2019 is here… already! It’s been an amazing year and we can’t help but be grateful for what the BellaNaija team achieved in 2018.
Through the ups and downs, we remain strong. So, we are going to use this opportunity to celebrate our successes and milestones…because if we don’t, who will?
This practice helps preserve our hope for a better 2019 and a brighter future. In this regard, the BellaNaija Team has come together to give ourselves a pat on the back for the things we’ve achieved this year as a team and in our personal lives.
Without you BellaNaijarians, none of this would have been possible. This post is as much a thank you to you as it is a positive reflection for us as a team.
Here goes a list of some of our notable moments in 2018.
The #StopFGMNow Campaign
At BellaNaija HQ, we started the year fully pumped to lend our voices to things we were passionate about and putting an end to Female Genital Mutilation was one of them.
The #PVCitizen Campaign
With the 2019 elections coming up, 3 team members at BN independently kick-started the PVCitizen initiative where they urged every Nigerian citizen above 18 to get their Permanent Voters Card.
BN was very glad to support as media partners and hope everyone who is reading this and lives in Nigeria got their PVC. Make sure you vote oh! You’re a real G! Your vote is your voice. Let’s be the change we want to see in our society.
Bill & Melinda Gates Annual Letter
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#BellaNaija founder @uchepedro asked @thisisbillgates a tough question! Nigeria to the World🙌 She explains how it happened – The annual #GatesLetter by Bill and Melinda Gates has become a milestone on the global development calendar. I personally look forward to reading each year. For 2018, the letter is centered around – The 10 Toughest Questions We (Bill and Melinda) Get Asked. I asked one of the 10 questions 💃! My question was centered around Culture and Values. My Question: Are You Imposing Your Values on Other Cultures? Bill: On one level, I think the answer is obviously no. The idea that children shouldn’t die of malaria or be malnourished is not just our value. It’s a human value. Parents in every culture want their children to survive and thrive. Sometimes, though, the person asking this question is raising a deeper issue. It’s not so much a question about what we do, but how we do it. Do we really understand people’s needs? Are we working with people on the ground? Melinda: We’re acutely aware that some development programs in the past were led by people who assumed they knew better than the people they were trying to help. We’ve learned over the years that listening and understanding people’s needs from their perspective is not only more respectful—it’s also more effective. You can read the entire #GatesLetter2018 here http://b-gat.es/2EfMxgk or watch a clip of our chat right here 😁 Thanks @gatesfoundation #GatesAfrica
To make up Bill and Melinda Gates’ Annual Letter for 2018, BellaNaija‘s founder Uche Pedro, alongside 9 other persons asked the philanthropic couple 10 tough questions.
12 years after the very first wedding feature was published on BellaNaija, Africa’s No 1 Media Tech company, BellaNaija Weddings launched – www.bellanaijaweddings.com.
BellaNaija Weddings is where you’ll find real-life wedding experiences that showcase creativity, love, and beauty in all its splendour, the best vendors in the continent, wedding planning tips and tricks, and the latest in wedding style and beauty trends. We connect brides, grooms-to-be, wedding enthusiasts and beauty seekers to a world where dreams imagined become dreams fulfilled.
Whoop! BN Weddings is LIT! You can visit the site to get your wedding fix when you finish reading this.
Achievements and Awards
- BellaNaija Style celebrated its first year anniversary in October
- Uche bagged Social and Digital Media Person of the Year at Spice Lifestyle honors
- Uche took home the ELOY Innovation and Invention award
- BellaNaija took home a Beatz Award for Best Blog of the Year 2018
- BellaNaija was recognized at the UNICEF Frown Awards for our campaign to end female genital mutilation
- #BBNWonderland 3 was a HUGE success
- BellaNaija Weddings successfully pulled off #BBN3FortheLoveofWeddings Proposal
- BellaNaija was at the Forbes 30 Under 30 summit in Boston
- BellaNaija was recognized at the LEAP Africa Social Innovators Awards
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We wish you were there, it was one of the most beautiful scenes ever! #BBN3FortheLoveofWeddings put this proposal together and of course the moment was sweetened by @baileysnigeria @BellaNaijaWeddings beauties, let’s give you the gist of the proposal; As both @femi_tech and @lizzy.oyinoluwa1 live in Abuja, we set into motion a plan to thrill the now bride-to-be with a romantic and intimate surprise proposal. Lizzy was tricked into flying into Lagos for a “meeting”. She arrived at the venue of the meeting and guess what, there was a real meeting set-up! Lizzy discussed business for an hour before her business contact mentioned they should head over to another venue to to continue the discussion and meet other business partners. When she arrived, she got the surprise of a lifetime! As soon as Lizzy entered the doors of the restaurant, a row of vocalists began serenading her with her favourite song – “Why I Love You” by Major. Each musician held a white rose which they handed to her one-by-one. She was wowed for the first few seconds and then overcome with emotions when she saw her love Femi right there, holding a single red rose, a black ring box and more importantly, standing in-front of a flower-adorned sign that said – MARRY ME. When she reached him, he took her hands and got on bended knees. He said – Will You Marry Me? She said YES – of course. Then Femi placed the glittering diamond ring on Lizzy’s finger. It was such a beautiful moment and we all applauded! …Then the serenade continued as Femi and Lizzy enjoyed the afterglow of their once-in-a-lifetime moment. Congratulations to the Lizzy and Femi. Lizzy is the first bride to receive an invitation to #BBNWonderland 3. Will you like to join her at #BBNWonderland 3 during the weekend of 27th January 2018? Look out for the winners announcement soon! Visit @baileysnigeria @bellanaijaweddings and www.bellanaija.com/bbnwonderland to find out more. #aBBNWonderlandProposal #BBNWonderland #BNBling Photography: @blawzstudios Videography: @lanreeshofilms Serenade: @ninocharmaine Venue: RED at @ekohotels Ring: @ringsandbandsng Backdrop: @koachellah Roses: @adelasflowers
Speaking Engagements & Masterclasses
- SMWxBNStyle18: BellaNaija Style hosted 2-panel sessions at Social Media Week 2018
- Mary moderated BellaNaija Style’s Ideas, Influence and Income Panel
- Uche spoke at and moderated the International Day of the Girl Child at the US Mission in Nigeria
- Mercy moderated the Future of Weddings in Africa Panel at Atinuda
- Adesola spoke at Connect Nigeria on “The Business of Blogging“
- Adesola moderated a Panel on “New Ways of Music Promotion” at MeetsMedia
- #TeamBN at #JANLEADCamp 2018: Obehi mentored 5 young girls at the Junior Achievement Nigeria program
- Mary spoke at Godrej Nigeria Workshop
- Mercy convened the TEDxLagos event and BellaNaija was a media partner
- Uche completed the Women’s Mentorship Workshop with the US Consulate
- Adesola spoke on her journey in media to Ren San & Co.
- #JumiaSMW2018: Rose Umane spoke on “Social Media vs E-Commerce…Where is the Real Money?”
- Adesola spoke at Nirmala Leadership Accelerator
- Adesola moderated a panel at #SMWLagos
- Uche was a keynote speaker at #ADICOMDAYS2018 in Abidjan
- Uche inspired entrepreneurs at Startup Grind’s March Edition
- BellaNaija’s Twitter account @bellanaija is now at 1.2m followers
- BellaNaija’s Instagram account @bellanaijaonline reached and surpassed the 1 million followers mark
- BellaNaija’s Facebook account hit 531k
- BellaNaija Weddings Instagram account @bellanaijaweddings went from 2.7 million followers last year, to 3.5 million.
- BellaNaija Style Instagram account @bellanaijastyle hit 433k
BellaNaija Notable Mentions
- BellaNaija Style executed an outstanding coverage of Lagos Fashion Week 2018 and partnered with TECNO
- Uche was named as an advisory mentor for the Queen’s Young Leaders
- We had a successful outing for #BNDoGood2018
- Uche was featured in Davido’s ‘Wonder Woman’ music video
- BellaNaija was referenced in Ndani TV’s web series ‘Skinny Girl in Transit’
- Aderonke released her book, +234 – An Awkward Guide to Being Nigerian
- BellaNaija partnered with Spark News Media for International Women’s Day 2018, showcasing outstanding women in business for good.
- Uche was featured on Okay Africa’s 100 women list
- BellaNaija held a movie date with its readers: #BellaNaijaSylviaDate and #BellaNaijaUpNorthDate
- Uche was featured on Forbes Africa’s ‘Against the Odds‘
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Travel Opportunities & Collaborations
- #BNSLiveWellWeek: BellaNaija Style set aside a week to create awareness for personal health and wellness
- #BNRussiaWithGoogle: Mary travelled to Russia ahead of the 2018 World Cup
- IK went to South Africa for the #BBNaija Premiere Live Show and Grand Finale
- BellaNaija Style partnered with Lancôme, for the launch of its Teint Idole Ultra Wear Foundation in Nigeria
- BellaNaija Style in collaboration with Afrikrea held a fashion business event for fashion designers, stakeholders, and influencers focusing on fashion e-commerce in Nigeria and Africa.
- #GidiGoogle2: Niyi had the tourist experience in Lagos with Google Nigeria
- Uche went to Zambia for Bloomberg Africa Business Media Innovators conference
- Nkem Ndem went to Maputo with Google
- BNer Wana Udobang went to Spain and had a blast
- #BNxRadissonKigali: Muna explored Rwanda and all it had to offer
- Glory Edozien represented BellaNaija in London courtesy Virgin Atlantic
- #BNatTIFF18: BellaNaija was accredited media at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival
- We gave our Favourite girl, Lil Bella a proper introduction and a triumphant farewell.
- IK started The 25 Series which spotlighted excellent young individuals under the age of 25.
- Muna and Adesola continued the #BNShareYourHustle column
- Aderonke shed light on the Beauty of Nigerian Ethnic Groups with Beyond The Three
- Runor and David were the brains behind our cool graphics this year and they rocked!
- Muna and Adesola launched the #BNBehindtheScenes interview series which showcased Nigerian talent in the movie industry
- Muna and Adesola kept us entertained consistently every week with #BNMovieFeature
- The features team launched Naija Doctorate and Proud
- IK successfully published 51 #BellaNaijaMCM and #BellaNaijaWCW
- Niyi was the plug with Events This Weekend | #BNRSVP
- Shoutout to the social media team on their outstanding coverage of #BBNaija, The Royal Wedding, 2018 World Cup and 2018 MBGN
- The editorial team frequently updated us with BN Red Carpet Fab posts for every event
- Niyi and Aderonke launched BN Literacy Drive
- We put smiles on the faces of people with our BN Sweet Spot
- The features team also kicked off BN Breast Cancer awareness Campaign – I Beat Breast Cancer
- Niyi and Aderonke started This Is Why I Serve which celebrated members of the Nigerian Armed Forces
- BellaNaija Style team, Isoken, and Mary and kept us updated on the latest style trends
- Mercy and Tomi gave us all the feels with BellaNaija Weddings
- Special thanks to the business team, Rose, Sophia, and Obehi for holding it down on the business side
- And last but not the least, Julian, who helped with the organisation and execution of our projects. She also managed the office and ensuring the well being of everyone at BN HQ! Really, where would we be without you, Jules? We love you!
We spoke to a few members of the BellaNaija team about how 2018 has been for them and what they expect from 2019 and we love the positivity!
Uche Pedro, Founder/CEO BellaNaija says:
Gratitude. I’m grateful for everything that happened in 2018 and everyone who made it happen. God bless you.
Aderonke, BellaNaija Features Ninja says:
This year has been great for us at BellaNaija. At the beginning of the year, we set out to go out of our comfort zone, to tackle issues head-on while maintaining a house style, but stepping out of the shadows. I’m delighted to see that we did over and beyond my expectations, but this really wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the entire BN team, but most especially Nkem and Niyi.
And Orunor, even though he is a thorn in my flesh.
In 2019, it is my desire that we take up more space and increase our reach in terms of human rights, child and women advocacy and poverty alleviation. Using tech and social media, our team is going to continue to show the light that exists in this world.
Adesola, BellaNaija Showbiz/Events Editor says:
2018 has been a year of constantly pushing myself to be more than I can be – physically, emotionally, and mentally. It has been a year filled with so much and I’m really happy to still be here, being able to have a retrospective look on things. I’m really excited about 2019 because it’s going to be a year filled with amazing opportunities. I’m going to create those opportunities, and make the best of them. 2019 is my year of deliberate action. Let’s go get it!
Isoken, BellaNaija Style Editor-at-large says:
2018 was an immensely fulfilling year, and I enjoyed the challenges of working a 100% remotely with the team. 2019 is all about growth, audience development and really connecting with and tapping into our global BellaStylista community. Super stoked for fresh opportunities and partnerships in the New Year!
Mary, BellaNaija Style team member says:
Wow, 2018! I’m so excited about how far we’ve come! BellaNaija Style turned one this year and is already leading the industry. There have been so many wins in 2018 and many lessons learned – I’m grateful to have been front and centre during it all. From ground-breaking interviews to hosting panels sessions, speaking at a workshop and working with major brands – it’s been an amazing experience.
Sending out accolades to my team members for being total rockstars. Shout out to our BellaStylistas and BellaNaijarians that keep supporting us online and offline. 2019 is coming with so much more fun, fabulous, fashion content, so get ready!
Mercy, BellaNaija Weddings Editor says:
2018 was definitely a year of growth! Excited about the conversations we started that continually shapes the wedding industry in Africa. It has really been an incredible year.
Niyi, Features team member says:
2018 was a year of trying new things, testing new grounds, making new discoveries, and expanding one’s boundaries.
Muna, Editorial team member says:
2018 was a year for learning and unlearning. For growth, living and doing things afraid. I’m excited to see what 2019 has to offer me.
IK, BN News Guy says:
I’m really excited and thankful that I’m here, at the end of this year, writing this. Here’s to more wins in 2019
Rose, Business Development team lead says:
I am grateful for 2018. It was a year of growth for me. I look forward to 2019 and all the amazing things it has to offer. I am hoping 2019 will be the year of ‘more’ for me. More goodness, more happiness, more focus on my growth, more for BellaNaija and all its platforms and definitely more for BellaNaija readers
Obehi, Ad Sales team member says:
2018 was a year of gratitude and appreciation for every step made. For 2019, I look forward to more growth, peace and love
Julian, Chief Whip and Manager of All things Team says:
2018 was a year of growth and appreciating life.
For the growth of the team members and for BellaNaija as a brand. And also appreciating the lives of everyone that helped shaped 2018 – Team members, clients and every BNer
A special heartfelt thank you goes to our contributors; BN Contributors have been consistent and dedicated. You guys have lent your voices to important issues – for enlightenment, entertainment and elucidation.
To everyone who has read our posts, shared our posts, commented on our posts – across all platforms, we say thank you. We really couldn’t have made it through the year without you. Thanks for being a part of the BN family.
BellaNaijarians, thanks to you for being a part of all our success stories in 2018. Let’s make 2019 another remarkable year of progress, excellence, and positivity.
Let’s do it together!