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?
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