It seems it’s not just the ‘Celebrities’ like Stephanie Okereke and Mercy Johnson (blog suspects) that are blogged about that will tie the Knot this year but the Bloggers themselves, and to kick start this is our very own Uche Eze founder of Bella Naija.
According to Punch Newspaper, A grand wedding is in the offing; and, judging by the families and personalities of the pair involved, it will go down in history as one of the grandest weddings to hold in this part of the divide.
Bode Pedro, son of the former deputy governor of Lagos State, Mr. Femi Pedro and his wife Justice Jumoke Pedro, will walk down the aisle with his bride, Uche Eze, at a stately wedding.
Delightfully beautiful and soft spoken Eze is the founder of popular blog, Bella Naija, while her groom who runs a computer manufacturing start-up business is the founder, chief executive officer and chief technical officer of VEDA Technology. The graduate of the University of Maryland, USA, is a nominee and winner of several awards.
In 2009, Bode received the Young IT & Telecoms Entrepreneur of the Year Award at the Nigerian Telecoms Awards held in Lagos, becoming the youngest ever recipient of the prestigious award. He was also voted Business Owner of the Year at the 2011 Future Awards.
Twenty-seven year old, Uche’s blog, Bella Naija, is a Nigerian celebrity blog that passionately publishes fashion, entertainment news, info, gossips and gist. The entrepreneur who kick-started the blog in 2006 was featured on the CNN i-List on September 28, 2010 on account of her enormous achievements. The interview was conducted by CNN reporter, Isha Sesay.
Brief History on Bella Naija (Uche Eze):
This 22 year old woman, now 27, is Uche Eze fondly known by her fans and readers as Bella Naija. A big fan of privacy (this is her second interview since the first granted to True Love, West Africa Magazine), she created a blog hosted on blogger under an anonymous identity “Bella Naija” that was primarily an accumulation of scanned magazine articles, pictures and occasional interviews of Nigerian fashions and fashion personalities. Once Fashion-forward Nigerians across the globe caught on to it, they ate it up like the starved fashion victims they had been for decades. Bella Naija continued to tweak and grow her audience adding music, weddings, events, an dthe highly coveted ‘Aunty Bella’ column, among many features.
The Bella Naija blog readership grew rapidly and it became clear Bella Naija needed to make some key decisions about the future of the blog. Her decision ultimately involved relocation back to Nigeria, establishing Bainstone, corporate company for Bella Naija, and in July of 2009, quitting her 9-5 to pursue Bella Naija, fulltime. Today, Bella Naija the Blog is an online fashion and entertainment portal
serving Nigerians and lovers of Nigeria’s fashion and entertainment culture worldwide with features that include fashion, music, film, weddings and events.
Enjoy the exclusive interview and Ms. Uche Eze, from the Ladybrille Team.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: Uche (Bella Naija) we knew we had to end 2009 with a feature on you. Your accomplishments have been simply remarkable! How are you?
Bella Naija: I am great. Thank you. I am so humbled and honored to have been chosen as your final ‘Ladybrille Woman’ for 2009.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: (smiles) Before we get into it, could you share with our very diverse audience the meaning of your full name?
Bella Naija: My first name is Uchenna (pronounced “uuh-chain-na”) which means father’s mind. While my last name is Eze (pronounced “A-zay”) which means King.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: (Bella, why don’t we start by you painting the picture for us). What was the fashion landscape like in terms of Nigerian fashion when you started Bella Naija?
The fashion landscape when Bella Naija started in 2006 was vibrant. New crops of designers such as Jewel by Lisa
and Lanre Da Silva Ajayi
were blossoming. While icons like Tiffany Amber
kept pushing things up a notch! It was so exciting . . . and it still is.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: You were based in (Canada) when you started Bella Naija but you have since moved to Nigeria. Why?
Bella Naija: I had just graduated from the Richard Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario. I was resuming my first ever post-graduation job with Shell in a few weeks so I had some time off. It was never planned. I just started it spontaneously. Even the name (Bella Naija) was an on-the-spot decision that blossomed into what we have today. After Canada, I lived in London UK for a year and then moved to Nigeria. As per why I moved, I LOVE Nigeria. Lagos is the city of my dreams despite all the craziness. I just had to move back. The most important factor was my parents. I missed them and wanted to be closer to them.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: Had you lived in Nigeria prior to relocating there?
Bella Naija: I grew up in Nigeria, went to University in Canada when I was a teenager.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: (Let’s go back to Bella Naija the company) What is the company’s mission and vision?
Bella Naija: Bella Naija’s vision is to provide relevant African content online to inspire!
LADYBRILLEmag.com: I can imagine there have been some adjustments but specific to Bella Naija the (website), how have you been able to deal with the country’s constant electricity/power outages to maintain a freshly and constantly updated website? Are you running your generator 24/7?
Bella Naija: To be honest, it is really challenging but I am up for it! When I moved to Nigeria, I did not move with ‘rose colored glasses.’ I knew the issues and prepared for them by crafting a solid business plan and PRAYING!
LADYBRILLEmag.com: (Speaking of a solid business plan), what do you attribute Bella Naija’s success to?
Bella Naija: God. Absolutely. Every decision I have made regarding Bella Naija and every single bit of success I attribute to God and I am very grateful.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: What is your priority for the company?
Bella Naija: The priority is to keep delivering quality online content to our readers.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: As an entrepreneur and owner of a fast growing online media company, what would you say are the three biggest challenges, beyond power outages, of running a business?
Bella Naija: Reliable internet access, quality staff, (because it is a new sector, not many people understand the concept of an online business and what it takes to excel and deliver in their roles), valuing your business and services.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: Bella Naija’s parent company is Bainstone Limited. Why the name Bainstone and are there any plans for new subsidiaries in the next year or two?
Bella Naija: BainStone is Bella Naija’s parent company. It was founded in 2009 and we have great plans for it. There are 3 main divisions: Online Media which is what BellaNaija.com falls under, online Marketing and a Bespoke Consulting Unit.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: As it stands, we can probably count less than five successful online Nigerian owned fashion companies. How do you think new technology and accessibility to these new technologies, within Nigeria, will change that?
Bella Naija: There are plans in place to improve the internet connectivity in Nigeria from 2010. That will definitely have a positive impact. We have so many talented people who are looking for an outlet to express themselves. The internet is the perfect avenue.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: Let’s talk about Nigeria’s fashion and entertainment industry. What impact do you think it will make on the world map, especially in relevant markets like the USA, Japan, China and the UK?
Bella Naija: As we have seen over the last few years, there is something truly special about Nigerian pop culture. I definitely see bigger things happening soon. However, to have sustainable success, it goes beyond talent. Discipline and planning is key.
… hope you enjoyed it? And back to the wedding news we (Namywedding) wish Uche and Bode the very best of Marriage.
"He who finds a beautiful wife finds a good thing"
"She who finds a rich man finds a better thing"
"They that find themselves both of these, finds the best thing"
They are Lucky to have themselves, they truly are a lovely pair, talk about techno-love industrious and intelligent LOVE (winks). Which female Nigerian blogger is next? (I guess Ex Model Linda Ikeji should be)…. Right?
Ladybrille, Punch Newspaper