Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I am not joking Mr. John.

The article “Bag a degree and an impressive work experience!” published 17th May stirred up interesting reaction from readers. While some said that the concept of Holiday Job is foreign, others argued that it does exist in Nigeria but with limited opportunities. As depicted by this text message: Holiday jobs? Where? In Nigeria ? I beg spare me. I just read your column and girl, you really must be joking- John.

I promised John that I will dedicate this week’s column to replying his text (I hope he reads this). However, this reply is based on my research to find out what other young Nigerians thought about the subject of discourse. Do they also believe holiday job does not exist in Nigeria ? Are there opportunities to engage young people? Are they embracing these opportunities?

Sandra O.: Holiday jobs do not really exist in Nigeria compared to the developed countries. I’m on holiday right now and have searched for holiday jobs but can’t find any.

Stephen Oguntoyinbo: Holiday jobs exist but the Nigerian factor is what hoards it. It is about “who knows who”, thus this makes the concept seemingly unrealistic. Most young people don’t really get the opportunity to work in an organization so they resort to doing odd jobs, such as business center, during their holidays.

Jide Jinadu: Our culture does not encourage holiday job. Moreover, there are shortages of jobs and employers only want employees on long-term basis. But if students are willing to work for the experience without salary, then employers will be motivated to employ them. I believe holiday job is a good way of keeping young people occupied. The experience they gain will expand their capacity and knowledge for life.

Adelola Osunkojo: Holiday job exist. These days lecturers even encourage students to embrace such opportunities, at least mine did. You don’t necessarily have to look for a 9am-5pm white-collar job. You can engage yourself by modeling, ushering, or other areas of art. These jobs are not regularly available so you must search for them. What else do you want to do with your youth? Youth is learning how to survive and be financially independent. Holiday jobs give youths the opportunity not only to earn a living but gain experience, build to their self-esteem, CV and add to their swagger.

Maranatha Ajir: I do holiday job to gain experience and earn money. But there are only few opportunities available and people who get these opportunities are those that have connection. So if you are not in the system or know someone who is, no holiday job for you! However, your performance while carrying out your task matters. A good performance opens more doors, but a poor performance shuts the door to future opportunities.

Need I say more? Holiday jobs exist in Nigeria . It is left for young people to search them out and engage themselves positively! And No! I am not joking Mr. John. Living in Nigeria is no limitation.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Bag a degree and an impressive work experience!

My niece came home the other day, brimming with excitement as she screamed “We will soon start our exams and afterwards go on holiday!” Well, for a primary school age school kid, holiday brings an exciting freedom with lots of opportunities to have fun until school term calls again. But it is different when you are in college because most holidays are spent carrying out different school-related projects or working.

The beauty about taking up after-high-school job and holiday jobs during your college years is that by the time you graduate from the university, you would have bagged a degree as well as the minimum years of work experience required by most prospective employers or to start your own business enterprise.

A couple of months ago, my daydream of taking a trip to the Caribbean or somewhere as interesting to feel the wind blow through my hair, while recuperating after the physical and psychological stress of being a student, was interrupted by a job offer right after graduating from college. So while some of my peers were job-hunting, I was already in the field putting into practice what I learned in the four walls of the ivory tower. I won’t say I was so fortunate because I was academically conscientious but the opportunity was created from the chain of work experience I built maximizing my potential through holiday jobs.

After graduating from high school, I took up different Jobs while awaiting admission into the University. It was not so chic then, but for me it was an exciting trend that I kept up while in college. However, I consciously made an effort to only embrace opportunities that were in tune with my area of interest. For example, there was no point working as a make-up artist when I had no interest in the fashion business.

The holiday jobs provided me avenues to engage myself positively, learn new things, shape my perspective about life, build my character and network to broaden my sphere of influence. The work I enjoyed most is the one that employed my talent and innovative ideas and in the process challenged my norms and increased my knowledge. There were some that had depressing working conditions and rarely encouraged my active participation but all the same they all gave me a complete education.

In this age of global competitiveness, obtaining a degree from university alone has become inconsequential as a parameter for finding or creating an ideal job. You need to have good knowledge and competent experience to be seen as an asset by a prospective employer. Taking up holiday job is not synonymous to truancy or shirking your responsibilities as a student, thus the need to strive for a good result as well as a pleasant work experience. At the end, your CV/Resume will not only standout, the experience will also help you discover your place of comparative advantage in the marketplace.

Monday, May 04, 2009


“This is an unusual place to hold a youth empowerment event.” I whispered to the lady standing beside me, who nodded in affirmative. The venue was O2 Nightclub on Sanusi Fafunwa street, Victoria Island; time-check, 9pm and Yes, many youths were already trouping into the club, oblivious of what was would happen that night; The event was FR:2 (Fashion revolution reloaded) by Kowry Kreation media.

According to young Aderemi Adegbite, the programme was initiated to provide a platform for young and promising Entrepreneurs to showcase their innate creative talents which would revive the mainstream of Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) in Nigeria and in the process inspire other young people to change their perception of believing that engaging in frivolous activities or traveling abroad is the opium of life.

As I sat in the nightclub-cum-event hall, among other equally empowered youths yearning to inspire their peers and mingle with those who were ready to take up the challenge, I observed how keen the participants were, thanks to the boldness of a generation willing to stretch themselves farther in order to salvage the future without compromise.

Indeed, it has become very crucial for more youth organizations to adopt innovative approach in addressing issues affecting young people through a channel that will effectively reach their target audience. For example, Aderemi’s concern about the inability of youths to transform their innate talents to make profound contributions towards development inspired him to create a platform (fashion show) where young people succeeding in the industry can inspire their peers.

Herbay Stitches, who designs Denrele Edun’s clothes; Buga Fash of University of Lagos; and Allen Culture, a distinctive designer from Olabisi Onabanjo University were some of the young and vibrant designers selected to showcase their work on the runway. No, they didn’t make any elaborate speech, but only showcased their work for their actions to speak for them.

Aside these designers, other young creative talents added colors to the event. Sage Hasson performed spokenwords, Ibiyemi thrilled the audience with her songs and Laff-up got the audience falling off their seats with his rib cracking jokes. The music by Labogini, a new face on the block, also got a loud accolade for his performance.

Hopefully, the young people who attended the event returned home in the early hours of the morning inspired with a stronger conviction that they too can dig deep into their innate talents and transform it into entrepreneurship. Although some guys and girls complained that their business as usual at the nightclub was disrupted, as if the nightclub was burnt down, I believe it was for a good cause. They definitely will see that spot through a new eyes when next they visit, and lets see if they can resist the urge to go do something and impact their world positively.