Witty headlines, sarcasm, anonymity and its ability to break the most daring stories without fear or favour is what controversial Instagram blog Instablog9ja has been known for.
As a result, many have wondered who the mystery person behind the page is, with different names been dangled around prior to now. The most recent person who was named as the face behind the blog was aphrodisiac merchant, Jaruma but she vehemently denied the rumours, adding that she was also curious and in search of the person behind the blog.
Instablog9ja, the most popular Nigerian blog on photo sharing social networking site instragram, broke into the media scene in 2015 alongside many other blogs but is widely considered the most successful Nigerian news blog on the platform. The witty and sarcastic captions have earned them points over the years and many people have become avid readers, claiming that a day cannot pass by without visiting the page.
Others reside in the comments section of the popular page, where often times more details about stories posted are shared by anonymous insiders, privy to more information because of their closeness to the situation. The fact that majority of the Instagrammers who comment on the page are bitter, vile and brutal is one of the many things the page is known for.
So strong is the Instablog9ja brand that people even plead about not wanting to end up on the page when they’re being recorded doing illicit or embarrassing things, or even just joking with friends.
A while ago, an anonymous person put a bounty on the head of the publisher of the page, promising a handsome reward to anybody who could correctly name the man/woman behind the “terror on the streets of instagram”.
And now, according to Blogger Linda Ikeji, it has been revealed that the owner of instablog9ja is one John Abayomi Aruleba, former online editor of Vanguard news and current online editor of Punch. According to her:
‘He is also a Social media strategist, creative content developer, documentary producer and SEO expert.
John is a 2002 graduate of University of Agriculture and has a Master’s Degree in New Media & Society, Communication and Media Studies from University of Leicester UK in 2014. He also holds an international Broadcast Presentation certificate and Broadcast Journalism from Radio Nigeria training school, Lagos.
His experience in news editing, his degree in new media and communication and his training in broadcast journalism is what has pushed his platform instablog9ja into the success it is today.’
In an interesting turn of events, the blog in what appears to be an attempt to cast some aspersion on Linda’s claim has posted the story.
The screen shot was posted without the usual sarcastic caption but a
“Linda!!!!! Why???????? 💔😭😡🥵🥺😖🤦🏾♂️”
This genius move by the page is currently causing a lot of debate, with many wondering if the page would be daring enough to post the long hidden identity of the brain behind the site if indeed Linda’s claim were true. Others however are of the opinion that boldly posting it is only a medicine after death move to cushion the effect of truth and plant doubt in the minds of people because they reckon, that Linda must have done a lot of research before posting.
From my personal conversations with the owner of page, I could have sworn it was a female that was behind the blog. That however may have been a ploy to further hide his/her identity. One thing I can say for certain however is that the person behind the page is super duper intelligent. Also the person I chat with is a brilliant academic who is very kind, thoughtful and friendly. My conversations with ‘him’ revealed to me that the page is nothing personal with no vendetta against any one. It just an attempt to challenge the statusquo and revolutionise how news is viewed in Nigeria and ‘he’ has no doubt succeeded in doing this. Many may dispute this because of the daring headlines and stories, but my personal experience from conversing with the alleged owner is what led to my own conclusions. When my old Instagram page @mojidelanoblog was deleted at 123,000, no other person was as helpful as the person behind Instablog9ja in truly caring about whether or not I got it back, giving me suggestions on what to do and options to try. This is just one of the many reasons I have good impressions about the alleged owner of the blog.
Now, that his identity albeit alleged has come out time will tell if Linda was right with this one. I can’t help but worry though, because of the many people who have searched endlessly for this man’s identity, threatening to deal with him over of one story or the other he has posted.
I just really hope John can enjoy his new found fame in peace and still be safe.