As “Inside Africa’ meets Nigeria’s social media stars
Recently on Inside Africa, CNN International heads to Lagos to meet some of the high profile and highly paid personalities that have emerged with the rise of social media. This tech savvy generation have embraced social media, which has provided opportunities for women in business like never before.
The programme meets Linda Ikeji, one of Nigeria’s biggest social media stars, to learn more about her journey to success. After starting her gossip blog more than ten years ago, Ikeji says her success came from her determination and enthusiasm: “One of the things that drives a business to succeed is passion. It’s not about money. I’ve made money – I could move on and do some other things or leave it to my people but I’m extremely passionate about what I do and it gives me so much joy.”
Ikeji’s achievements have provided her with sufficient funds to start her own businesses, including owning a TV station, which are growing rapidly. She tells CNN how she wants to continue succeeding and hopes to inspire others: “I feel like I’m still climbing the ladder of success. There’s still so much I want to do… I’m hoping that my story, my life can inspire other young girls to fight for their dreams, work hard, believe in themselves, believe that there’s absolutely nothing that they cannot become…I’m hoping that my life can encourage other young girls to go out there and do the impossible, the things that people think can never happen.”
Social media has opened up a wealth of opportunities for young entrepreneurs. Travel enthusiast Chiamaka Obuekwe and her boyfriend founded a company which specializes in providing tours in parts of Nigeria that many people may have never seen before. Their business wouldn’t have been possible without social media, as Obuekwe tells the programme: “80 per cent of our clients heard about us on social media…Ten years ago we would have had to go door to door sharing our fliers. We would have had to think about tactics… Now all we have to do is to put a post out on Instagram and in ten minutes people are dm’ing us… Without social media, I don’t think Social Prefect Tours would be here.”
Vlogger Sisi Yemmie has a dedicated following for her recipes and lifestyle content with thousands of people viewing her food demonstrations every day. She attributes her success to her honesty and openness: “When it comes to privacy I don’t have too many private moments… I base it on what I would tell my friends. If I can tell my friend this then I can definitely tell my audience this.”
Sisi has won several awards and accolades, but despite her candour being part of her appeal she does have to consider the messages that she’s delivering: “It took a while for me to understand that the more popular I became I would become a role model… but I realise that responsibility comes with this platform… I am always very careful what I say. Typically, in the past I would maybe rant on Twitter, say stuff off the top of my head but now I have to think about not just my audience. I also have to have to think about brands and collaborations and when I think about things like that I am very careful about what I say and what I put out there.”
Being a role model is something that’s also important to Linda Ikeji who wants to make sure she creates a legacy: “I want my life to be impactful…. I have to do something that will impact the society, impact my community, impact the world. I want people to know that I was here.”