The Fake Professor
Two months ago, I connected with a young man who told me he teaches first year Business Students at the University of Lagos, Nigeria. I asked this alleged professor (whom I’ll call Pedro) to lend a service to VeryLoudYouth. He agreed. I had no reason to doubt his sincerity; I work with several Nigerian volunteers. Moreover, Pedro and I attended the same high school in Enugu.
We prepared a research question along these lines: The Role of Nigerian Youth in Entrepreneurship: A Study of New Business Start-ups (to be distributed with his final exams). The partnership presented an exciting opportunity to highlight Nigerian students on the blog. Here is what follows:
Two weeks pass, Pedro says he’s spent quite a bit producing the research topic. He needs funds to scan and email the students’ submissions to me. So I talk to a friend who agrees to pick up the papers, scan them, and return the originals to the professor.
When I tell Pedro of this money saving plan, he bursts out comments including this one. “Would my efforts go unappreciated just like that?! I told you the project got me almost near empty, and all you can suggest is that someone collect the papers?”
A few days later, another friend agrees to visit the school and meet with the professor. Turns out, Pedro does not teach at the University of Lagos. He is an Event Planner miles away (in Enugu).
I love Nigeria. I love the people, their wit, their passion, and their drive. It would be nice to have more young people contribute their knowledge for good, instead of crafting such deceitful schemes.
I’d love to hear your story.
Kem runs programs to empower youth in the D.C. Metro Area (United States). She grew up in a low income community in Southeast Nigeria and believes that every young person can be a valuable member of their community. Her writing explores development in education, the arts, and culture of Africa.
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