Phew… 2019 has been a year and 2020 is already here! From telling incredible African stories to celebrating love, spreading joy to Nigerians and the BN Team growing in numbers and wisdom, we, at BellaNaija, have had an amazing 2019 and we couldn’t have done this without you… thank you, thank you.
Through the storms and struggles, the BellaNaija team defied all odds to keep the fire burning, ensure that we smash our personal and professional goals and hit all milestones.
Just like we do every year, we have all come together to clink our wine glasses and celebrate our wins. Of course, we couldn’t celebrate without you, so join us, as we raise our glasses to BellaNaija.
At BN HQ, we’ve put together a list of some of our notable moments in 2019:
- Again, BellaNaija won a Beatz Awards.
- Adesola was nominated at The Future Awards Africa Prize for Professional Services.
- Uche Pedro won in the Digital Media Entrepreneur category of The Exquisite Lady of the Year Awards (ELOY)
- Uche Pedro was honoured with the Forbes Woman Africa New Media Award for 2019.
- BellaNaija won the 2019 Amplifier Award for partnering with JA Nigeria to accelerate its impact on Nigeria’s youths.
- Uche Pedro received an award for her commitment and contribution to media innovation from Ashoka Changemakers.
- Uche Pedro was honoured at the Her Network Woman of the Year Awards.
- Uche Pedro was named among the Top 100 CEOs In Africa by Reset Global People in partnership with Pulse and Avance Media.
- Uche Pedro was featured on This Day’s International Women’s day Edition Magazine as one of the 30 Awesome Women in Nigeria.
- Uche Pedro was featured as one of the 50 Most Inspiring Women in Nigeria on Business Day’s Women’s Hub.
- BNW Bridal Brunch was featured on Fox News
- BellaNaija was mentioned at the ‘Brotherhood Ring of Fire’ roundtable show by Kemi Adetiba
- BellaNaija alum, Richard Akuson and Ijeoma Balogun, were on Forbes 30 under 30 Africa list.
- BellaNaija alum, Chinny Francis was mentioned as a 2019 Forbes under 30 scholar.
- Aderonke went to Vancouver to engage with amazing people from all parts of the world on creating positive impact at the Women Deliver Conference 2019.
- Sophia Mba had the most amazing experience at the #AbujawithGoogleMaps Tour.
- BN Alum, Ink Eze attended the first-ever Facebook International Press Day. (FunFact: BellaNaija was the only Nigerian and only English-speaking African media company invited)
- IK Nwosu attended the 2019 Ibrahim Governance Weekend by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.
- #BNxAirFranceinHollywood: Mercy attended the Nollywood in Hollywood event at Los Angeles and gave us all the scoop.
- Uche was part of the dynamic changemakers selected from different parts of the world to talk on achieving Global Goals at the #GoalKeepers19 in New York.
- Uche Pedro joined Dr. Ola Orekunrin and Colette Otusheso for Talks At Google on International Women’s Day hosted by Google Nigeria country manager – Juliet Ehimuan.
- Niyi had the best experience at the #CapeTownWithGoogle tour in South Africa. That same month, he went back to South Africa – courtesy of SA Travels – to explore all the beauties South Africa had to offer.
- Runor hosted a Canva Workshop with support from BellaNaija.
- From Ethiopia to Kenya, Runor joined some amazing people on a multi-destination trip to Addis Abba and Nairobi for 5 days, courtesy of Wakanow.
- BellaNaija was accredited media at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and brought first-hand coverage.
- BellaNaija hosted the BN Movie Date with BNers where we gave them the opportunity to watch the latest movies in the cinema.
- For the 4th year in a row, BellaNaija gave back to the society with #BNDoGood2019.
- BellaNaija was an exclusive media partner for Living in Bondage – one of the most successful movies of the year.
- BellaNaija partnered with PVCitizen on engaging more millennials and Gen Z to register to vote.
- #SheCreatesCamp2019: BellaNaija partnered with W.TEC to educate and empower young girls through technology.
- BellaNaija gave us all the exclusive gist from the Big Brother Naija season 4.
- Beyond Fake News: Uche Pedro was a panelist alongside Wole Soyinka at the ‘Countering Fake News’ one-day conference, hosted by BBC.
- Dubai Tourism: BellaNaija partnered with Dubai Tourism to give BellaNaijarians the awesome Dubai experience.
- BellaNaija brought you all the amazing gist from the TEDx Conference in Lagos.
- BellaNaija celebrated the amazing ‘Women of BellaNaija’ at the International Women’s Day Event with swag.
BellaNaija Features brings you the latest literacy scoop, opinion pieces and contributions from every part of Africa. We know you want to read and expand your knowledge of the world, BN Features delivers all these and more.
Who says Nigerians don’t read? Definitely not us! We have noteworthy Nigerian writers and to encourage Nigerians to read more Nigerian books, BellaNaija decided to start naming one book every month a BN Book of the Month and encourage BNers to read them.
It is undeniable that Nigeria runs on patriarchy and the concept of feminism is not entirely embraced. In fact, there’s the common question of “who will marry you”, mostly asked to mock feminists. It is in this light that BellaNaija decided to turn its spotlight on the partners of feminists in February.
Almost everyone makes the resolution to read every New Year, but do we all? To inculcate a better reading habit in BellaNaijarains and encourage them to read better, BN Features introduced A BellaNaijarian Reading – a community of readers. Every month, BellaNaijarians come together to talk about what they have been reading so far and lead us into their world of stories.
This year, BellaNaija gave young people aged between 25-35 the platform to share issues that affect them the most in the family/society and that includes paying black tax. They bared it all and let the ‘pain’ off their chest.
2019 was the year of rain, rain, and more water! It rained so much that for arguably the first time, Nigerians prayed for the rain to stop. All over the world, the issue of Climate Change is of utmost concern and BellaNaija joined the conversation by having a chat with a few environmental activists in Nigeria in order to bring it all home.
Causes Actively Supported and Promoted
- Blood Drive: On World Blood Donor Day, BellaNaija collated blood donating points across the country and encouraged all Nigerians to help save lives by donating.
- Cyclone Idai: When the tropical cyclone hit Beira, Mozambique, houses were completely submerged, properties and hundreds of lives were lost. BellaNaija lent her voice to the cause and made a call for donations.
- Sudan Uprising: While the internet was shut down in Sudan, BellaNaija continued pushing the Sudan Uprising News while admonishing people to help spread the awareness and donate to provide food and medical aid to those affected.
- #TreatFirstQuestionLater: BellaNaija joined the #TreatFirstQuestionLater Campaign and we went beyond social media to hear from all parties involved and proffer possible solutions to the problem.
- BellaNaija Weddings joined the #EndChildMarriage campaign by UNICEF to speak up against child marriage.
We all love love, don’t we? And the BellaNaija Weddings team brought in their A-game by giving us beautiful love stories that made us awww and just want to fall in love.
- In June 2019, BellaNaija Wedding’s team was live in Houston, Texas for the BellaNaija Weddings Bridal Brunch for the very first time!
- BellaNaija Weddings was a Media Partner at the East African Bridal Show in Kigali.
- Mercy was a panelist at the East African Wedding Show.
BN Style is your plug for the latest fashion trends and styles. BN Style feeds BN Stylistas with enough information to help them slay any event and in their day-to-day lives.
- BN Style Interviewed Naomi Campbell: In April, Mary Edoro of BellaNaija Style caught up with Supermodel and Philanthropist, Naomi Campbell in Lagos and they discussed diversity and the need for African fashion to have a global audience.
- SMWxBNStyle19: BellaNaija Style hosted a panel session at Social Media Week 2019 and the BN Style team exceeded all expectations!
- Mary Edoro of BN Style made it to the 2019 YNaija New Establishment list.
- BN Style launched the annual creative list of inspiring fashion creatives from Africa that BellaNaija Stylistas need to watch out for.
- BellaNaija Style got mentioned in Stylist magazine, United Kingdom.
- BellaNaija Style won the Fashion Media Excellence Award at the 2019 Abryanz Style and Fashion Awards.
- #BNShareYourHustle column helped more businesses this year… yippee!
- Orunor took charge of all our super dope graphics this year.
- BellaNaija Features started the BN Climate Change Conversations.
- The editorial team kept us entertained consistently every week with #BNMovieFeature
- BellaNaija Online introduced our very own BN TV Content where we interviewed celebrities.
- IK successfully published #BellaNaijaMCM and #BellaNaijaWCW for the third year in a row.
- Niyi came through with the latest event on #BNRSVP
- Shout-out to the social media team on their outstanding coverage of #BBNaija, BamTeddy, and BNxMBGN19.
- The editorial team was the bomb! They frequently updated us with all the special events unfolding and gave us all the juicy and well…even the not-so-juicy tales. For 16 days, we joined women around the world to speak against Violence Again
- We put smiles on the faces of people with our BN Sweet Spot
- The BellaNaija team also joined in the #16DaysofActivism. For 16 days, we joined women around the world to condemn violence against women, seek gender parity and generation equality.
- BellaNaija Style team, Isoken, Mary and Dennis kept us updated on the latest style trends.
- Mercy and Tomi made us fall in love over and over again with BellaNaija Weddings
- Rose, Sophia, Obehi, and Omotunde kept it all together in the business department.
- We cannot forget the Chief Executioner, Julian, who ensures that the BellaNaija team is up and running and all activities at the BN HQ are well organized. Who doesn’t love Julian?
- And guess what? Our website got a beautiful new look! We’re going bigger, better and brighter!
- BellaNaija’s Twitter account @bellanaija is now at 1.2m followers.
- BellaNaija’s Instagram account @bellanaijaonline reached 1.6 million followers mark
- BellaNaija’s Facebook account hit 545k
- BellaNaija Weddings Instagram account @bellanaijaweddings went from 3.5 million followers last year, to 4.2 million.
- BellaNaija Style Instagram account @bellanaijastyle hit 465k.
BN Contributors – Honorable mention
We love and appreciate all our BellaNaija Contributors. They’re the best! From dishing out enlightening and highly educating content to lending their voices to important issues in Nigeria and beyond, we say a special thank you to you all. So to Eziaha Bolaji-Olojo, Akanna Okeke of Your Better Self With Akanna, Yewande Jinadu, Elizabeth Ajetunmobi, Temi Olajide, and many more contributors we haven’t mentioned, we say a mighty thank you. We can’t wait to read from you in 2020. So… bring it on!
The amazing BellaNaija team had a lot to say about how the year 2019 went for them professionally and personally, and what they look forward to in 2020.
Uche, CEO/Founder BellaNaija says:
Just yesterday, a client reached out to BellaNaija for a new campaign and it dawned on me, a decade ago, this company was a client and now in December 2019, we are still working together. During this time, their business has blossomed and ours has too. We can say the same for our BN team, BN alum, and our BellaNaijarians. I see so much growth and glow-ups and it makes my heart glad.
Gratitude is my superpower and I am so super thankful for everything. As we enter 2020, I’ll share the advice I’m giving myself – Don’t Wait for Perfect.
Julian, Chief Whip and Operations Manager says:
Reflecting on what 2019 brought along with it, sour, spicy and sweet moments, a bunch of rollercoaster moves, major lessons learned and decisions made, here I am still standing – and that for me is a major win!
2019 made me realize that a lot is achievable and possible especially when it looks like all is not working for you. Remember to put the Laws of Attraction to work.
As we slide into the new year, I and the BellaNaija team surround ourselves with a beautiful aura and positive vibe convinced and prepared that it’s going to be an awesome year… we send this same energy to you too. Let’s rock 2020 guys!
Isoken, Editor-at-large, BN Style says:
2019 was a whirlwind year for BN Style, with another stellar year covering Fashion Season, awards for our team, and a truly gratifying level of support from our audience and the industry at large in recognition of the work we do. I’m thankful for the team of stars across BNS and BN I work with (who stay killing it on the daily!) #Vision2020 is about growing the team and our global IRL footprint and capitalising on the foundation we laid in 2019! I look forward to the challenges of the New Year.
Mary, Junior Editor, BellaNaija Style says:
2019 was a winning year for me; from interviewing Naomi Campbell to leading major campaigns for BellaNaija Style – I’m forever grateful for the experience and all the lessons learned.
2020 is coming with even more opportunities and much bigger achievements and milestones. I’m ready!
Dennis, Team member, BellaNaija Style says:
I’m grateful for all that happened in 2019; the failures and the successes! It was a great year! I’m going into 2020 with so much positivity and no halfway measures.
Aderonke, BellaNaija Features Ninja says:
This has been a fabulous year for us on the Features Team. We gained a few good contributors who really added great vibes to our content. Special shout out to our African contributors – Zambia, Uganda and South Africa. We also had more executives contributing to BellaNaija Features. As the leader of the team, was a year of learning for me – in terms of management of relationships within the team. It sucked and then things got better… if not fantastic. On a personal note, I was broke the whole year, but this year was the happiest I’ve been in ages. This is not to romanticize being poor or anything, but 2019 taught me that I’m a lot more than what I have in the bank. For 2020, BellaNaija Features is going to be bigger and better. We hope to inspire, educate and most importantly, positively impact the BN Community.
Oluwadunsin, Team member, BellaNaija Features says:
2019 was a year of trying different things, making mistakes and learning new things. 2019 offered me so much growth and knowledge. 2020 already smells like more work, more growth, more knowledge, more fun, better mental health and… a flatter belly. Haha
Adesola, Head of Content says:
2019 was a great year for professional growth and I cannot wait for what 2020 has to offer. Here’s hoping 2020 brings with it fantastic opportunities and so much happiness.
IK, BN News Guy/Editor says:
2019 has been an incredible year. I’m grateful for everything. 2020 will be a year of learning, growth, and me stepping out of my comfort zone and I’m excited about it.
Niyi, Editorial team member says:
In 2019, progress became apparent. Work was fruitful. Life, too, was rewarding, and here’s to a more rewarding 2020, where the good work is made and the rewards are plenty.
Marian, Editorial team member says:
I am really grateful for 2019 – the lessons it has taught me, the opportunities that have come my way and above all, God’s faithfulness. I’m totally pumped about 2020 because I believe it’s going to be a year of bigger opportunities. I’m looking forward to achieving my goals and getting tangible achievements by the end of the year.
Damilola, Editorial team member says:
I am grateful for 2019. For me, it was a year of growth and a year of constantly pushing myself at being my best. I’m grateful for the failures and successes. I look forward to 2020 and all the phenomenal opportunities. 2020 is my year of groundbreaking and remarkable achievement.
Let’s do this!
Obehi, Ads Team member says:
I have always believed the world needs more kindness and how we treat people is a reflection of our hearts, not necessarily a reaction to how we are treated.
However, I struggled a lot with staying true to my convictions in 2019, because it felt like everything was contending for my heart. Sometimes, the other option of paying people in their own currency felt right. 2019 confirmed that indeed I am a new creature, daily practicing love, forgiveness, kindness and I don’t have to subscribe to the notion that “join them if you can’t beat them”.
Therefore, I daily reminded myself “Not to gain the world and lose my soul” and it feels good to have stuck to my values. I know 2020 is going to be beautiful, so I hope to walk every day expecting good things.
Sophia, Ads team member says:
2019 was a long year for me, more like a rollercoaster ride. There were victory moments like when I moved a step further on my Digital Marketing journey, and low moments when everything seemed to be going wrong. I am super grateful that the year is over and super enthusiastic about 2020. It will be the culmination of good things for me and I can’t wait. The major lesson I learned this year is: “you are in charge of your own happiness and never downplay your worth for anything or anyone.”
Omotunde, Ads team member says:
2019 was a year that had my hands on new things; job-wise and in other areas. It’s a year that helped me learn and grow. 2019 has left me with an optimistic spirit and I honestly can’t wait for all the goodness 2020 will bring my way. Cheers to 2020 and its amazing discoveries for me 🥂
Mercy, BellaNaija Weddings Editor says:
2019 has definitely been a year of gratitude!
Tomi, BellaNaija Weddings team member says:
2019 was a year of unlearning and learning. For growth and making bold steps.
To all our lovely BellaNaijarians, we say thank you for following us, sharing our content and engaging with us. We wouldn’t have come this far without you. Thank you for being part of the BN Family and contributing to our success. We cannot wait to sail through this new year and decade with you.
Let’s do it together!