There are often discussions about how the white men came, stole our brothers and sisters, and used them as slaves.
A piece of this untold story shows how thoroughly we took the Whiteman’s tactics, revamped it, and called it a nine to five.
As average Nigerian youths, we had a clear-cut vision of how we wanted our lives to turn out. To get there, we took the vital steps, which included attending university, getting a degree, and applying for well-paying jobs.
Asides from our necessities, we expected these jobs to provide us certain luxuries, which although may have been projections of society’s expectations from us, we pursued them anyway.
Somewhere along the line, the lack of jobs in our country led us to settle. Reducing our expectations to a point where most of us just wanted a job that provides us with food and qualifies us to sit at the table of the employed.
Even though our goal was to end up working at a multinational company, we found ourselves in local and cottage businesses, which leveraged our desperation, and inducted us to the cult of modern day slavery.
For the slave masters disguised as employers, our well-being was no priority. We became cheap labourers who at the slightest act of rebellion were reminded of our dispensability.
They enticed us with phrases like, ‘gain experience,’ A phrase that at face value promised us jobs we hoped would give us the life we truly deserved.
So we thought to ourselves, perhaps settling at that first or second job we get won’t be so bad.
In the privacy of our desks, we salivated over jobs beyond our reach; ‘next month’ was what we told ourselves whenever our applications to these jobs were left unanswered.
Three years down, and our eyes finally open to the slave-slave master system, which they had bought us into.
During this time, we thought of how much we spent sorting medical bills and rent, turns out we barely saved enough.
The signs were there, but we ignored them and allowed an annual ten thousand naira raise, combined with a reminder of how no one on the outside would be as generous, to lure us back into shackles.
At the end of the year, we escaped.
Years of being shunned by our dream jobs led us to believe the only way was creating our own way, and with excitement we planned our path.
Merger savings from previous years, combined with loans, allow us to rent a space.
We clock thirty soon, so from our seed fund we purchased a vehicle to let people know we didn’t slack on our time.
Finally, we employ youths that were in the same position as we were three years ago, but do we then do things differently?
Instead we identify ourselves as new slave masters, demanding that our slaves do their very best, and we reward them with the same things they promised us, ‘experience and exposure.’
This article was written by Chika Onubogu; connect with her on instagram here