I just read this article and I’m like wow, the guy took the words from my mouth, although I’m a Linda Ikeji admirer (she fine and she wields blogging influence in Nigeria :))
But I’m more impressed with this guy, did not know him before but now that I do will keep my eye on him, we need more of his type in Africa especially Nigeria speaking out against things like Materialism 🙂
“On Tuesday, 16th September 2014, popular Nigerian blogger Linda Ikeji posted on her blog her latest luxury toy; a brand new 2014 Range Rover Sport Supercharged. According to her, this cost a whopping sum of N24m [$153,000]!
This is not her first car by the way, this is her 3rd car following a 2011 Infiniti FX 35 [N8m] and a 2008 Toyota Camry. Conservatively, her 3 cars cost N36m [$228,000], not bad for a blogger right?
The Value of Money
Anyone is free to spend their money however they want.
But stop to think about this, would Linda Ikeji be able to buy these cars if Larry Page and Sergey Brin hadn’t invented Google the company that created the free blogging platform she uses?
Would Linda Ikeji be able to buy these cars if Andy Bechtolsheim the first venture capitalist who funded Google’s startup with $100,000 had gone ahead to buy a Range Rover Sport for $153,000?
Would Linda Ikeji be able to buy these cars if Larry Page and Sergey Brin had used the money they created blogspot with to buy a Range Rover Sport?
As a matter of fact, Larry Page whose net worth is $32.1 Billion doesn’t own a luxury car as much as Linda Ikeji. His 3 automobiles valued at $137,000 are all environmentally friendly products;
Toyota Prius, a hybrid electric mid-size hatchback. It is among the most clean cars of the world based on smog formation and vehicular emissions. This was the world’s first mass produced gasoline-electric hybrid car. $20,000
Tesla Roadster, a Battery Electric Vehicle sports car. It has the distinction of being the first all-electric vehicle in serial production. Larry Page is also a key investor in the firm and thus was one of the buyer of this car. $109, 000
Zero X motorbike, an Electric Vehicle from Zero Motorcycles, which you can get for just under US $ 8,000.
On the other hand, Sergey Brin, who has a net worth of $ 30.7 Billion, like his partner, also doesn’t own a luxury car as much as Linda Ikeji. His 2 automobiles valued at $129,000, are all environmentally friendly products; a Toyota Prius [$20,000] and a Tesla Roadster [$109,000].
The African Mentality of Wealth
As Africans, we have a very funny way of utilizing wealth. Unlike our western counterparts, who see wealth as a tool for the creation of more wealth and more good in the world, we see wealth as a tool for luxury.
We make money to ‘show off’, to make a statement that we have arrived. Our appetite for extravagancy increases as our wealth increases. We suddenly forget how we once survived without all these luxurious toys and completely lose all senses of moderation.
One luxury car doesn’t seem to be enough; we keep reaching out for more as more money comes in. we decorate our garage with expensive toys that are tying down valuable resources that ought to be utilized for the creation of more wealth and more good in the world.
This is the same mentality common amongst our politicians as well as religious leaders. The open display of wealth and excessive accumulation of luxury toys are all evident around us. And yet we keep on complaining that our economies are not growing. We keep on wondering when Africa will measure up with the rest of the world.
How can we ever measure up when all we do with wealth is to spend it wastefully on consumables rather than re-invest it on wealth creating opportunities. Rather than use of wealth to create Venture Capital firms that will empower startups with seed funds, we spend them on luxury toys that does no one good but our selfish selves!
To Whom Much Is GIVEN, Much Is Expected
That Linda Ikeji rose to such level of affluence while using a free blogging platform that some other entrepreneurs created with their wealth, is enough reason for her to tread wisely.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with her first 2 cars, they were high profile cars already. Going as much as spending $153,000 for a 3rd car, was purely wasteful for someone with her humble beginnings. You would think she should be more considerate with money.
Less than the amount she spent on her 2014 Range Rover Sport, $100,000 was the seed capital that built Google into a global $395 Billion brand that employs over 50,000 people worldwide. If they didn’t use this money wisely, Linda Ikeji won’t be making that much from blogging for free.
Recently, on the 12th of September, the same Google offers $100,000 cloud credit for startups in order to create more success stories to add to its portfolio.
The point of this essay is simple, that you have so much is not a justification to waste so much. With the same amount you waste on luxury items, is what others have changed the world with.
It is true that wealth reveals our true nature. The wise become wiser as their wealth grows. The generous gives more as their wealth grows. The greedy acquires more as their wealth grows. In the end, to whom much is given, much is expected!
Conclusion: Linda Ikeji Needs To Stop Showing Off!
As entrepreneurs, we are not like the folks in the entertainment industry who flaunt their toys every now and then. We have a higher responsibility to make better use of the resources at our disposal. Business is an institution of society and the society depends on us entrepreneurs for the consistent creation of products/services that push humanity forward.
Entrepreneurship is not showbiz. Entrepreneurship is not about being a celebrity. Entrepreneurship is about leaving a legacy. Real entrepreneurs change the world by doing stuffs that MATTER. They are too busy making a difference. No time for paparazzi!”
You should vithisthe site for the replies he gave those who criticised him for writing this article
Before I made up my mind to write this unusual article, I knew two things were going to happen;
1). I will make more friends
2). I will make more enemies
And in reality, both outcomes are happening. But none of these two outcomes really matter to me, because we get to only live once and also die once. And when the time comes, I would rather die standing for what I believe in than live a long quiet and insignificant life.
I have read all your comments, and I have heard all your curses, but none will deter the significance of this message. And for the doubting Thomas, here are some stats to prove the significance of this conversation;
Monday = 1320 views
Tuesday = 2297 views
Wednesday = 5306 views
Thursday = 4157 views
Total = 13,080 views
Comments = 122
Facebook shares = 1100+
Tweets = 88
I’m seeking cheap attention
I have been blogging about entrepreneurship and business development for 4 years now at http://www.naijapreneur.com my manifesto on entrepreneurship has been downloaded over 3000 times from across 50 countries globally; my articles are a regular feature in the Guardian newspaper on Fridays under the executive brief column; they have been translated into Spanish and syndicated monthly to over 15,000 entrepreneurs in Spain; they have been reproduced on two iPad magazines and syndicated to over 61million users worldwide; they have been featured on Ynaija, ConnectNigeria, Bits.ng, Problogger, Under30CEOs, AfricanBrains, etc. I get over 20,000 monthly hits on my site; I co-manage a facebook group of Young Nigerian CEOs with over 26,000 members since 2008; my Linkedin profile is among the top 5% in Nigeria!
So I am not attention starved. If Linda Ikeji is the queen of gossip, then I am the king of insight. I start and spread conversations that matter.
If most of you knew me as much as those who know me, then you will know the MAD behind my surname –Philips wasn’t just put there for fun. I am MADphilips, I cannot see the truth and keep quiet. I don’t conform to societal norms; I believe in being SIGNIFICANT [different and making a difference]. Hate me, like me, curse me, do whatever it is you like, one thing is for sure; you can’t ignore the truth!
Using Linda Ikeji as the point of reference was very intentional because of the level of influence she wields within the online community. What better way to get the message out, clear and louder? And as most of you pointed out, yes, this will give Linda Ikeji more publicity. But guess what? This time around there’s a bigger conversation going on; there’s a message attached to the publicity. And that message is entrepreneurship.
About the writer:
Tito Philips, Jnr.
CEO at MADphilips Development Co.
Tito Philips, Jnr. leads a tribe of unusual entrepreneurs at http://www.naijapreneur.com where they are raising the bar of entrepreneurship from a survival-driven venture to a purpose-driven venture. He’s also the founder of http://www.DifferentiateOnline.net Nigeria’s 1st complete integrated digital marketing solution for smart businesses.