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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Why Nancy at last was shown the exit door


It was nasty the way the trio of Blessing, Regina and Eunice pulled out their talons and tore our girl Nancy Kalembe out of The Apprentice Africa show.

“I wish they’d all been fired,” texted a Ugandan viewer shortly after the eyesore scene. “I hope Eunice goes next.”Truthfully, though, Nancy’s exit from the show was long overdue. Her constant poor performance and sloppy ideas had pundits wondering how she ended at The Apprentice.

A keen viewer told me she was still in the show only because “Shobanjo was so into her” but I think it was because the 10 weeks Nancy played she prayed. It had become a norm for cameras to turn on her with an open Bible and moving lips. And she often dragged her teammates into prayer, adding a unique flavour seldom associated with such shows.
Ironically, the day she forgot to pray is the day she got fired.

As it is, the task that sent her ‘6ft under’ desired of contestants to “create a marketing communications campaign on emerging businesses in Nigeria” and make its presence felt through any medium of communication. Cohesion and novelty were once again the winning formulae for Zulu Corp.

Their campaign of Wealth In Numbers (WIN) utilising Nigeria’s stable security and through embassies selling her investment potential, was made even more dynamic with a captivating TV commercial.

The Matrix girls were meanwhile fighting and by the time they decided on a let’s-promote-Nigeria’s agricultural potential campaign, it was too late to make it viable. For a mega campaign (whose magnitude can be equated to the branding Uganda on CNN that once cost us a fortune), it was shocking that they relied on radio. to promote their campaign. The advert was moreover voiced in Nancy’s slow and dull voice when Regina could have done better.

The slogan “Invest in Nigeria, Conquer New Grounds” was remarkable but the lack of marketing intelligence cost the team. How you can attract investors to Nigerian without a TV advert or website, wondered Shobanjo. So Zulu won and were awarded plaques and certificates from Shobanjo who expressed his hope that they would treasure them the rest of their lives.

It was time for the fire exchange in the boardroom where Blessing blamed their lack of focus on Nancy. She was supported by Regina. And Eunice, seemingly under the influence of a malevolent spirit went on rampage demolishing our girl with murderous phrases: Nancy lacks leadership abilities, Nancy couldn’t even draw up an agenda for the task, Nancy mismanaged the task, Nancy had no plans to help us achieve our goals, Nancy did not even know what a media plan is; she should not be an apprentice, she should be fired!

Poor Nancy simply refrained from a rebuttal and only shook her head. Her time to surrender had come for she had previously appeared in the boardroom five times, earning herself the humiliating title “boardroom veteran.”

“Nancy you’re fired,” Shobanjo’s dreaded words sounded like three bullets in the still dark night. Will sole survivor, East Africa’s Deox Tibeingana, bring the crown home?

--Daily Monitor, May 10, 2008