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Friday, June 13, 2008

Tunde, great team player, poor project manager


The ultimate job interview at The Apprentice Africa has reached a critical stage where the remaining contestants know that a small mistake will have any of them liquidated like others before.

It was with utmost prudence therefore, that they approached the 14th task, last week, which was to design two sets of school uniforms for the pupils of Abbey Junior School.

Matrix Corporation went for plain, simple and elegant white and green creations. The shorts had no buttons but an elastic waist while the girls’ blouses had a zip at the front, to aid functionality and help kids dress themselves, said Eunice. “Assertive and colourful” is how Matrix project manager described the set.

And Eunice found all the adjectives to glamourise the same uniform calling it “outstanding, over the top, smart, simple and phenomenal.”

For good measure, she put her catwalk skills to good use and taught the children the strutting business as they showed off their new uniform to the impressed school executives.
On their part, the dynamic Zulu Corporation labelled theirs, “A New Me” and boldly opted for checkered green and yellow. Prior to that, they carried out a survey among pupils to learn what they fancied.

Zulu had made long-sleeved shirts, because, said homeboy Deox Tibeingana, the kids loved something different from what other pupils in the neighbourhood had, and they also wanted to look like their parents!

Both teams however forgot an important aspect – a bow-tie and hat often won on important functions at the school. At the end, the teams were judged basing on “originality, functionality, durability and marketability” of what they had created.

Matrix won with 53 points because they had developed something "functional, simple and not distractive."

Zulu lost with 42 points because their outfit was too fashionable for a school uniform. So a smiling Shobanjo congratulated the winners and rewarded them with a celebrity photo shoot and joked, “Once the show is over, you’ll continue to admire yourselves!”

When he turned his guns on the losing team, Deox talked of how Tunde is a great team player who had been instrumental in previous Zulu victories, but a very poor project manager who had ignored Blessing's ideas, and even went to the biggest textile market in Lagos but came with a poor choice.

"If I were Tunde," concluded Deox, "I'd be very honourable and take responsibility for the team's failure and resign right now from Zulu Corp. without wasting the Ceo’s time."

Blessing added to the blistering wound accusing Tunde of indulging in “reckless confidence” and disregarding her design concept even when he knew she has three-years’ experience working in a primary school.

The eleventh hour had come for the ‘city-zen of Lagos’ and although Tunde (Babatunde Ojikutu) calls himself “a real gladiator”, he looked on like a helpless mule when Shobanjo wagged his finger and fired him.

He left behind four devastatingly ambitious “untouchables” who are sure to make the final weeks an exciting watch!

--Daily Monitor, June 7, 2008