made it seem spooky and all. But the fact is that Hypnosis is so natural that you and I routinely enter and exit hypnotic trances several times a day without knowing it; Such times as while watching a movie, reading, listening to someone of authority (like a Pastor, Imam, or a Doctor), or while driving.

Basically, when you let your guard down, and let information/suggestion flow directly to your subconscious mind, you are in a hypnotic  trance. I combed the Internet for a very subtle definition of the word, but most of what I came up with were very complex. If I was to define it, I would say Hypnosis is when your conscious mind is put to sleep, and suggestions are given to your subconscious mind, which it immediately believes and acts accordingly, whether or not the suggestions are true.

I don’t know if that was a simple enough definition. To buttress my explanation, I think I should quickly speak a little on the human mind. The human mind (mind can be used interchangeably with brain here) has two parts; there is the conscious mind, and you have the subconscious mind. The conscious mind deals with logical reasoning and is the gate-keeper to what gets to the subconscious, while the subconscious mind, which is beneath the surface, deals with automatic actions like driving or brushing of teeth; Actions you have done over and over, till they have become automatic, or have become your character. The subconscious mind also  houses your beliefs (thoughts you have thought over and over). The subconscious mind doesn't deal with reasoning, but believes and acts accordingly on anything that is successfully passed to it from the conscious mind or the outer world; it is the bedrock of who you really are, because it houses your beliefs. Since all human beings act based on beliefs, and anything that gets to the subconscious mind (where your beliefs resides) is automatically taken as truth, then Hypnosis can truly be a powerful tool in carving the kind of life you really want. Or can be a detriment to your progress.

Since the conscious mind is the gate-keeper for the subconscious mind, it wont let any idea or suggestion go through to the subconscious, unless it checks with what you already believe to be true. That is why Hypnotists always put the Conscious mind to sleep before they proceed to passing a suggestion to your subconscious mind.  I think I should step back and let DR. Robert Anthony take center-stage from here on. Below is an excerpt from the chapter titled Dehypnotizing Yourself, from his bestselling book- The Ultimate Secrets of Total Self-Confidence.

Every person has been hypnotized to some degree either by ideas he has accepted from others or ideas he has convinced himself are true. These ideas have exactly the same effect upon his behaviour as those implanted into the mind of a hypnotic subject by a hypnotists. Over the years I have hypnotized hundreds of people to demonstrate the power of suggestion and imagination. To best illustrate my point, let me explain what happens when a person is hypnotized.’

‘Under hypnosis, I tell a normal, healthy woman that she cannot lift a pencil that I have placed on a table. And surprisingly, she finds herself unable to perform this simple act. It is not a question of her not trying to lift the pencil. She will struggle and strain, much to the audience’s amusement, but she simply cannot lift the pencil. On the one hand, she is trying to perform the action through voluntary effort and the use of her body muscles. But on the other hand, the suggestion that ‘you cannot lift the pencil’ causes her mind to believe that it is impossible. Here we find a physical force being neutralized by a mental force. It is a case of will power versus imagination. When this happens, imagination always wins out...’

‘Once a person believes that something is true (whether it is true or not), he then acts as if it were. He will instinctively seek to collect facts to support the belief no matter how false they may be. No one will be able to convince him otherwise unless, through personal experience or study, he is ready to change. Hence it is easy to see that, if one accepts something that is not true, all subsequent actions and reactions will be based upon a false belief.’

A lot of the limits in your life right now might have been self-imposed, or imposed upon you by a figure-head you respect like your Mom, Dad, a witch-doctor in your village, a respected person in your family,  or a religious leader.  They might have meant no harm when passing it to you, but it might be a belief which is, right now limiting you in some areas of your life. The suggestions might even have come from watching too much African Magic. As I said, your conscious mind is down when you are watching TV, and it allows every message/suggestion from the movie you are watching to stream right to your subconscious mind. And since your subconscious mind takes everything that gets to it as truth, you start to take everything portrayed in the movies as truth (like witches being behind your lack of progress, or that you can only be a success if you join a cult). Watch what you’re watching...don’t let it control your life. Watch the people you constantly are around and listen to, for they have the power to hypnotize you.

All these explains why what you believe (in your subconscious mind) is what you get in your life, and not necessarily what you want. And other people that don’t share your beliefs will get a life that resonates around their own beliefs also. In closing, this article should let you know that not all you take as truth today might be might have been hypnotized without knowing it. So when next you meet someone that doesn't share your beliefs, think twice before you label the person might be the ignorant one.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Cyberbullying is At an All-time High Right Now

Cyberbullying, according to Wikipedia, is the use of Information Technology to harm or harass other people in a deliberate, repeated and hostile manner. In layman terms, Cyberbullying is when you hide under being Anonymous on a blog site, or a forum and spew hate and abuses at people. Celebrities get hit the hardest because they put themselves out there more, but normal people too get cyber-bullied. There has been cases of normal people who committed suicide because they were bullied on the Internet. Bullying is nothing knew in the world, but it just got worse with the introduction of the Internet, and the frequent use of social media by people of all ages. The world being a global village, makes it easier for people to reach more people than they could have ever reached before now. And it also makes it easier for people to reach people that they could never have met in their lives, if there was no social media.

A friend of mine from University days wanted to fit into the social class by all means, and so did a lot of silly and laughable things. People started making jokes about him, and bullying him with words. I tried my best to always defend him, but there was little I could do cos he kept doing those things that made people make jokes about him. And around the time we were to graduate (he had an extra year), all the bullying of the past years took a toll on him, and he became mentally unstable. I feel guilty anytime I think of this, but to be honest, i barely saved myself from some of my own self esteem issues too, so there really was little I could have done for him.

I say that to say this, it is not everyone that has a tough skin and can take abuses, and look-downs from people. The easy accessibility of the Internet in recent times, and the huge amount of people that access it daily, makes the case of cyberbullying a very serious one to consider. Just the other day, Nigerian actress turned singer, Tonto Dikeh broke down on twitter, speaking on how depressed she had gotten reading all the negative comments about her on social media sites. And she confessed that she had contemplated suicide many times. A lot of people don't know how powerful words are, they just open their mouths and spew dirt at people they have not even met, just because they feel they can. I think maybe it makes them feel better about their own lives. And the irony of it all might be that their lives might be worse off than the people they are bullying, but they do what they do to make themselves feel better about their sorry ass lives.

You have people on (the most visited forum in Nigeria) and (the most visited blog in Nigeria), tearing down people with their comments at every chance they get. 90% of their comments are always negative. As for Nairaland, it is worse on can't even enquire about a solution to a problem without people making fun of you. The people that comment on there always find the worst in every news, and they don't waste time in wishing the worst on people. That is what the power of being 'Anonymous' can cause...if this people were in the same room with the people they are talking bad about, they would never utter the words they spew out freely (without weighing the consequences) on the Internet.

I remember an interview of Tiwa Savage from back in 2012 where she said she would be sad for days from reading negative comments about her on blogs/websites. She said she would then go for shows, and see tens of thousands of people cheering her on stage. And she wondered where those cyberbullies were. Then her Mom advised her to stop reading comment sections of blogs and websites. The thing people forget is that Celebrities are human beings like me and you. And to add to that, they can be affected worse from cyber-bullying than we can, because they put themselves out there more than the normal citizen. Like when Drake's mom was undergoing surgery, and he came on twitter and wished she made it through, and someone replied his tweet with- 'I wish your mom would die.' He said this was one of the situations that made him reduce his use of social media to barest minimum.

 I just remembered the story of one of the regular followers of Linda Ikeji's bog who goes by the user-name, ONYX. In the past, he wouldn't think twice before tearing down a celebrity. Then, in December of 2013, Linda decided to reward some of her users with N100k cash and N20k cash for Christmas, depending on some criteria. The Onyx guy was picked as one of the winners of N100k cash prize cos he has been a regular user/contributor on the blog. So, Linda met with most of them, and a picture of the meeting was taken. The next day, Linda put the picture up on the blog, and now, Mr. Onyx was on the other side of the divide. That whole day, other users of the blog rained abuses on him, calling him a beggar, and also making funny jokes about his looks. I noticed he was quiet for some days. And on the day he finally came around, he pleaded with some users to go easy on a celebrity they were bashing, confessing that he had suicidal thoughts when He was being  Cyber-bullied the other day. Now, that's a lesson for everyone.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Top 5 Richest Pastors in The World (2014)

It will interest you to know that, judging from this list, it is obvious that Nigeria houses some of the richest pastors in the world. This list was compiled by days of research online, and gathering information from credible sources like, Check out the list of the top 5 richest pastors in the world below-

5.  Joel Osteen-Net Worth= $40 million
"Joel Osteen was born in Texas and has an estimated net worth of $40 million dollars. A pastor, author, and televangelist, Joel Osteen is the pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas. He took over his father's role as a pastor and televangelist, despite having very little formal religious training, in 1999. Since then, the Lakewood Church broadcast has grown exponentially and can be seen in 100 different countries."

4.  Benny Hinn- Net Worth= $42 million

"Israeli televangelist,Toufik Benedictus “Benny” Hinn has an estimated net worth of $42 million. He is best known for his regular “Miracle Crusades” – revival meeting/faith healing summits that are usually held in large stadiums in major cities, which are later broadcast worldwide on his television program, “This Is Your Day”. Hinn was born on December 3, 1952."

3.  Chris Oyakhilome- Net Worth= $70 million
"This is the man behind Believers’ Loveworld Ministries, a.k.a Christ Embassy.His church has an estimated net worth of $70 million. He made $50 million last year alone."

2.  Bishop TD Jakes- Net Worth= $150 million

"Bishop Jakes lives in a $1,700,000 mansion, he has been called America's best preacher and has been featured on the cover of TIME magazine. He is a writer, preacher and movie producer. Thomas Dexter "T. D." Jakes, Sr. is the bishop/chief pastor of The Potter's House, a non-denominational American mega church, with 30,000 members, located in Dallas, Texas. T.D Jakes wears custom made suits and sports a diamond ring the size of a coin. This man of God has been endowed with a $150 million net worth."

1.  Bishop David Oyedepo- Net Worth= $500 million
"Bishop David Oyedepo is a Nigerian Preacher, Christian Author, Founder and Presiding Bishop of Winners Chapel, known as Living Faith Church World Wide. Has been hailed as the wealthiest preacher in Nigeria with a total net worth of $500 million and properties like 4 private jets and homes in the United States and England. His jets alone are worth more than $100 million. After the foundation of the Living Faith Outreach Ministry in 1981, it has evolved to be one of the largest congregations in Africa and has a flourishing mission in Nairobi."

You might be wondering why Pastor E.A Adeboye is not on the list. Well, even though he has been the General Overseer of Redeem Christian Church of God for close to three decades, he is not the founder of the church, but more like an appointed leader. Sort of like how Goodluck Jonathan is ruling Nigeria, but doesn't own the country. The other men on the list started their churches from scratch.

So guys, what's you opinion on the list? To the people who think Pastors shouldn't have this much wealth, I am going to have to disagree with you. You forget that these pastors render a service, and their market is large. They serve tens of millions of people. So, even if they didn't want the riches, the laws of the Universe would still bring it to them. That is just how things work in this world. You can't render a service to such a huge amount of people and not get rich; it is impossible. And for the record, must of them don't even make most of their money from offerings and tithes. It sure is a lot if you take a pull from tens of millions, but people forget that they have to maintain the churches. Most of these pastors make the majority of their money from special gifts they get from people they have helped, and also from their own personal investments. Chris Oyakhilome sells 2 million copies of his 'Rhapsody of Realities' book every month, and it nets him $2 million dollars from that alone; it sells for the equivalent of a dollar. And Oyedepo averages $1 million from the sales of his books worldwide, yearly.

And to those people that think they should give most of their money away in form of charity; that is another wrong misconception of Africans. A mentality to life that has kept the African continent (and the black race) backward. No one owes you anything in this world. You have to work out your own blessings, and that is what Pastors are meant to teach their fish, and not to hand them fish. And maybe they can also work on getting the message of living a righteous life across to their flock through different means, and not just via the pulpit, Like how TD Jakes does with movies (Jumping the Brown, Sparkle...); reaching more people via a medium they love, movies. And driving home the teachings in a subtle way...not driving people away with rigid teachings.

I think the only problem I might have with some pastors is that they are not teaching their flock the right lessons/principles. Why do I say that? If they were, then so many of them wouldn't be living in poverty. I guess that is why people complain about some of the possessions of some pastors. People look at Pastors living good lives, and see majority of the congregation living poor lives. It just doesn't look good to the person looking in from outside. As I said earlier, I do not agree with the notion that Pastors should give most of their wealth away to the poor; I just feel they should inspire the poor to become rich. That's why I have always loved my pastor- Pastor S.I Makinwa of Kingdom Light Ministry. He was already rich before he started the church, and still owns all his company and businesses. And he always inspires and teaches on how his congregation can be just as rich as him, or even richer. I guess that is why he is not so popular. 

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Linda Ikeji's 'Rags to Riches' Story

Everybody got a story to tell, and it is not always all rosy in the beginning. There is a reason why diamonds are found in dirt. Once in a while when I use a cyber cafe, and a new blogger sees the stats of my rap blog, they start asking me series of questions that continue for days I am always ready to answer the questions, but the ones that put me off are the ones that want to start making money from the very first month they started blogging

Although I am no where near where I want to be in the blogging world, I know I have come a long a way. Since Linda Ikeji became a millionaire blogger, everybody and their momma's now own blogs, and feel they can start making money overnight. I remember reading an old Linda Ikeji blog from two years ago, where she said some time in 2010 she had gone to the ATM to get money, and found out she had only eight hundred naira in her account. She tried to withdraw five hundred naira, but the particular atm didn't dispense in five hundred naira notes, and she had to go home sad, with no money. And this was after four whole years of blogging...that should tell you something.

People need to learn that there is no shortcourt to success, and every rich man/woman out there has a story to tell. There is always some form of sacrifice...time sacrifice, delayed gratification, not living how everyone else your age is living and the rest. On the first day of the year, Linda put up a very inspiring Happy New Year message on her blog. I put a part of it below, followed by her full 'rags to riches' story...

"On my 30th birthday in 2010, I had nothing. Absolutely no dime to my name. I was so depressed. I remember laying in my bed crying and asking God why? I've been working hard since I was 17, how come 13 years later I'm still in this position? Am I not worthy of your blessings? Why are you letting people mock me, feel sorry for me, disrespect me and tell me I won't amount to nothing?"

And below is her 'rags to riches' story...put together by Ventures Africa.

Linda Ikeji, a native of Nkwerre in Imo State, Nigeria, was born in 1980 to a struggling family, the second of seven children. From as early as 10 years old, Linda was writing. The fiction she penned down were praised by her friends and family and over time she cultivated a passion for news. Unlike many teenagers her age, Linda loved watching newscasters and interviews and by the time the opportunity presented to attend university in Lagos, her course choice was decided: Mass Communication. She was admitted to study English in university to her disappointment, but she decided to make the best of it. To support herself and her family through school, Linda began working at the age of 17, doing everything from waitressing and ushering to modelling and bartending, none of which paid a lot in the late 90s. She recalls, “I’d leave lectures, go to a hotel and sell beer from 1pm till 10pm. I did this for a few months. It wasn’t easy but I had to survive”. Linda worked hard, she was determined to succeed and become a journalist, her lifelong dream. In her second year of university however, she experienced a defining moment where she made a choice that would impact the rest of her life, particularly her decisions on avenues for earning money.

Being a beautiful model with growing popularity, Linda was approached by several wealthy men looking for sexual favours in exchange for money – a common practice in many higher institutions. These men offered quick access to the easy lifestyle that was so prized among university girls yet excluded many from poor backgrounds. For an aspiring career woman and entrepreneur, the quick money held deep appeal. Yet Linda had decided early on never to give her body in exchange for money so when the temptation came, hungry, desperate Linda, battling family pressures to send money, was able to resist. Following her experience with nearly compromising her values, she renewed her commitment to hard work and living with dignity no matter the circumstances.

After university she worked hard to break into the journalism trade, launching her media company, Blackdove Communications, a modelling agency and events management outfit. She also started what she describes in her first ever blog post as her “true passion”, her magazine called, FM & B. The first issue was released in 2006 and after discovering how capital-intensive and time-consuming magazine publishing was, only two more editions made it to print. Fortunately, in that same year, Bella Naija, another popular Nigerian blog, carried a story about Linda herself and for the first time, Linda began to see a new possibility to take her writing to the world. Blogging had all the charm: it was free except for the cost of an internet connection, easy to do and gave you access to millions of readers instantly. From that first Bella Naija blog post, she was sold.

7 years later, Linda Ikeji’s blog is averaging between than fifty and one hundred thousand visits every day from various countries. In fact, the blog has become a melting pot for Nigerians based at home and in the diaspora. Speaking about how others can turn something as unconventional as blogging into a multi-million naira business, Linda said “You have to love blogging. You can’t say I want to blog because I want to make money. It takes a stepping stone to get there. There are over a thousand blogs, but what will make people enjoy visiting your blog depends on the efforts you put into it. So, be passionate about it, be consistent, don’t blog once or twice in a week, blog everyday if you can, enjoy it, and love it.” Her advice is on par with the words of many success coaches and creative giants – love what you do and you will never have to work another day in your life.

Although Linda began her business as a hobby, did it for four years before making any money and had no set goals for it at the beginning, she’s making the most of every opportunity that comes her way. Her blog generates millions of naira annually from advertisements run by companies and Linda has gradually moved into a field she calls ‘motivational writing’. Speaking about her first book It Takes You, Linda said “I hope more than anything else that everyone who reads this book learns something from it. I hope it changes their perception of some things and more than anything else I hope it inspires them to go out there and make something of themselves”.

The money she earns has not only ended her family struggles but has brought her great influence in the entertainment industry and amongst young people. To her credit, her influence has been a force for change. By mobilising thousands of readers in her online community, Linda was able to lend a voice to Blessing Effiong, a young girl who had been detained for four years in prison without a trial. Four months after the story was reported on the blog, Blessing walked out of prison with her freedom, grateful to all her supporters including Linda Ikeji.

The story of Linda Ikeji, Nigeria’s most popular blogger, shows that you can create value, and therefore a business and influence, from whatever you’re passionate about; and even when controversy abounds, there are many opportunities to do good.

Whether you agree with her tactics and content or not, we have to hand it to Linda, she has entertained, engaged, inspired and provoked Nigerians for 7 years doing what she loves best. She has turned blogging into a lucrative business and shows no sign of stopping. (

Is There a Possibility of One World Religion?

Yea, that's the question I asked myself this morning. Is there a possibility of one world religion? I think it will greatly reduce the hate and wars that have ravaged mankind in the last millennial. I am a Christian, but I have been able to step out of myself, and just view the world from a freethinker's eyes, and see all the loopholes of all the religions in the world. I know that, even though Christianity (which has the most followers in the world) claims every other religion is false, it doesn't have all things correct. For example, Christians always blame Muslims of being violent and the cause of most of the wars in the world, but fail to understand that Islam is very similar to Christianity of the Old Testament. If you don't understand what I am implying, read some of the verses from the old testament I have put below-

Exodus 32:27-29

Then he said to them, "This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: 'Each man strap a sword to his side. Go back and forth through the camp from one end to the other, each killing his brother and friend and neighbor.' "The Levites did as Moses commanded, and that day about three thousand of the people died. Then Moses said, "You have been set apart to the LORD today, for you were against your own sons and brothers, and he has blessed you this day."

1 Samuel 15:3,8

Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.' " … He took Agag king of the Amalekites alive, and all his people he totally destroyed with the sword.

   Hosea 13:16

Samaria shall bear her guilt, because she has rebelled against her God; they shall fall by the sword, their little ones shall be dashed in pieces, and their pregnant women ripped open.

There are lots more very violent sounding verses of the Old Testament, but these three should give you an idea of what I am trying to say...people that condemn violence of Islamic people can't totally claim innocence for their religion. To add more to this, back in the middle ages, the Christian Crusades claimed more lives than Islamic jihads ever claimed. I am not tying to make one religion look better than the other, I am just trying to point to the fact that most religions of today are built on the notion of hating whoever doesn't believe and follow their doctrines. And because of this, we continue to have wars in this world of ours.

It us all a crazy circle. The people of Israel believe they are the chosen people of God, and so, they believe present day Israel (current geographical location of Isreal) is the land God promised them, and so fight all the original inhabitants of the land (Palestinians) with the mid that God is with them in the war. Americans align with Isreal, and also are enemies of the Arabs, because most Arabs don't want the control of their oil, or Westernization of their lands by Americans. So, Arabs go to war, and operate in a way they feel they can operate when they feel they are being oppressed...which the world sees as terrorism. And the wars go on and on and on...all in the name of religion. 

Well, I'm not saying all wars have been fought as a result of hate between people of different religions, no. Of course, there is the longing for power and riches (oil), but there is a large portion of incidences in human history that wars have sparked out of hate for people of different religions. I totally believe that there is only one God, and we all, in different religions, communicate with him through different ways. Even those who don't believe in God believe that there is one source of Power/Intelligence that we all use, regardless of religion or race. 

My conclusion is that, if there could be formed, a religion which can bring everyone in the world together, then there would be no need to hate another human being that you have never met, because he doesn't follow your own doctrines. And when there is less hate in the world, there would be more love among human beings. And thus, less wars. And if having one religion is not possible, at least let everyone be taught to respect the next person's religion.
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