By Adeola Aderounmu
I responded with (a hidden) outrage to a Facebook post by two of my friends that a Nigerian woman was denied a job opportunity because she had a tattoo on her arm.
Apparently the interview was over and the panel of 4 interviewers was satisfied with her qualifications and suitability for the job. But when she stretched her hands to hand over her certificates the tattoo on her arm was revealed. At that point she lost the job!
My friends posted this on Facebook to warn potential applicants. I responded to one of the post and tried to educate the others who rejoined that it was wrong to disqualify a woman for the post that she was qualified for because she had a tattoo on her arm.
The counter argument was that it was against the so called “corporate policy of the company”. I left the argument after all my efforts fell on deaf ears.
The girl was qualified for the job, period! Does her tattoo interfere with the job she will do? I doubt that.
Nigerians are in serious need of education.
I even argued that tattoos are not new to Nigerians. Before I was 6 years, I had been seeing beautiful Nigerian women wearing tattoos on their arms and legs. I mean before 1978.
In Nigeria we have people with tribal marks and incisions.
How then does a girl fall into the discriminatory class in 2012 because she bears a tattoo that was only revealed because she stretched her hands?
I told these guys that this can only happen in Nigeria. In other places that company will go down because of the law or boycott of its goods/services.
I even tried to point out that many footballers in our favourite teams wear clear tattoos and ply their trades. I told these guys that the global economy will collapse if people wearing tattoos are out of jobs.
I tried to educate these guys but they kept to their guns.
I was so angry I thought if this is the average thinking of a Nigerian graduate, then maybe the Federal Universities in Nigeria should not even be rated for performance, they should be wiped away completely until proper education is set in place.
How can Nigeria continue to produce graduates and employers of labours who would deny an applicant a job position because she has a tattoo? The 4 man panel should think about their decisions as shameful and scandalous.
I do hope this incident is isolated and not a norm in Nigeria and that Nigerian graduates can argue for reasons, not emotions. The ones that argued with me on Facebook need re-education.