Man Narrates How He Got A Job After Rocking Igbo Attire To The Interview


A Nigerian man identified as Maazi Ogbonnaya has narrated how he decided to embrace uniqueness and rock the Igbo traditional Isiagu attire for a job interview.

According to the young man, as soon as he reached the interview venue, he was already disqualified in the minds of many, including the security, other applicants who wore suit and tie and even some of the interviewers.

But his confidence while rocking the outfit, created an impression on the CEO who gave him an audience and he impressed them beyond expectations.

Read his story below:

”I went for a job interview in Igbo land and put on isiagụ dress, bead on my neck and wrist. The interviewers are Igbo. It was my first job interview after NYSC. I needed to make a change. Getting t., gateman refused to open entrance gate for me because of my dressing.

I warned him that if I spend extra 1 minute, I would call his boss and of course his job at stake. Seeing how bold and confident I was, fear engulfed him. One who has the mind to wear isiagụ for job interview should be ready for anything. He opened the gate and I walked in.

I saw other candidates wearing coat and suits, sweating like Christmas goat. Many of them had already condemned me. They murmured, gossipped, how I was about to lose the job. I said nothing to anyone. I saw them shaking their heads on my behalf. I was already disqualified.

We were to present our shortlisted email invitations or printed copies. A lady walked up to me asking if I was for the interview. I didn’t answer, but showed my email invitation. She shook her head and ticked my name. Some candidates who are of course Igbo began to laugh at me.

After a few background check, we were asked to write exam before oral interview. One of the examiners came to give me exam question paper, he shook his head. I was already condemned. But you see, I must see the recruiters and the CEO. My boldness dropped no water.

After exam comes oral interview. The first 5 persons who went in, came out with their hands weaved on their heads. Frustrated they looked. The same people with coats and suits. Coat of many colours.

It was my turn. I went in with my bead dangling on my neck. All eyes on me.

Seated around a very long beautiful table were about 5 persons, holding pen and papers placed before them. One of them had already marked my dressing zero before I got in and greeted.

“Why do you dress this way?” she couldn’t bear it and thundered.

I smiled.

“Because I am Igbo, we are Igbo, we are Africans”.

The funny thing— I was speaking Igbo.

“We are asking you questions in English, you are responding in Igbo?” One man t. screamed.

The way I responded with boldness. The owner of the firm became very curious to know more.

“Ọ sịrị na ọ chọrọ Igbo, ngwa ka anyị sụwa Igbo” (He said he wants Igbo, alright let’s speak Igbo to him)

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The interview language with me turned to Igbo language. A beautiful scene they enjoyed more than I did. It became a conversational interview. Everyone was laughing.

I intimated them with the plans I had for the organization. Steps to actualise them. I remember placing 10 titles of my books on the table. Igbo books.

“Ogbonnaya, you have the job now. Can you please resume work on Monday?”, the owner of the firm asked.

It was time for lunch break.

“Nwata kwọchaa aka, o soro okenye rie ihe”, the CEO said as she demanded I join them to eat.

Brethren, that was how I went for job interview and followed my interviewers to eat lunch.

“This is my complimentary card, call me anytime and resume”.

I walked out of the office highly fulfilled.

“Thank God”, the awaiting candidates were screaming. I spent time inside the office.

Dressing in suit, speaking English and having the vision, skills and expertise to make things work are not the same.

Why can’t we Africans when interviewing our fellow Africans for job use African languages? Why can’t Igbo interview an Igbo in Igbo? Yoruba interview a Yoruba in Yoruba? Hausa interview an Hausa in Hausa? Must we also dress in suit? Why not wear our native dressings?

I keep telling people, being bold and confident in whatever good thing you are doing is the first step to actualizing your dream. The Igbo renaissance and African heritage constitute an integral part of my goals. We can change our narratives and tell our own stories.

I pause.”


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