From the timeless word that says, “If you see a woman that has everything going for her, and you’re not ready to add value to her life, just admire her from afar. Please, don’t interrupt her greatness.” And extremely, it is difficult being a woman in a society like ours. Here, the women are facing the challenge of identity.
And I think after our Queen, Linda Ikeji has had her own feel of experiences, she considered it wise to question the woman’s status and the issue of equal rights bothering them as being relevant to every society. She is definitely not comfortable with devalue of a woman’s worth and dignity. Women are to be prided with great respect and sense of nobility.
Unfortunately, it is highly disappointing that most women themselves don’t understand their positions in the count of things and in activities of life. In marriages, they make the most regrettable mistakes. In choice of career, they make the most horrible choice of vocation. Was it not why a lady was asked what she would be looking out in a man for marriage, and she replied, “I need a tall, handsome and rich man for marriage.” You can imagine! Anyway, I’m not sure it’s for marriage; probably she needs such man for a wedding, as most ladies now invest so much energy in planning their weddings than marriage.
You don’t take little or momentary decisions that would shatter the rest of your life and existence. This is the primary essence of Linda Ikeji’s project. She wants the ladies to go through the pains of building a future, and then enjoy it forever when it will come. And I’m happy this is coming from her; a woman who has had her experience of social, economic and cultural oppression. Today, I’m also happy that she is experiencing the joy of dignity, equality and fulfillment.
How come the headline? I came across this screaming headline from a Nigerian blog: “Linda Ikeji Throws 15 Million To Nigerian Ladies With Good Business Ideas.” It is coming from the heels of her newly found love, Project “I’d Rather Be Self Made”.
Before I read about the project, I’ve seen the statement “I’d Rather Be Self Made” on a customized red top she wore in a photo, a time. And the other, it was a piece written by one of my natural and real friends, Onyeka Nwelue. I prefer calling him real, but he chooses to describe himself as being shameless; maybe because he takes responsibility of his action. I think! In his piece, he noted: “When I started chatting with her via WhatsApp, her profile status said and still says: ‘I’d Rather Be Self Made.’ This will sound funny, but she doesn’t allow people do anything for her.”
What does it mean? She lives a life she preaches. What she wants, she adopts. And she is not being hypocritical over it. On her latest project, I will agree that, “she has had her fair share of turmoil, troubles and hustles. She has faced crushing rejection. She is driven by the will to pay back many people, to succeed.” And personally, I think it is the exact reason behind the unveiling of Project Self Made.
Though she wrote by saying: “See the first beneficiaries of my ‘I’d Rather Be Self Made’ project. Over N5 million given away. I am excited and I can’t wait to help more young ladies start their own businesses. So earlier this year, I announced that I was going to set aside N10 million grant to help young ladies with dreams, ambition and great business ideas to start their own small scale businesses.
“And finally, I’ve done it. I’ve spent over N5 million on 15 girls. And I have over N5 million to give away before the end of the year. You have a great business idea and need startup capital? I’m here to help!
“I really want more women to succeed, to be more independent, to make their own money, and stop sleeping with men for money. And I will do everything I can to help as many as I can. I’m truly hoping to make new set of self made women and like I said, when I started this, I plan to do this for as long as I can. Once this N10 million is exhausted, I will bring out more money.”
Is this not rare from an everyday lady in Nigeria? She may completely not go round in changing the mindset of every Nigerian lady, but she has placed a mirror for proper reflection. She just planted a positive seed in the lives of those ladies through this gesture. I’m also hoping that the ladies on their own will not stop the drive, as they will individually continue to be change agents through exchanges.
After her emphasis, I think this very line connects to me: “Aside from giving them money to start their businesses, I will also use my platform (LIB) to push their businesses. Whenever I post anything from any of my SelfMade ladies, I will indicate it’s one of my girls so you can please patronize them.” This works! Aside from sending in stories to LIB platform and watch it published, I also monitor the excitement in the hearts of people I submit their stories.
They are always happy seeing their stories being published by LIB after I must have submitted them. And you know what? I placed prominence to it, as rarely do I submit. Many careers have received facelift as a result of their stories I submitted to LIB. In fact, you need to see the messages and mails I get whenever a story is being published on Linda Ikeji’s Blog. Some of them even out of excitement request for my account detail for an alert; I must confess. So, even without the financial support offered by our Queen, Linda Ikeji, the update on her media platform alone goes a long way in adding values and facelift to their businesses.
It’s even unfortunate that most people out of their frustration get emotionally depressed when they hear, Our Queen or Africa’s biggest blogger. And till this moment, the name Linda Ikeji is still experiencing such harsh remorse from our people, especially among writers and bloggers. Even before Onyeka enumerated it, we know writers don’t like her. But you know what? No writer ever excels hating the other. If you must grow or be successful as a writer, you must learn to appreciate, discredit injustice and accommodate good morale. On this note, I will say a big thank you to our Queen, Linda Ikeja for not letting the turmoil and hostility of our society to discourage her. Nwanyioma, please, keep doing good!
Ugochukwu Favour-Mayor (@UgochukwuFM) is a writer, media personality and PR Specialist @FunCodeMedia. He is also the author and initiator of Most Influential Igbo Personalities (@MIIPng)