Inside Africa

How these Nigerian women are cashing in on social media

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Linda Ikeji: From gossip blogger to media mogul
08:02 - Source: CNN

Story highlights

Nigeria's youth are cashing in on social media

These women are turning blogging into a business

Lagos, Nigeria CNN  — 

Social media is changing how the world works and nowhere is that more apparent than in one of the most populous cities in the world: Lagos.

In this bustling Nigerian metropolis of an estimated 23 million people, around 10 million are under the age of 25 and their numbers are rising rapidly.

According to global research firm We are social, more than 15 million Nigerians use social media.

Over 80% of that number are young people between the ages of 13 and 39.

With mass unemployment in Nigeria reaching a peak of 18.8% in the third quarter of 2017, tech savvy and increasingly well connected young people have embraced social media and, in the process, a new generation of high profile and highly paid personalities have emerged.

Below are some of the women who have struck social media gold.

Linda Ikeji: From gossip blogger to media mogul

Smart, focused and passionate about her work, Ikeji says she wants to be the Oprah Winfrey of Africa.

Ikeji, who started her social media career with gossip blogging, is now building one of Nigeria’s biggest private TV stations with Linda Ikeji TV.

“One of the things that drives a business to succeed is passion and I am so passionate about what I do,” she says.

“People like gossip because it is extremely personal,” she says. “They like the honesty, how real it is, how human…”

But Ikeji wants to do much more than gossip blogging or owning a media empire. She wants to inspire other young girls to believe in themselves.

“There’s still so much I want to do that I haven’t done but I’m hoping my story, my life can inspire other young girls to go out there and fight for their dreams.”

Sisi Yemmie: The vlogger inviting her viewers into her home

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Bloggers owning the social media space in Nigeria
06:51 - Source: CNN

She offers her audience a glimpse into her home life, sharing her favorite recipes and her families likes and dislikes. She has cultivated a large following that has brands reaching out for collaboration.

It’s a delicate business, making her personal life so public. But it’s one that Sisi Yemmie understands very well.

“I’m a lifestyle blogger,” she says. “What I show is what it is. I don’t have time for fakeness. I don’t have time to create what is not there.”

But with this vulnerability comes a sense of responsibility. Sisi Yemmie knows she has to be strategic about what she shares; she has to think about her audience all the time.

“I realize there’s a responsibility that comes with this platform I have, and now I am always very careful what I say.

“I have to think about not just my audience; I have to think about brands and collaborations.”

Chiamaka Obuekwe: The travel blogger who goes off the beaten track

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Showing the world a different side of Nigeria
07:45 - Source: CNN

When it comes to visiting Nigeria’s most interesting and exciting places, Chiamaka Obuekwe, founder of travel company ‘The Social Prefect,’ knows exactly where to go.

She says her presence on social media has made it a lot easier to connect with people who are looking for exciting places to go in Nigeria.

“Ten years ago, we had to go door-to-door sharing our fliers…Now all we have to do is to put a post out on Instagram and in ten minutes people are dm’ing us.”

She’s one of the many Nigerians who, inspired by Linda Ikeji, seek to cash in on the abundant opportunities on social media.

Media mogul Linda Ikeji thinks the secret of their success can be found in one thing: their gender.

“Women are better storytellers,” Ikeji says.

“We are very real with our stories.”