On June 22, 2016 a website, Capital Ng, for want of traffic to their news site decided to concoct a fictitious story about popular Nigerian blogger, Linda Ikeji.
In their article, they accused the celebrity blogger of evading tax and denying ownership of her recently purchased Banana Island mansion.
They also claimed that the former model was in trouble with the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) for evading a N75 million tax bill. Some of the tax levies according to them were related to the purchase of her N500 million mansion.The news trended all through that day, as is typical with news pertaining to Linda, which prompted her to react through an exclusive interview with Pulse ng.
Linda was quoted as saying,
“Firs go after companies not individuals. And I was operating as an individual,”
“And the Banana house is mine 1000%..lol. Proudly mine and I would never deny it.”
Truth is success has a lot of enemies and the enemies are most vicious in Africa. Until Africa completely does away with their chronic Bring-em-down disease, it’s always advisable not to put your whole life out there.
But Linda will never hear. She says,
“Showbiz means ‘Show your business.”
It doesn’t work that way in Africa. I’ll give you an example…
In the Western world, pregnant women flaunt their baby bumps in public…some even wearing crop tops to expose the bare belly. People get excited when they see the bare bump. It’s common to find a complete stranger walk up to an expectant mom and ask if they can rub the belly. They even ask for the baby’s due date and the expectant mom tells them happily.
In most parts of Africa, the complete reverse is the case. Your own sister might hide her pregnancy under layers of boubous and kaftans until she’s almost due. You waste your time to ask if she’s expecting. She’ll tell you she just ate a fat lunch of eba and soup. You dare not ask for her due date. Wetin you wan take an do? And when the baby is eventually born, some well wishers may not get to see or even touch the baby. It’s a security measure to protect the baby from bad belle hands and winches.All I’m saying is Linda, enjoy your life with wisdom. Blogging is a back breaking full time job, and you deserve every reward it brings. You hardly sleep and you must be up bright and early to break the news. Social life becomes almost non-existent and you give up a lot of of yourself to building a successful brand. But what people see is the result of all that hard work and believe me only a few will view it pragmatically. Majority blinded and driven by hunger and lack will always wonder why the grass is always greener on the Ikejis’ side. Nobody cares to remember the back story and the journey that got you there.So, just because we are in Africa, with substandard laws to protect its citizens, turn down the ‘flauntation’ a bit. Because detractors will tirelessly continue to devise ways to discredit and bring you down and you’ll be giving them more than enough information, clues and leads to make their mission a success. AND you may not always be on top of their pull-down game.There’s a certain beauty in remaining mysterious. Package yourself in ‘Onion Layers’. Let people try to know you so many times but lead them to a dead end. That’s what makes men have the awe, fear and reverence we give to God. Because He is mysterious, man can never be God.The same rule applies to a god on earth…especially when you’re a god in your field. “Know ye not that ye are gods?” Dear Linda, you may never take my 2 cents, but I leave you with this Empire series scenario…
When Lucious Lyon was released from prison and banned from entering Empire Records, His son, Jamal Lyon urged him to address his fans with some words of encouragement nonetheless…
Jamal Lyon: Can’t stop a king from speaking to his subjects.
Lucious Lyon: That’s blasphemy. I’m a god.
And I shouted, yasssss!!! A god is mysterious only if that god/goddess know who he/she is. Now you see me, now you don’t. What you already have nobody can take away. And you don’t need a loudspeaker to announce what is clear for all to see.Not everyone can handle negativity in extremity. If it works for you, fine. If not, shed it off so it doesn’t distract you from keeping your eye on the prize.