Thanks to the internet, a host of careers that previously didn’t exist now do. From vlogging to digital influencing, to UX designing, and so much more in between, it seems there is an endless list of professions that didn’t exist when our parents were young that many young people have created for themselves and are flourishing in.
It doesn’t come as a surprise then that many parents either do not understand or care for what their young millennial/Gen Z children do for work especially when those careers are non-traditional. There are also, of course, the parents who understand and even those who don’t but still give their unwavering support. We asked six Nigerian creatives who are working in non-traditional jobs to interview their parents on what they think their kids do for work.
Here’s what Immanuel’s dad has to say about Immanuel’s job as a social media strategist and event planner.
‘‘When you told me you wanted to be a creative I thought of your school fees (laughs) and wished you had made the decision earlier. I probably wouldn’t have allowed you major in creative arts as your only major. We’ve always allowed you to choose your path but we also know how uncertain the world can be. It’s always important to have a tangible degree in an established field – then you can do you extracurriculars. Anything that doesn’t make you money is extracurricular! I think you’ve had some moderate success and are much more certain in what you want to do than you were when you moved back. I would still want you to get a monthly salaried job and do all this media stuff on the weekends. But I will support you as best as I can – within reason.’’
Here’s what Fidel’s dad has to say about Fidel’s job as a product designer.
‘‘You said you are a something designer. All those words, UI oh, Uniport oh. They don’t mean anything to me. But I know you said a designer and when I asked when you started designing clothes you said it’s in computers and phones. So I don’t know. But you work with companies to do stuff and some of the companies aren’t in the country sef. I am happy and proud because you are doing what you like and you are making money. I am happy too that you have moved out.’’
Here’s what Mikey’s mum has to say about Mikey’s job as a photographer.
‘‘I am so happy for Mikey because he went to Law school and finished but has a passion for photography. I can remember days when we went for a summer holiday and my other kids were buying clothes but Mikey said ‘Mum, I just need to buy a camera.’’ And I would ask ‘What do you want a camera for?’ When he finished law school, he was so interested in taking pictures and I have seen his pictures, they are all so good. I remember that I had to buy an Essence magazine when I was in the US when his shoot for them came out and I had to show it to everybody and they were all saying ‘‘He is good!’’. Initially, my husband was like ‘‘Mikey is a lawyer and he needs to go to the court and this and that.’’ but when we saw the pictures he had taken and how far he had gone, we knew we had to support him. When I came back to Nigeria last month, I told him that you can not sit down on your bed and edit. I have to create an office for you. Now I tell him, when it comes to your work don’t joke but still tidy your room.’’
Here’s what Sogie’s dad has to say about Sogie’s job as a photographer.
”There are several roads and paths to a successful life. If you have chosen yours, I am only interested in you giving whatever you have chosen a 101% commitment and continually improving yourself at whatever you have chosen. Since you are enjoying and feel good about what you are doing, as a parent I feel okay.”
Here’s what Steph’s dad has to say about Steph’s job as a writer.
‘‘You are a writer. I’m not sure why you waited till we had to pay Babcock law fees before you found out that you don’t need a degree sha. But you are doing what you like so that is what is important. I like it better now that you are making better money from it too so let’s thank God that it has gone beyond a hobby.’’
Here’s what Dami’s mum has to say about Dami’s job as a social media strategist.
‘‘You have a job? I thought people pay you for being on the phone every day. I don’t entirely understand what you do, all I know is that you make money from being on your phone and laptop. I was worried that you were doing online fraud when you started talking about making money online then you said it wasn’t online fraud and I haven’t seen police come so I thank God. I am happy because this country makes it hard for young people to find employment so I am glad to see that young people are making their own jobs up and are doing it from their houses.’’