So at the Wedding Party 2 Premiere, a top Nigerian Talk show presenter and mogul. Mo Abudu (Also listed as one of the 25 most powerful woman in Global Television by Hollywood reporter. Basically Nigerian’s Oprah) posted a picture on her Instagram.
Mo Abudu wrote; “I spent the evening with my family. I love you all so much. Thank you mum for all your love and prayers. Standing next to my mum, is Chukwuma, my driver of nearly 20 years. I celebrate you Chukwuma, for your loyalty”
As expected, many people criticized the man for being a driver for 20 years. How he was vision less, lazy and didn’t develop himself. Other criticized her for stating that he was a driver. I read all the comments and I was very irritated.
A lot of people tend to look at many professions as meant for sub humans…the cleaners, the maids, the cooks, the drivers... IT IS SO RIDICULOUS. We tend to forget that most times we are where we are, based on our birth. Those born to affluent parents tend to be better educated and have more opportunities. Those born to parents in the slums, have it 10 times harder to break out and make something of themselves. It really irked me to see comments from young teenagers, most likely unemployed and living off their parents, to criticize and mock a man making an honest living and earning a paycheck.
The funny thing is that they do not even know the man’s life. Back in 2009, I was taking some trash bags to the local trash man and we were chatting about the harsh economy. He then lamented on how difficult it is, continuing the three storey building he was constructing, that he might have to downgrade to a two storey. At the look of incredulity on my face , he laughed ‘Aunty, no dey take ordinary eye look me o . IN English, do not underestimate me. He went to state that he comes once every week and collects 500 naira for picking the trash from our house. He works 6 days a week and goes to 40 different houses every day. That means he makes 20,000 a day, 120,000 a week and 480,000 a month, give or take. Honestly, my jaw dropped. Then I was living with my parents, earning 50,000 a month as a fresh lawyer and the ‘dustbin man’ as we called him was earning about 10 times my pay. Then I developed a new found respect for all professions.
We should never look down at any profession. The woman selling clothes in the local market travels to China to buy those clothes, yet you mocking her don’t have a passport. The driver of this Television mogul has probably met and shook hands with governors and celebrities, yet you can’t stand beside your local government Councillor. This driver being mocked, may have built his house, trained his kids and even have other side businesses in the 20 years he has worked for her, but you don’t know, do you. You see driver and you get all ‘bougie’ and act like you are better or it is not a profession that one can have longevity in.
There is dignity in every profession. These people are earning honestly and they work hard. It may not be your dream profession, it probably is not theirs either, but they work hard (You think it is easy to be employed by the same person for 20 years and be regarded as a member of the family and walk the red carpet with them). Kudos to Mo for treating her employee with dignity and respect. We should all do the same.