Tuesday, December 6, 2011


This was a facebook wall post of Mr Jimoh Odunayo, Finance & Admin Manager at Q&Q Control Services Nig. Limited. I felt compelled to share it with my beloved readers.

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 days.

"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)