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Narnia: CBN, Rich Kids & the Concept of Illegal Hires



dreamstime_l_60374708Nepotism. Google schmoogle. Favouritism, influence, power, et caetera.

Charges of nepotism flooded the internet after it was confirmed that Malia Obama got internships with Steven Spielberg’s Extant and Lena Durham’s Girls. Ray Romano’s son is a production assistant on Jimmy Kimmel live. Brooklyn Beckham’s Burberry gig is still considered a travesty amongst older professional photographers. And the Smiths. And the Kardashians. THE KARDASHIANS. Throw in a few well known Nigerian names and you get the full picture. Nepotism in its purest form is seemingly disgusting and can invoke extreme reactions. On a scale of (1) Resentment to (10) Revolution, I think we’re pretty much close to number 10.

Very recently, I was drawn to a finance career article on a 22 year old half Italian model who got an internship with Goldman Sachs. She was offered a graduate position at the end of her internship, which she rejected. She was registered with a modelling agency in London, had perfect eyebrows, and could speak 3 European Languages. She probably did not get the job on merit. No? Yes actually. She was going to graduate Magma cum Laude and could code. Built herself a lil’ website where she provided fashion and style content- (which was the reason why she rejected the offer). Her start up looked like a big deal. I couldn’t get a full grasp of what it was about but it looked like the FinTech for fashion and style. That kind of thing. This is not nepotism, I am trying to make a point about stereotypes.

I was sceptical about sending this to Bella Naija because I thought it would be met with little resistance, basically because the BN audience is considered to be “posh”. The target audience for this opinion piece are people like me-  NOT posh and wealthy. The other option was, to put this up somewhere and watch people who did not read it comment “seen” and “take note”. It was a tough call, but this platform seemed like the most appropriate medium anyone would attempt to make the unemployed middle/lower class understand the dynamics of the concepts of “privilege” and “merit”. My mood as I am typing this is 5% sarcasm, 10% rant mode and 85% wake-up-and-splash-some-reality-into-your-face, aka lets-keep-it-real.

My thought process at the moment is based on the assumption that nepotism is not illegal. Apart from the fact that my knowledge of that part of the constitution is limited, I don’t think you will be taken seriously if you tell a person you want to sue for nepotism. You might get away with a case against actual discrimination, on religious or racial grounds but you won’t get much juice out of a class war case in court.

Can’t rich kids get juicy positions on merit too?

IJGBs in the house… Remember that Chinese girl in your class who was Givenchy and Prada bag rich (not Michael Kors rich), always tearing A+ in every coursework? The Rothschilds and Johnsons of the world are not smiling. Wendy Williams recently revealed her son is a straight A student. Notwithstanding, there is a stereotype that ALL rich Nigerian kids are playful olodos who don’t know zit because all their time spent in “school” was actually at Ibiza. Nigerians hate it when a stereotype is broken. It will be met with a lot resistance. A fine guy is gay because he won’t cheat on his girlfriend with you. A rich kid cannot know anything about pricing derivatives because they have had a seemingly perfect life.

I understand that there will always be exceptions. Exceptions like; if one of the illegal hires was actually a 3rd class student from Uniabuja. In this case, I would volunteer as tribute to pull a Kanye West. Aka, grab the mic from the MC, sit on a speaker and chant “we wee not takeet”. But what hope do talented, middle class kids whose parents cannot pull strings, have? This is a real question. I actually want to know the answer to this question. I’ll wait. A revolution?

Based on 20 million unemployed graduates, (all of) who want to work with CBN, let’s also assume some other 10 million people hate their jobs and want to try their luck at an assessment centre. That would increase the prospective applicants to 30 million. They want to make it public and as transparent as possible, so 120 vacancies are advertised at Jobberman. What kind of logistics can support this magnitude of applicants?

To scale down the number of applicants, perhaps it would help to invite only exceptional students. Like 1st class graduates?

We can start by uploading that Nigerian 1st class student’s project into TurnitIn for fun. Okay let’s not. For clarity sake, TurnitIn is an online service that lights up your essay like a Christmas tree in places you lift any part of a published work, verbatim.

We can develop something from the NIS tragedy. For every 4000 vacancies, 20 people will die. That’s 0.5%. Someone (1 person) might die for 120 vacancies, provided the number of applicants that turn up on the assessment day don’t exceed 6.5 million nationwide.

Are we making #Illegalhires too much of a big deal?

Photo Credit: Dreamstime


  1. Nahum

    March 21, 2016 at 8:45 pm

    I will state this again and you all can rant insult me until you lose your larynx, let he who is without sin, cast the first stone!!! The people that approached me to get jobs in my company were not the rich kids but drivers and cleaners looking for jobs for their loved ones. We like demonizing people in this country. I am not saying it is right, but poor people use their advantage to help their families too. In San Francisco, employees in the tech industry get jobs based on referrals mostly i.e nepotism. So before you rant yourself sick, make sure that you and yours are squeaky clean. Jobs are scarce and I assure you that there are a million people that can qualify for just ONE position, so who gets the job? The person with the “longest leg”.

  2. Nne

    March 21, 2016 at 8:50 pm

    Thank you! This thing is so frustrating! I’ve worked hard for my accomplishments my whole life! Languages, piano,tennis,lacrosse,horse riding etc AND still managed to get into one of the top 10 best British boarding schools and universities in England. Yes, if my Daddy couldn’t afford it, I wouldn’t be in England in the first place, but it wasn’t my Daddy that got me internships with some of the best law firms in England as an undergraduate. All the Asian and East-European girls I went to boarding school with were RICH. Yeah I have a few Chanel bags, but these girls were getting front seats at fashion week and spent what I got in a month, in a weekend. We all still ended up at LSE, Imperial, Warwick etc and a few even made it Oxbridge (Oxford and Cambridge).. Trust me, when you’re up all night trying to make As and A*s, the last thing on your mind is your LV purse. We’re all competing too in the global world, because within your circle of friends, your dad having money or you having nice things is no big deal. It’s your personal accomplishments that your friends will use to define you as a person.

    But even with all my degrees and qualifications, even if I come home now, someone will still HATE me because my dad has money. I’m actually shocked how quickly people, even on this blog want to bash children of wealthy Nigerians, like I’m baffled. Yes, people get jobs because of their parents, but not everyone. Also, are you guys working so hard so you won’t send your children to a decent boarding school? And from what I’ve seen, even poor people get jobs through their uncles in Nigeria, so why does everyone get so worked up when they see rich people’s children trying to make it? If we stay home and live off our parents now, it’s still a problem.

    • ElessarisElendil

      March 22, 2016 at 1:04 am

      Impressive, no seriously.

  3. anonymous

    March 21, 2016 at 8:58 pm

    utter rubbish..five minutes i will never get back

  4. Main Squeeze

    March 21, 2016 at 9:05 pm

    So, you are not sure what to support? Or you didnt want to choose a side? because you defined nepotism, cited examples but you talked about the rich kids that are intelligent and ended up asking us about the middle class people that dont have connection.

    I refuse to be confused.

  5. What is this?

    March 21, 2016 at 9:07 pm

    I read your article twice, and I still don’t get what you were trying to say. However, I got a bit of you hinting that nepotism may not be as bad…

    Well, your analogies are simplistic at best, and perhaps inaccurate.

    Case 1: If a rich kid is placed in his parents, or parent’s friends’ company, it is NOT the same thing as that rich kid getting a government job, without the due process. If you own your own company, you can recruit whoever you want, but if it’s not yours, as is the case with CBN, then it is wrong on every level whether they are qualified or not. The cases you presented in Holly wood are not analogous to the CBN case.

    Case 2: The case of the model you described, shows how YOU think of models. There are professionals around me that look like Spartans and beauty queens, with the highest level of education you can think of. It is grossly myopic to expect intellectuals to always look “unattractive or weird”. As for Kim Kardashian, she is a whole lot more intelligent than you give her credit for. You might want to reflect on that. It is not easy to stay having.

    I can go on and on, but I’ll stop here. I understand you want to make a case of nepotism by being the devil’s advocate, but you were unable to present a valid and thoughtful piece. Lol.
    Everyone is a writer these days.

  6. Nahum

    March 21, 2016 at 9:19 pm

    Let me come again real quick. I am sick and tired of people coming here to bash BN commenters. We are too “posh” “snobbish” blah, blah, blah. Listen here, let me spit some truth to you all. A university degree is no longer unique it is basic. Yes, you heard me, YOUR DEGREE IS BASIC and it is the minimum requirement for an entry level job. Let me let you in on a secret that rich kids have had passed to them; because your degree is basic, you have to obtain another degree or skill to make your skill set exceptional. Get a Masters, learn a foreign language, get two degrees, do something exceptional rather than coming here and feeling sorry for yourself. All the BN commenters here are highly qualified, highly skilled individuals and have worked hard for their skills. Rather than turning up in the club or buying Brazilian hair, enroll in Alliance Francaise or French village, add to your skill set and I assure you, you will be better placed for that job. Now hate me all you want, I don’t care. I comment here not to make friends but to say my piece.

    • Natu

      March 21, 2016 at 9:46 pm

      @Nahum you are so right. Learning a foreign language really goes a long way. Companies/ organisations like people that have other skills besides the usual academic degree. I am so glad my folks insisted that my siblings and I should learn French. Infact, my ten year old sister is fluent in Spanish, Italian and french. She is currently learning German. The truth is we are living in a global village which means that you not only competing with your fellow Nigerians but you are also in competition with people from Europe, Asia. N. America, Australia and Latin America. Stop complaining about your situation and become proactive. Build your personal brand and become valuable!!!

    • Majestic

      March 21, 2016 at 10:33 pm

      True [email protected]
      But there’s that smart kid in a middle class or poor family that managed to get into the university with the very little his/her family could squeeze out..and you’re telling him/her to get a second degree, do masters it’s that easy…
      When I graduate, I hope I’m favored…either by merit or “that very well connected uncle”!…Either ways, I get what I want…

    • ElessarisElendil

      March 22, 2016 at 1:08 am

      French und nicht Deutshce, scham! Frau Nahum.

      Germany is the superior economy and the Francophone countries around us aren’t worth it.??

  7. rannah

    March 21, 2016 at 9:20 pm

    this is the most stupid post i’ve read on BN. Waste of time.

    • Tito

      March 21, 2016 at 9:46 pm

      More stupid than “how to avoid sexual harassment at the workplace”? Habar

  8. lacey

    March 21, 2016 at 9:39 pm

    Very unproductive article! Is Goldman Sachs,Burberry or Steven Spielberg related to any government! This articles has dumbness written all over! So pathetic that BN does just publish articles without any prof proof read!
    This article lacks common sense and good judgement! Just wasted my lunch time! Please next time use buzzwords in the right context!!! Did you even read your essay and the thought flow?

  9. lacey

    March 21, 2016 at 9:42 pm

    I meant this article! Help spell and auto correct a bad invention,especially when typing with a sense of purpose!

  10. Tito

    March 21, 2016 at 9:45 pm

    I know you people’s blood must hot anytime they mention “Rich kids” but I think the writer is trying to say that a) Nepotism is practiced by most people. B) a lot of the Rich kids people attack are actually smart and qualified for the job, and seeing as a lot of people get jobs based on referrals, they have the upper hand

    (You people sha. You know ALOT of these rich kids are qualified for the jobs and you know you would take the jobs if they were offered to you) Also, I’m sure some of you here got your job through “someone you know” so all this vex can be so weird sometimes

    • lacey

      March 21, 2016 at 11:02 pm

      Do you know whether is a rich kid replying this comment! They say common sense is not common! There are rich kids who do not have integrity and will not follow due process like most of their parents who have stifled the democracy process in Nigeria for the last 3 decades! There ares rich kids who would rather stay back in whatever country of study and take jobs in top firms because they know their onus.

    • Mamacita

      March 22, 2016 at 11:39 am

      @ Lacey – you say: “There ares rich kids who would rather stay back in whatever country of study and take jobs in top firms because they know their onus.” like it’s a bad thing.

      Not all rich “kids” parents stole money biko, some sweated, bled and cried to get what they got.

  11. Geno

    March 21, 2016 at 9:46 pm

    ^ you lost me after stating Kim Kardashian is smarter than we think… shes a – plain and simple.

    • What is this?

      March 21, 2016 at 10:03 pm

      Well, What does being a – have to do with being intellectually sound? Please think about it. Intellect and morals are not the same thing, neither are they mutually exclusive.

  12. Spunky

    March 21, 2016 at 9:56 pm

    Rich, average or modest…study hard, stay focused and keep faith. Long leg or not, as far as you hustle in the right direction, you will get your breakthrough eventually. Some are privileged to get ahead quicker while other will have to get in line. At the end of day, we all get there. It’s just a matter of time.

  13. Dr. N

    March 21, 2016 at 10:05 pm

    I think d issue was that the positions were not advertized. Correct me if I’m wrong. They cld have held a sham interview n still taken who they wanted but to alter names seems fishy.

  14. Jagaban

    March 21, 2016 at 10:56 pm

    This babe is definitely the female Richard Akuson(with the half-baked and thoughtless writeups). This article is very poorly written and very confusing to say the least. As for the writer ….girl!, do your research and stop making assumptions or examples based on soap operas and netflix series. Have a nice life

    • Patrick

      March 22, 2016 at 2:25 am

      Calm down dear. It’s not that deep. If uncle gave you that plush job you won’t take it? What’s so annoying about this is that SO many people are guilty. If you guys were getting the same quality of jobs as these ajebos, would you throw bile? That’s the problem with Nigeria, nobody wants to be the change, they’ll just ignore wrong until it affects them. Shior

  15. Bellemoizelle

    March 21, 2016 at 10:58 pm

    Okay guys am not posh ooo ,am in dire need of a job and I studied french. I have submitted CV everywhere I can think of, I would love a school or another great offer.
    Oya Nahum help me naaaa,I haff tyre!!!!
    Thanks in advance….
    This is my own rant!!!!
    La vie est belle…

  16. fleur

    March 21, 2016 at 11:16 pm

    Dear Author,

    You cannot justify nepotism. We all come to the table with both conscious and unconscious biases, preferences, spheres of influence, etc. It is what we do with it that matters. You can hire 1-2 people occasionally based on referrals. It is okay. If you are wise, you hire not because daddy said so but because you climbed to the top of my list and oh you are so wow. A Rich man who wields power refers his Oxford-trained offspring for a position, adn the person is competing with a Bachelors degree holder from LASU. CUMULATIVE Advantage kicks in. Johnny Waka, the poor man’s pikin will not win the war. No average Nigerian with a NIgerian ed will compare to these rich kids. That said, it is unclear why there was a clustering of these rich kids in one parastatal. It is abnormal. It is okay for a handful of such in one organization. But when they dominate an entire organization, not even the sector – it is a plan and not a random endeavor. So, yes, we might be elitist on BN, but maybe our people need our elitist views to open their eyes to the fact that they were born equal with all first before some claimed their inheritance and are now using the inheritance to secure their grandchildrens’ futures. Nepotism is part of human nature. But as with everything in life, an overdose kills. These days thinking straight comes after a full belly and an assured future. Read about bandwidth poverty findings from Princeton and Harvard authors ( When you are dealing with staying above all the wicked factors you face in Nigeria, rational thought is impossible. It is biologically implausible. So, yes. I accept my elitist status and comments. They are well placed and timed for those who are too busy trying to stay above water and are not “privileged” to remember they are human any more and have basic rights because of dehumanizing suffering..

  17. nnenne

    March 21, 2016 at 11:18 pm

    People are simply asking for equal level playground.
    Create a fair protocol/ guide line for hiring and stick to it.
    If a rich man or poor man’s kid fulfills the requirements, give the job to that individual.

    That is a fair way to do it.

  18. Babym

    March 21, 2016 at 11:19 pm

    Moral of the story is everybody should just work hard so that u can afford to open doors for ur kids and have ppl hate on them lol.

  19. Ada

    March 21, 2016 at 11:29 pm

    The only part of this article I quarrel with is your assumption that the 1st class students’ thesis would not make it out of turn it in original! No dear. It would. Turn it in isn’t new to Nigerian students. I attended School of Media and Communication, Pan-Atlantic University for my Masters and we mandatorily had to pass our work through turn it in to check for originality. So let’s us pass it through turn it in abeg! So that we can prove to you that things aren’t as bad as you imagine.

  20. Henry

    March 21, 2016 at 11:32 pm

    Everybody practise nepotism, therefore nepotism is right?? Is that the argument?

  21. ElessarisElendil

    March 22, 2016 at 1:19 am

    Ever since man abandoned the bow for the plow, the elites have always propagated their wealth in their offspring. It didn’t start now, its not unique to Nigeria, get over it, there is absolutely nothing you can do about it. So get over yourselves peasants and accept the crumbs they give you. At least that’s what I think the gist of the article is.

    As always we let ourselves be distracted from the problem, its not nepotism, that battle has been fought and lost from Qin China to 21st century USA, Nigeria won’t win it. No, the greater battle is social mobility, getting the elites to agree to a system where a significant majority can if not achieve their heights then at least live in comfort. Better education, better healthcare, individual property rights. Those are the battles worth caring about or you know you could just marry rich if you can’t stress yourself.

    How to get the things we need, well there is negotiation and capturing government, but personally as regards Nigeria, my money is on some version of a tanz with Frau guillotine. When a machine no longer works and the masses say enough………..e.t.c.

  22. The real dee

    March 22, 2016 at 1:58 am

    Ko lese ko lori (no leg,no head) ,thats the name of this article. What exactly is the point you are trying to make? In one breath,you say NEPOTISM is the best thing after candy, in another breath you say rich kids are stereotyped, and can’t rich kids get positions on merit? Which struggle are you picking?
    Maybe you need to explain this article in the comment section? Are you supporting nepotism? If you like paint it in diamond, nepotism is BAD.

    Are rich kids privileged? Yes. I am a rich kid so I know although I am not a rich person, I can only attribute riches to my parents. I have not made a name for my own self. And now that I am married and no longer with my parents, I know what it means to not to have what you need.

    Do rich kids get positions because of their rich parents? Yes. When I returned to 9ja years back after a post -grad degree if I wanted to use daddy and mummy’s connections to get a job easily, I would have. Infact, mummy’s connection got some offers but I didn’t take the job. I told God I wanted the glory to come to Him (sounds illogical and incredible,but its true) and not any man, hence I had to wait longer before I eventually got a job on merit.

    Are rich kids stereotyped? Very well. People think you got everything in your life through connections. Even good husband, your daddy’s riches must have brought the good man your way.

    However NEPOTISM IS BAD. Nothing can justify it.

  23. Patrick

    March 22, 2016 at 2:23 am

    I thought you guys were posh. But once they mention the REAL rich kids una go just VEX ????. Ayeaa. Instead of you guys to say no to nepotism and move on, you’re busy getting HOT in your heart and looking for the next avenue to bash Cuppy and co. Oya vex now, keep vexing. Your vex will sack all the children or stop Cuppy and co from flying private and having meeting.

  24. Bolaji

    March 22, 2016 at 7:36 am

    The intention of the writer is understood but it was her logic of argument and inherent contradictions that betrayed the piece. The. CBN jobs were wholly allocated to the nouveau rich kids and that’s the faux paux.

  25. Onyie

    March 22, 2016 at 11:05 am

    I understand what the writer is trying to say – nepotism happens everywhere. However, the problem with the CBN saga is that it wasn’t just ten/twenty rich kids it was over 900 rich kids of politicians or people who are tied to politicians that got the jobs. Politicians who have abused our democratic process and raped the country of its resources that should have been used to build our educational system so both rich and poor kids could have a level playing field.

    I have gotten jobs from referrals but it was just someone i knew helping me submit my CV to the HR department. I had to write tests, go for interviews and prove my worth as it should be for everyone – rich and middle class/poor kids.

  26. Nancy

    March 22, 2016 at 11:46 am

    i had to read this article twice


    BN pls dont allow everyone who says they can write to write.

    This article is USELESS.

  27. Ch

    March 22, 2016 at 4:05 pm

    BN needs to screen articles a bit more. This article was just not it at all. The thought flow was confusing, and I’m still wondering what it is meant to achieve. On the flip side, get a Masters, study another language, etc. is easier said than done for someone who is just struggling to go thru Uni for his 1st degree. There’s a boy I’m supporting through school now, he’s organising tutorials, and selling for his mum in his “almost no-spare” time just to make ends meet. He is the first born and is currently on a 1st class in Unilag. All he is just praying for is to finish this BSc degree and get a job asap. Are you telling me that the next thing on his mind is to get a Masters or learn French. These are good but in as much as a BSc is basic nowadays, it’s the best some can achieve, at least till they get a job and then develop themselves further. Will I practice Nepotism? Yes, if need be, I’ll rather call it networking and leveraging on your networks.

  28. nunulicious

    March 22, 2016 at 10:34 pm

    The security man in our estate has 3 of “his brothers” working in the same security outfit as he does.
    The head of admin in a state civil service parastatal has a son who works in a sister parastatal.
    The CEO of a multinational organisation has a daughter who is the boss of one of their key partners in a JV.
    The retired matron daughter miraculously got a job in the same establishment where her mom just retired.

    At every strata of the society, there is nepotism. People help their people in every way they can. It is however wrong to do it secretly in such a way that others who don’t have “legs” don’t even have an opportunity to be part of the selection process. It is just wrong!

  29. Nitomeya

    March 23, 2016 at 5:40 pm

    Just provide a level playing field for all, both the rich and poor should have a chance. Nepotism is wrong on all levels.

  30. Jerry

    March 23, 2016 at 6:57 pm

    Nepotism is practiced all over the world, Nigeria is not an exception. In the U.S., the children of the secretary of state, the president’s chief of staff etc are more likely to get high profiled jobs at the CIA, FBI, NYSE than any Tom, Dick and Harry out there. Its the way the world works. The people in the top 1% are more likely to help their peers in that 1% than any other person. I think my only beef with the CBN hires is that they were not published, however in retrospect the publication of job positions at CBN would have likely not changed the end results as all these “RICH KIDS” would have ended up getting hired regardless.
    I clearly understand the poster’s thought process, a huge number of these “RICH KIDS” are not dumb or over entitled as people from different classes feel; they could also be very hardworking overachievers who do not always want to depend on Daddy’s money to survive. In the world we live in, networks and connections are important assets to have and I believe there is nothing wrong with making the best of the connections you have.

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