Centuries ago, the feminine gender was looked upon with derision, simply an object of pleasure and amusement, someone to be seen, not heard, a second fiddle, a dispensable appendage to her male counterpart. However, decades of enlightenment and empowerment, slowly but gradually, re-positioned women back to the honourable humans God created them to be. Compared to the rest of the world, Africa’s acceptance of gender equality moved at a snail’s pace as the inferiority of women was entrenched in age-old African customs. This accounts for the incessant violence and abuse against women, the constant denial of girl children’s rights, the under-representation of women in leadership and many more forms of female marginalisation.
In spite of these overwhelming and oftentimes crippling battles against African women on all fronts, many still rise above these odds to become celebrated women of honour and substance. More remarkable is when young African women not only rise to be celebrated, but also push boundaries and chart courses for others to follow. A lot of African women are taking over the reins of nobility and prosperity as they blaze the trail in their various fields of endeavour. Since it is our custom every week on CEOAfrica to bring you details about celebrated achievers, our Personality of the week is Nigeria’s own female blog sensation, Uche Pedro, the Founder of BellaNaija, an online entertainment, fashion and lifestyle magazine.
* Uche Pedro, Founder, BellaNaija
Who is Uche Pedro? A lot of People know BellaNaija, but only a few know that the brain behind the popular blog is Uchenna Jennifer Eze Pedro. She is a Nigerian blogger, writer, social media expert and entrepreneur. She is also the founder and Managing Director of BrainStone Limited and the Founder of Founder Creative.
Uche’s Background: Uche was born on the 26th of July 1983. She had her primary and secondary educations in Nigeria before proceeding to Richard Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario, Canada where she bagged a Bachelor';s degree in Business Administration.
Before Fame: Before Uche got to be the founder of a popular blog, she once worked for Shell Canada, Cadbury Middle East & Africa Unit in the United Kingdom and then Cadbury in Nigeria.
Journey to Stardom: What catapulted Uche to fame and fortune started out as a hobby to pass time while awaiting resumption at her first ever post-graduation job with Shell. Thus, the blog BellaNaija started in 2006. As an avid lover of fashion, Uche made fashion the initial subject of her blog and eventually, the blog was focused on developing innovative and exciting media contents. Within a short time, BellaNaija grew to be a website that generates over one million viewership monthly.
Other Ventures: Uche established Brainstone Limited in 2009 and in 2016, she founded Founder Creative, a platform for business and entrepreneurial relationship to provide an opportunity for innovative successful young entrepreneurs to connect, share, ideate, learn, collaboration and grow.
Her Awards: In 2008, Punch rated Uche as the 22nd Person among 100 people who shaped the year. In 2010, she was nominated for Future Award for the ‘Best Use of Technology’ and in the same year, she won the award for the Outstanding Contribution to Fashion Communication. In 2013, she won the Future Awards for the ‘Young Media Entrepreneur of the Year’. In 2014, she was named in Forbes list of "30 Most Promising Young Entrepreneurs in Africa". Uche bagged the Creative Awards for Bloggers in 2015 and in 2016, she won the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards for ‘Best Blogger – Africa’.
International Recognitions: Uche is not only making waves locally, but also internationally. In February 2010, she was featured in Oprah Winfrey’s popular show ‘Beauty around the World’ alongside Jessica Simpson and Lisa Ling.
Her Affiliations: Uche Pedro is a fellow of TEDAfrica. She was selected as a Nigeria Leadership Initiative, NLI Associate. She is involved in various private and public charity initiatives. She’s also on the board of LEAP Africa.
Her Personal Life: On July 16, 2012, Uche got married to Bode Pedro, a son of Former Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Femi Pedro and in 2015; she became a proud mother of adorable twins.
Being successful may be easy but achieving success is never easy. It requires creativity, focused determination, discipline, and yes! lots of patience. Uche Pedro climbed the ladder of success and created a nice spot for herself through a hobby. Your hobby can equally make way for you if you find a creative way to give it public appeal.