I must confess that I am just a recent blog reader. But, since I got the virus, I mainly follow three popular Nigerian bloggers: the queen, Linda Ikeji, the good-hearted, Stella Dimoko Korkus and the distinctive, Bella Naija, respectively known worldwide as LIB, SDK and BN, and when I say worldwide, I mean millions of followers for each blog! Linda Twitter handle boasts of 734,000 followers, Stella gets 7,359, and Bella, a whopping 429,000, if this is not huge popularity, what is it?
Each one of those three bloggers has a personal style. Just to give you an idea, here is what happened on their different blogs on Friday, 18 July 2015, as Nigerian Muslims were celebrating the end of Ramadan, end of their fast.
Linda, unrivaled, as usual, was the quickest to hit the ground running: she posted a greeting card to personally wish a happy Salah (or end of fast or Eïd el fitr) at 3:32am! You can’t beat that! (And I saw it live as I was breaking my head, trying to set up this blog!)
Stella own personal Ramadan greetings came at 7:31am. Not bad, but what a message it was conveying! Here is how she introduced it (you can find the post here on her blog):
“Barka Da Sallah To You!
I guess it is okay to wish everyone who is celebrating Barka da sallah today?or is it Ramadan?”
A very nonchalant attitude to say the least, and to tell the truth, one of her blog reader was not very happy about it. Here is what he wrote anonymously in his comment:
“(Stella) Try to be enlightened a bit, you come off as sounding stupid when it has anything to do with Islam, getting a little bit educated should not be too much, wishing Muslims happy Ramadan, excuse me !!!, you have a lot of Muslim followers on your blog , one thing I have noticed about you is that when it comes to Islam and its celebrations, it’s either you report only when you are reminded, you act ignorant or you just deliberately report wrongly e.g. wishing happy Salah IJN, yes you have done that before, and like today, you are wishing Muslims happy Salah or Ramadan.”
“IJN” means “In Jesus Name”, Ramadan is the fast of course and Salah the end of the fast, the equivalent of Eïd El Fitr, in Hausa, if I am not wrong. So, Stella is mixing up the fast itself with the Celebration, which mark the end of the fast around the world? Mixing things on such a sensitive subject? Talk about not worrying a bit about what her readers might think!
But, somehow, that’s what I like about her! She comes across as very spontaneous and honest about what she is. Stella, who lives in Germany, I think, will talk freely about her private life. For instance, she will tell you how the summer is so hot out there, that she had to go shopping for an Air Conditioner with her family.
In fact, Stella is not politically correct and it is refreshing in this quite conservative Nigerian society where for example, virginity is highly rated, more on religious ground it seems to me than based on traditional values. “Keep your legs closed”, as they like to put it on those blogs, is the most common advice given by blog visitors to single ladies looking for guidance. But on the other end, surprisingly, a lot of posts display explicit adult content that don’t seem to bother anybody. For instance, you will often read about Black Chyna this and Amber Rose that, with their nudity on display all over some blogs. I fail to understand how Nigerians reconcile their being so prude on some subject matters like homosexuality or virginity and not blink an eye at a male sex shaped lipstick on display on Linda Ikeji Blog homepage!
Surely, Linda is very provocative in her choice of subjects and visitors will sometimes complain about too many transgender posts for example, but they will still click on it and make a comment instead of ignoring it. Obviously, Linda has a good sense of what will set people talking but I think that she must also be very open minded, actually.
Among the three of them, Stella appears to me as the one who gives a great deal of herself to her blog readers. She dedicates entire posts to unknown people who want to celebrate their birthday and she engages a lot with her Blog Visitors, BVS, as she calls them. Through her regular topic “In House News” for instance, she allows her blog followers to help each other for all kind of services (make up, training, job, cakes, you name it.) and it is actually working. It’s not just an empty facade. It creates a real bond between her blog visitors. As I can feel it by reading through the comments, Stella has succeeded in uniting a strong community around her. A community that not only exists online but in real life also, as members meet regularly at dedicated parties.
On her part, Linda offers a lot of cash as giveaways to lucky blog readers. However, to me, it doesn’t have the heart to heart feeling I get from Stella Dimoko Korkus’ blog. But still, it is highly commendable as it makes a lot of people happy.
Stella is more or less faceless. Linda, on the contrary, shows quite a lot of photos of herself or of her sisters. But, ultimately, Linda is more guarded and keeps it very professional under whatever circumstances.
One of Linda Ikeji ‘s strength is that she works passionately at raising social awareness. She will often post pictures of the poor condition of our roads or she will show a homeless man roaming the streets and usually in a matter of time, repairs will start on that road, or his long lost family will rescue the destitute.
I have not yet spoken of the third popular Nigerian blogger, Bella Naija, because she is on a league of her own. First of all, she is not a designated person like Linda and Stella are, using their own names and succeeding in making it a trademark. I didn’t really know the person behind Bella Naija (In writing this post, I had to google it, however!) but the truth is that she doesn’t hold a conversation with her blog readers. Which sets her apart. She doesn’t speak about herself at all! Even on the About page, only the company positions are stated with no names attached. Impressive secrecy!
At first, I didn’t understand all the hype around Bella Naija. Of course, I found the site useful to keep informed about cultural events and it was through it that I heard about the “V Monologues” some years back and was able to enjoy Kate Henshaw’s very powerful performance in it.
This year too, thanks to Bella Naija, I attended a very interesting play with a twist: “The Wives”, written by Ahmed Yerima and starring Joke Silva, Kate Henshaw and Kemi Lala Akindoju among others. The performance of the actresses was really good!
So, on visiting Bella Naija, I always found something interesting to do on the weekends, but, initially, I would never go there regularly.
However, I got really hooked when I discovered, first “ Aunty Bella” (an agony column), then “Atoke morning banter” and lately “Isio knows better”. It was on Bella Naija, that I was able, at last, to read serious comments of more than three words, focussing on the matter at hand.
And Isio, she bares it all! I enjoy reading her articles because as I said earlier it is not so common in this somewhat conservative Nigerian society to have someone speak so frankly about her life.
I am just beginning to discover the rich content of Bella Naija. There are still a lot of interesting features I need to watch.
Lastly, You can’t speak of Bella Naija without mentioning “Aso Ebi Bella”: a display of Nigerian wedding fashion. I am just speechless in front of the beautiful Nigerian ladies. I actually think that there is nobody prettier in the world than a Nigerian Lady in her Aso Ebi and Gele! (I am just joking, I know every woman is beautiful in her own right, but still, a Nigerian lady wearing her aso ebi and gele, will always stand out!)
A Gele is a simple piece of fabric but it makes me think of music notes. There are only seven of them, but hear the infinite variety of sound that has been created and will continue to be! To some extant, it is the same with Gele, a variation of colors combined in infinite awesome ways. But a picture is worth a thousand words; judge for yourself on Bella Naija.
So after this long epistle, am I going to tell you which blog is my favourite? Certainly not! Let’s say that I like both of them because each one caters to different needs:
Go to Stella Dimoko Korkus: when you are tired of all the showing off and the pretending, when you want to enjoy yourself, to laugh, to feel human! Stella is bold and down to earth. She keeps it real.
Stella Dimoko Korkus blog
Go to Linda Ikeji Blog: when you need to be updated ASAP on breaking news, trending topics, at any hour of the day or the night. Linda is on top of it, 24/7, and I very much admire her dedication, I need to emulate it!
Linda Ikeji Blog
Go to Bella Naija: when you want to get a break from reality TV Celebrities, to read well-articulated comments, to breath some fresh cultural air and not miss an interesting play or a painting exhibition. Bella Naija, thank you for being part of making Lagos the vibrant cultural place that she is.
My favorite features : Isio knows better, #AsoEbiBella
And last but not least, ladies own all three blogs! Girl power all the way!
My point out of this is that you just have to work with your strengths. No need to try and copy each other as what we like is your differences. It would be so dull if all your blogs look alike.
Blogging is the trend of the moment and this list presenting three Nigerian bloggers is far from being exhaustive as Nigeria can boast of an impressive number of talented men and women. Kudos to all of them!
Have a nice day, Everyone!