The moment Dr. Linda Ikeji bought her multi-million naira mansion in highbrow Banana Island, Ikoyi; a posh and expensive neighbourhood in Lagos, Nigeria and was declared a self-made billionaire that had earned her billions through blogging, the ‘Linda Ikeji Syndrome (LIS)’ was born.Tweet
What?! Someone spent long hours writing and posting, even into the wee hours of the morning and boom! became a Banana Island Billionaire!!! Impactada! It was like a light bulb was lit in the heads of many especially the ladies!Tweet
“Did you say billions through writing and on a free website?! I am game!!! If Linda can write, so, can I. I will write and build a house on the moon.” or so many thought.
There came a sudden influx of writers cum bloggers and their blogs in tow. Some, who will head to one blog, copy the contents and paste on their blogs (the ‘Copy and Paste’-no edit-bloggers). Many, clueless; whose blogography had no clear direction and whose only desire in the blogosphere was to create a billion-making-niche which may some day earn them a Banana Island Home of their own and the likes of them. Infact, the situation became like that of a bunch of scavengers roaming aimlessly. Moolah was the goal.
Four years on, Linda Ikeji has not slowed down. Linda has spread her tentacles into television; online television at the moment, has gone on to employ young people with bright dreams to join her team, travels the globe with her family, wears the choiciest clothes and drives the choiciest Cars.
The Archimedes’ haven’t slowed down either. In fact, they have set up a cut-throat competition amongst themselves, scampering; looking for the hottest gists and how to become the next self-made billionaire with a mansion in the Banana Islands; an Iconic man-made Island.
THE CAUSE AND EFFECT
So, Linda started her blog in 2006. This was before the “raving internet age”, minimal Social Media interference with high cost of internet-enabled devices. The World had just begun to really take its shape as a Global village. Nigerians in diaspora, though been ‘out of home’ wanted the juiciest gists and the latest gossips from home because ajo o dabi ile. Only Linda provided that.
Have you ever been in traffic congestion in Lagos? Have you any idea where the hawkers spring out from? You can buy everything and anything from snacks, to drinks, to Paintings, to sunglasses, to wristwatches, to car and phone accessories. Just name it and Lagos traffic has got you covered! Once, Someone gave me the gist of his friend who dropped off a relative who was travelling to London at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos. He was still ‘on his way back’ to Lekki (a trip which should take approximately 45 minutes or less) when the relative called him that he had arrived! By the way Lagos to London by air is approximately six hours. Yea, that bad!
Linda created this Lagos Traffic situation (albeit online), such that you could go to Linda Ikeji Blog to read one article and you will end up buying a Kiddies School bag, forgetting that you were yet to meet the woman, propose to her or marry her; so the chances of you having a child who needed a school bag and urgently were quite slim, right? But, Snap! you bought the bag because you were ‘stuck in traffic’.
Consequently, many brands started approaching Linda, they wanted a slice of the “Linda Ikeji Blog Traffic”, mindless of raving fans of the blog and adherents of their brands. The goal was to make adherents, lovers; and lovers, addicts while converting the neutral ones.
Linda earned massive ad revenue while running on a free website.
Awon oniranu, the ‘whistle blower gang’; eti Oba nile, eti Oba loko; had juicy gist but needed a sturdy platform (place where; soup done done) to put out the fruit of their ‘busy bodies’, they downloaded the gist for Linda for some ‘return handshake‘ maybe. Linda seemed to be omnipresent and posted stories after stories as she had fans-turned-informants and informants-turned-reporters in every nook and cranny. The celebrities became weary of Linda and her horse whip; her blog. Haters (Fans-in-disguise) looked forward to seeing their unfavourites (hahahaha) pulled down by the latest blog. Another generation was born; The Linda Ikeji Blog Addicts.
The Political godfathers? Were they swayed by the Linda Ikeji Blog’s influence? Was she ever a Political mercenary? did she have a share of the Political cake? The Celebrities (remember, while at this, Linda became a Celebrity too), do you think any of them had a sponsored campaign on the blog? Were lines drawn? Were they maintained? were they crossed? to what extent?
While many have dedicated their lives to blogging (and gone ahead to call it their life’s dream and passion) and even ‘taken the stones thrown at them and built houses’, many others have come up with more creative stories than Linda had ever written (I am guessing she doesn’t write anymore, I am sure she still does); While many have blogged through the night and all morning, many have gone ahead to back-stab and betray friends and loved ones, all in the name of becoming the next self-made-billionaire through blogging. Despite all of these, not one billionaire has been named who made their life earnings through blogging since 2015.
This phenomenon and its attendant syndrome has so caused the clogging of the blogosphere that people (the brands) hoping to ‘sell their wares‘ have now turned to the people the bloggers have been blogging about. What?! This has given rise to a whole new cult; “The Brand Influencers” while the Blogs have now sort of being relegated to the role of ‘entertainment-providing channels‘.
Where do we go from here?