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<strong>5 Young Women Recount “Wondrous” Reactions to Their Career Choices </strong>
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5 Young Women Recount “Wondrous” Reactions to Their Career Choices  

Still in the spirit of celebrating Women’s Month, we asked 5 accomplished young women across various professions about their beginnings and the unexpected responses they encountered when embarking on their chosen career paths.

Below are the stories they told of those “wondrous” responses:


I find it very amusing that people still use the “that’s a man’s job” line in this day and age. When I decided that I wanted to study computer science at the university, my parents didn’t have an issue with it. It was what I decided to do after graduation that left them in, for lack of a better word, awe. One day, I returned home and told my parents that I wanted to begin a career in blockchain. My mom had never heard the word before, so she just stood, looking at me and waiting for me to explain. My dad, on the other hand, had little knowledge about it. He said, “Blockchain? What about what you studied in school?” When I told him that computer science was very much a part of that, he just continued staring at me. Finally, he added, “But this blockchain thing is a man’s thing. Why don’t you just do all these easier jobs? You know men like competition. They will crush you in that field o.” He had so much pity and concern in his eyes that it made me burst into laughter. I just told him that I’m a tigress and I’ll be the one to crush them. I’m doing really well in my field currently, but he still has that same concerned look whenever he asks me about work.


When I finished secondary school, my parents wanted me to study medicine and were already recommending a few schools. I never said anything. Unknown to them, I was about to shock them. On the day I went for the UTME registration, my mom went with me. When it was time to fill in my first choice of course and school, my mom asked, “So which of the schools will you choose for medicine?” I just looked at her, smiled, and clicked “Mechanical Engineering.” All hell was let loose! The way she screamed at me. Next thing I knew, she called my dad and said, “Do you know what your daughter wants to study? Let her tell you.” She gave the phone to me, and when I told him, he screamed, “Mechanic work? Over my dead body. It’s not in my house you’ll become a mechanic.” All my explanations fell on deaf ears. I eventually chose medicine, but dropped out in my first year and returned to my first love. My parents didn’t have a choice this time because I had wasted 2 years of school fees.


When I told my uncle I wanted to become an architect, he envisioned me as a big shot working in real estate and liked the idea. Fast forward to my third year at the university. I wanted to do a little field work and decided to go work at a building site, just to get hands-on experience. When I returned for the holidays that year, I went to a site close to our residence without informing my uncle about my plans. After working there for 3 days, I was at the site one afternoon, moving blocks, when I sighted my uncle driving by. For a split second, we held eye contact, then he wound down his glass, took out his glasses, and cleaned his eyes to confirm that they weren’t deceiving him. He started screaming from the road, “Is this the architect work I sent you to school for? What are you doing here?” He drew everyone’s attention to me. He asked me to get into the car, or else he would disown me. I had no choice. On the way home, he kept asking me if I saw any women among the builders at the site. “Are you tired of being a woman and want to become a man now? Why do you want to disgrace me?” When I told him that I was doing it as practical for my course and that it was necessary, he told me that I had to change the course if that was the case. I just laughed. When we got home and he told my aunty what happened, she laughed too. She explained that it was no longer men who did that kind of job, that women also did. But he wouldn’t have it in his house. I never went back there again.


I always had a passion for storytelling, and I knew deep down that I wanted to pursue a career in writing. However, when I finally gathered the courage to share my dream with my family, I was met with disbelief. My parents, traditional and conservative, couldn’t comprehend why I wouldn’t choose a more “stable” profession like law or accounting. They believed that there was no financial security in writing. Despite their disapproval, I enrolled in a journalism program at university. It was either that or I wouldn’t go to school. So they reluctantly let me choose what I wanted to study. The real surprise came when I published my first article in a national newspaper, receiving praise and recognition from a lot of people. Suddenly, my parents began boasting to their friends about their daughter, the journalist, and their initial reservations turned into pride.


As the youngest daughter in a family of lawyers, I always felt pressure to follow in my siblings’ footsteps and pursue a career in law. But my passion was in fashion. I never had the slightest interest in law. When I finally mustered the courage to express my desire to become a fashion designer, my family was shocked and disappointed. They couldn’t understand why I would choose such a “frivolous” career over something more respectable like law. They believed that fashion designing was more like a hobby or side hustle than an actual job. This caused a lot of strain because no one wanted to give in to the other’s desires. Just for peace to reign, I decided to study law, but after graduating, I dropped the certificate for them, enrolled in a fashion design program, and started my own clothing line after I finished the program. Guess who they are coming to to sew all their clothes now!

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