This was a facebook wall post of Mr Jimoh Odunayo,
Let me add the benefit of my time as a student and then resident in the UK -
and I live in Lagos now. The first thing that I discovered about UK-born,
white, English undergraduates was that all of them did holiday or weekend job
to support themselves - including the children of millionaires amongst them. It
is the norm over there - regardless how wealthy their parents are. And I soon
discovered that virtually all other foreign students did the same - the
exception being those of us status-conscious Nigerians.
I also watched Richard Branson (owner of Virgin Airline) speaking on the
Biography Channel and, to my amazement; he said that his young children travel
in the economy class -even when the parents (he and his wife) are in upper
class. Richard Branson is a billionaire in Pound Sterling. A quick survey would
show you that only children from Nigeria fly business or upper class to commence
their studies in the UK. No other foreign students do this. There is no
aircraft attached to the office of the prime minister in the UK - he travels on
BA. And the same goes for the Royals. The Queen does not have an aircraft for
her exclusive use.
These practices simply become the culture which the next generation carries
forward. Have you seen the car that Kate Middleton the lass married to Prince
William drives? VW Golf or something close to it. But there's one core
difference in them and us (generally speaking). They - the billionaires among
them work for their money, we steal ours!
If we want our children to bring about the desired change we have been praying
for on behalf of our dear country, then please, please let's begin now and
teach them to work hard so that they can stand alone and most importantly be
content, and not have to "steal". This seems to be the norm these
"30 is the new 18", which seems to be the new age for testing out the
world in Nigeria now. That seems to be an unspoken but widely accepted mindset
among the last 2 generations of parents in Nigeria . At age 18 years, a typical
young adult in the UK leaves the clutches of his/her parents for the
University, chances are, that's the last time those parents will ever play
"landlord" to their son or daughter except of course the occasional
home visits during the academic year. At 21 years and above or below, the now
fully grown and independent minded adult graduates from University, searches
for employment, gets a job and shares a flat with other young people on a
journey into becoming fully fledged adults.
I can hear the echo of parents saying, well, that is because the UK economy is
thriving, safe, well structured and jobs are everywhere? I beg to differ and I
ask that you kindly hear me out. I am UK trained Recruitment Consultant and I
have been practicing for the past 10 years in Nigeria . I have a broad range of
experience from recruiting graduates to executive director level of large
corporations. In addition, I talk from the point of view of someone with
relatively privileged upbringing.
Driven to school every day, had my clothes washed for me, was barred from
taking any part-time job during my A-levels so that I could concentrate on
studying for my exams?! BUT, I got the opportunity to live apart from my
parents from age 18 and the only time I came back home to stay was for 3 months
before I got married!
Am I saying that every parent should wash their hands off their children at age
18? No, not at all, of course, I enjoyed the savings that I made from living on
and off at my parent's house in London - indeed that is the primary reason for
my being able to buy myself a 3 bedroom flat in London at age 25 with absolutely
no direct financial help from my parents!
For me, pocket money stopped at age 22, not that it was ever enough for my
lifestyle to compete with Paris Hilton's or Victoria Beckham's. Meanwhile
today, we have Nigerian children who have never worked for 5 minutes in their
lives insisting on flying "only" first or business class, carrying
the latest Louis Vuitton ensemble, Victoria 's Secret underwear and wearing
Jimmy Choo's, fully paid for by their "loving" parents.
(to be continued)