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
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
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
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!
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