It’s no secret that Nigerian bosses can be problematic. If they’re not taking credit for your work, they’re giving heavy do-as-I-say energy.
But, so it’s not like we’re pushing a “horrible bosses” agenda, we decided to ask Nigerian employees to share the nicest things a boss has ever done for them too, and seven of them had this to say:
“He paid for my international passport” — Kitan*, 26
My boss is a very chill and generous person. However, I still can’t believe he paid for my international passport out of his pocket.
I’m his personal assistant, so when he started planning a family vacation sometime in 2021, I was in charge of making the visa appointments. He made a comment about me going on holiday while he was away, and I joked about not even having a passport. He was genuinely shocked and said he’d make sure I got one. According to him, “What if an opportunity to attend a conference abroad comes up?”
I thought he was joking until he told me to set up an appointment. He paid for the whole thing and acted like it wasn’t a big deal.
“She believed in me even more than I believed in myself” — Isaac*, 27
My former team lead was the best boss I’ve ever had. She believed in me even more than I believed in myself.
I work in operations, so my work spans several teams. This woman would give me ideas to implement and champion like I was the brain behind it. Because of that, I always wanted to go above and beyond. Countless times, she’d blow my trumpet in front of the entire organisation. I was a star because she made me a star. I’ll never forget her.
“She helped me land a multinational job” — Maria*, 27
My former supervisor is the reason I work in a multinational today. I was already tired of my old job; she noticed and called me aside to talk about it. She advised me not to spoil the reputation I’d worked hard to build just because of burnout.
A few weeks after that talk, she shared the multinational job vacancy with me and encouraged me to apply. When the company contacted her for a reference, she gave a glowing recommendation, and I got the job. Funny enough, I always thought she was overly strict. I never imagined she’d do that for me.
“He supported me during my dad’s burial” — Tobi*, 27
I was a mess when I lost my dad in 2020. My company only allows a one-week compassionate leave for a family member’s death, but after the one week off, my boss took one look at me and sent me back home. I eventually took two weeks and three days off.
By the time the burial came around, my boss released three company vehicles to help transport food and family members to the grave site without my having to ask. He also supported me financially. No employer has ever shown me such a level of care and support before.
“His family took me in” — Diana*, 25
I had some issues with my rented apartment in 2021, so I had to move back home — which I hated because of the distance to work and my touchy relationship with my parents.
My boss noticed I was constantly unhappy and arriving at the office much later than usual. He asked, and I explained my new living situation. Within a few hours, he called me back into his office and offered that I come to stay in an empty room in his house. I was sceptical at first because I thought he was hitting on me, so I tried to refuse, but he told me his wife was in agreement.
I moved in within the week, and his family was so welcoming. I moved out a month later when I got my own place, but it’s still the nicest thing anyone has done for me in a while.
“He gave me a salary advance in my first month” — Moses*, 31
Two weeks after starting my new job, my wife delivered twins via an unplanned caesarean section. I had no money and couldn’t get a quick loan from friends. I had to reluctantly approach my boss for a salary advance, and surprisingly, he approved it without asking for long explanations. He even sent gifts for my wife and babies.
“She gave me clothes and perfume” — Sarah*, 22
I interned at a company on the island in 2019, and my supervisor was the kindest woman ever. I couldn’t really afford clothes, so I repeated the few corporate outfits I had many times. One day, this woman came to the office with a full bag of clothes and handed it to me. She said she was decluttering her wardrobe, but the clothes were practically new.
Another time, I had a brief body odour problem I was very self-conscious about. Then she got me a really expensive perfume without saying a word. I really wish I get to meet her again one day.
*Names have been changed for the sake of anonymity.
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