As all our readers know, This Is Africa tries its best to keep you abreast of all the trends currently taking over the continent. Last week we were the first to report on how the “placard job seeker” trend is slowly catching on among desperate job seekers in South Africa and Nigeria.
— This Is Africa (@ThisIsAfricaTIA) June 2, 2016
We also reported on the surprising success young graduates in the two countries are having by giving it a try. For example, Lilian Chinyere Douglas-Ezeugo, the first to give the tactic a try in Nigeria, even got a chance to rub elbows with the country’s vice president Yemi Osinbajo. Meanwhile in South Africa, Anthea Malwandle, the young chemical engineering graduate who is credited with starting all of this off, attracted the attention of several potential employers including the chemical and energy multinational Sosal where she was called in for an interview.
A Kenyan graduate gives it a try
This morning a tweet by a Kenyan going by the name Mwangi Fangi on Twitter got quite a bit of attention.
This gentleman is standing along Muthaiga road. Please retweet pic.twitter.com/qv4xWY3mQ8
— Mwangi (@Le_Mwas) June 9, 2016
Curious to pick the brain of the job hunter behind the placard, we called the number written on it. Gilbert Mutai told us he graduated from the Technical University of Kenya in December last year with a Bachelor in electrical engineering and he’s so far been unsuccessful in his attempts to find work. This despite the fact that he’s also completed the first two modules in a Project Management diploma course offered by the Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC), something he hoped would make him more attractive to employers.
Mutai told us he’s been looking for work by holding up the placard in busy Nairobi traffic since Monday. For three days he stood by the roadside on Dennis Pritt, a road which leads to State House, Nairobi and is named for the British lawyer of Kenya’s first president Jomo Kenyatta. Today, he decided to switch to Muthaiga Road, another busy thoroughfare in the city, where the picture doing the rounds on social media was taken.
“It was my own idea. I thought it up last week,” answers Mutai when we ask him if he’s been inspired by the actions of fellow desperate graduates in Nigeria and South Africa. Mutai also said his family members have no idea what he has been up of late but he suspects that won’t be the case for long because of the attention he’s starting to get. There’s no arguing with that.