Will you hold a placard for work?
Jobseekers in South Africa and Nigeria are taking to the streets in search for work. Although the trend has existed for a while among labourers, it recently blew up on social media thanks to Anthea Malwandle. Malwandle was seen at a traffic spot holding a placard advertising her need for a job in Johannesburg.
— Ulrich J van Vuuren (@UlrichJvV) May 18, 2016
This interesting way of getting attention from employers worked for Malwandle. It also raised discussion on the dire situation of young jobless South African graduates. Malwandle’s placard listed her academic credentials with the bold caption; “0827661789. I have B-Tech CHEMICAL ENGINEERING. PLEASE HELP!!! I NEED A JOB. CV IN MY POSSESSION.” This garnered sympathy from netizens and citizens. She appeared on a radio show and has apparently scored an interview with Sosal, a chemical and energy multinational, among other prospective companies contacting her.
Thousands of miles away in Nigeria, another graduate stood by the roadside with a placard advertising her own need for a job. Lilian Chinyere Douglas-Ezeugo studied computer science and had remained jobless since graduating. Douglas-Ezeugo held her placard on the Lagos roadside and shortly after, photos of her appeared online. This eventually led to a meeting with the Nigerian Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Tony Elumelu, Nigerian entrepreneur and a philanthropist.
Seeing the success of these two women, others have been inspired to copy their lead. It is left to be seen if the trend’s followers have been as successful as Malwandle and Douglas-Ezeugo in change their employment circumstances. One thing remains clear though, graduates should not be expected to hold up placards at busy intersections in order to secure employment. The governments of both Nigeria and South Africa should put in more incentives in creating job opportunities and tackling the high rate of unemployment in their countries. The unemployment rate in Nigeria and South Africa stand at 26.7 percent and 42.24 percent, respectively.
Is the placard jobseeker trend a good development? Should we expect to see more unconventional moves by young people seeking job? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below or tweeting @rafeeeeta