By BENJAMIN NJOKU
THE Nigerian entertainment industry experienced its share of highs, lows and tragedy in 2018. The death of music legend, Ras Kimono and his wife, Efemena Okedi, which shocked the industry. There were also controversies, feuds and the premiere of groundbreaking movies which defined the outgoing year. But beyond all that, one event got people talking throughout the year. And it was Linda Ikeji’s debacle.
The billionaire blogger became a hot topic on social media after she officially announced that she was expecting a baby. The story started trending since May, after her sister, Laura Ikeji broke the news of Linda’s pregnancy on her Instagram page. “See who’s gonna be a mummy. Congrats Lin @officiallindaikeji” wrote Laura Ikeji on her Instagram post.
Linda who bought a Bentley Mulsanne to celebrate her son’s arrival also confirmed the good news, when she posted about her pregnancy on her blog, setting the social media on fire. The story dominated the social media space as well as made headlines in the national dailies for the greater part of the year. The news was equally received with mixed-reactions with many condemning the media entrepreneur for expecting a baby out of wedlock.
Meanwhile, recall that in March, the 37-year-old celebrity blogger announced her engagement to an unknown man. Report had it that she reunited with an ex-boyfriend who just returned to the country after being away for a while. The rumour, however, was not far from the truth, as no soon it went viral on social media than the celebrity blogger was romantically linked to a man that later became the father of her baby. But Linda loves being in the spotlight, as it’s good for business of writing about people and their lifestyles. Throughout the period of her pregnancy, Linda was always in the news, celebrating her unborn baby, and keeping the identity of the daddy secret.
She had in the past reportedly slammed women who had babies out of wedlock, and it was like a pay back time for the celebrity blogger as she got her fair share of backlash. Particularly, many took on her for not practicing what she preached, ending up as a babymama as well. Like one eating his vomit, the CEO of Linda Ikeji blog and TV, became a butt of jokes, for many, especially, controversial journalist, Kemi Olunloyo who mocked the new mom endlessly during pregnancy and after her delivery. Also, some social media users reminded her of what she said about Anna Banner, after Ikeji denied shaming single mothers. And another user added, “Linda bullied and crucified single moms. It’s because I am a single mum as well, so I couldn’t forget all she said about us then.”
Reacting to the claims on Twitter, Linda said “someone started this and others followed. I’ve never done that. If I have someone would have brought out the quote by now. I’m not insensitive.”
She added: “I preached celibacy to young girls because I feel that’s the right way to live until you meet someone very special that you love and who loves you and wants to be in a committed relationship with you. Passing body around and having multiple partners is not the way and I stand by it.”
“And I’ve lived by it. But then I turned 36 and I knew there was nothing else I wanted more than to be a mum and wife and celibacy wasn’t going to get me that! I even did a video talking about how much I wanted these two things and God has finally answered my prayers. Beyond blessed.”
Linda’s trending story continued in September after the birth of her little Jayce, in far away Atlanta, Georgia in the United States. The blogger broke the good news herself on her @officiallindaikeji Instagram account and the media feasted on it. She wrote: “Oh dear Lord, I am a mum. Baby J is here! . He was born today,September 17. This is so surreal . Thank you guys so much for the love through this journey and thanks for all the well wishes. Love you guys! However, what made Linda’s story different was the fallout between the billionaire blogger and the father of her baby.
Before letting the cat out of the bag, speculations were rife that one Sholaye Jeremi was responsible for Linda’s pregnancy. But until recently, the billionaire blogger who has kept everyone on the edge, patiently waiting to know who the father of Jayce might be, finally broke her silence when she penned a lengthy message about who the father of her child is, how she met him, dumped her and all that. It was a bombshell and tongues have not stopped wagging till this moment. While Linda’s outburst was still generating reactions from all quarters, friends of her baby daddy, Sholaye Jeremi fired back at her,accusing her of weaving an incoherent story of how she met Sholaye.
According to them, “What Jeremi and Linda had was just a fling – a typical case of boy meets girl, just that in this case, there was a very desperate party. Jeremi was just out to have fun and there was not supposed to be any commitment or emotional attachment. But Linda had her plans from the moment she set eyes on him.When Linda came up with the pregnancy tale and stormed his house crying and begging, Jeremi had to be diplomatic about it because he didn’t want to create a scene.”
Meanwhile in the midst of her predicament, Linda risked being dragged to court for mistakenly identifying the Online Editor of Punch, Mr. John Abayomi as the owner of Instablog9ja, in one of the articles published on her blog titled, “Meet the owner of Instablog9ja – John Abayomi”on November 15, 2018. The story went viral on the internet, and the controversial blogger was forced to apologize to Mr. Abayomi for any inconvenience her mistake would have caused him.
Nonetheless, as a popular blogger, Linda has stepped on too many toes, and one would not be surprised the rate at which people were mocking her. It became so obvious that her critics were busy celebrating her woes, rather than sympathizing with her. Linda surely has learnt her lesson in a hard way. But as she confessed, “My mistake was I should have walked away when the relationship became a waste…lol… but then again, Jayce wouldn’t be here today if I had. So really, there’s nothing that I have preached that I didn’t practice. So you guys should stop trolling me over this abeg!”