Nella was born Ornella Rose Hollela in Belgium on 20 July 1997 to Congolese parents. She has an older brother from the same parent, and four half sisters.
At aged seven, Nella moved from Belgium to the UK with her mum and brother, settling in North West London.
She was shy and a tomboy while growing up in Belgium, becoming confident when she began schooling in UK after assuming a ‘fake it until you make it’ persona.
As at her arrival to the UK, she could not speak English, but can now boast of speaking three languages fluently – French, Ngala (Congolese language) and English.
Her middle name, Rose, was passed through generations from grandma to mum, hence Nella hopes to give her child the same name. She attended St Mary’s secondary school in Hendon, London and the University of Leicester.
Losing mum and dad
Nella was 19 and in second year at university studying Sociology when mum died – in her arms. She was 23 when dad passed away.
An extremely private individual, Nella did not reveal the cause of her mother or father’s death, however she narrated how after losing her mum, herself and brother were evicted from the council flat that they were all living in at the time.
Council properties are usually given to individuals and family, mainly on low-income by local housing authorities. Its rent is considerably cheaper than private accommodation.
Had Nella and her brother being under 18 at the time of event, the housing authority would have had due care to re-house them.
As revealed in her YouTube video ‘Life After My Mum’s Death’, she began living out of a suitcase from sofa to sofa for sometime after the eviction.
Fans began to notice an increase in amount of Nella’s drinking on her YouTube and other social media videos, it seemed to continued after losing dad.
Sadly, dad who lived in Belgium died in 2020 after slipping into a coma. It was as at the height of covid-19 pandemic, Nella was unable to leave the UK immediately, only able to join the family during his burial.
YouTube, the social butterfly and going from strength to strength
Nella began YouTube in 2015, aged 18 while at the University of Leicester studying sociology.
She realised “uni is fake” after being told it was fun and decided to create content for prospective students.
A social butterfly who had multiple friendship groups, she got boys and girls together at various time and created exciting challenges, story-times, look-books, Q&As and advices.
Said to be the originator of these ideas copied by many, Nella has gone went from strength to strength.
She won Pretty Little Thing “Youtuber of the Year” in 2020, launched a new unisex streetwear fashion brand called Faces London, with her first collection selling out in just 30 minutes, and currently has a combined 1.28 million followers across social media platforms – 473k on Instagram, 643k on YouTube and 157k on Twitter.
In her younger years before YouTube, Nella said she was photographed her whole life by dad whom she classed as her best-friend.
In an interview with Pretty Little Thing, she confirmed she obtained her first camera – a Lumix Panasonic G10 and a laptop – from dad while at secondary school and vlogged her years there, subsequently becoming popular among her peers.
During her final school year, she bought empty DVDs, created a compilation of vlogs and sold to classmates and teachers for £10 each.
She went on to study media in college and created her first successful fashion line but decided to focus on YouTube while at university.
Nella and her friends
Nella’s followers will attest that she is a social butterfly with countless friends in many circles.
Most notable whom she often spends time and collaborates with are Adeola Patronne, Annie Drea and Mariam Musa. She is also associated with other known YouTubers – Mimi Misfit, Alliyah Maria Bee, Rachel Bada, Sola Patronne and much more. She once used to be friends with Vanessa aka IVD but fell out after allegations of scamming.
Nella also have lots of male friends – her best-friend is a guy named Jeron.
The ironic controversies
In 2012, Nella posted a couple of controversial tweets: ‘Why do black girls wear blusher? Like… who you tryna fool,’ and ‘These times when you’re on a bus full of Somalians and it sounds like a fish mongers market.’
Then in 2013, she wrote: ‘Females Don’t Know How to Act When It comes To Awkward Situations. So Black girls act Rowdy To Distract the audience for the Subject’ and in 2016, wrote: ‘White girls wear weave. Black girls abuse it.’
Nella who is black, wears and promotes wigs and campaigned for “BlackLivesMatter” received backlash for those tweets, and subsequently apologised.
Does Nella have a boyfriend?
As previously mentioned, Nella is an extremely private individual who shares only what needs to be shared.
She has never revealed if she has a current or identity of any boyfriend, but has expressed in various YouTube videos that she has had previous boyfriends.
In the video with Adeola title “toxic men tried to destroy us…”, she revealed the toxic experience she had while she was in a relationship.