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Monday, July 14, 2008

Blessing out, who will be the apprentice?


St. James, the half brother of Jesus, writes in his gospel that the untamed tongue – small as it is –is a flame of fire capable of causing enormous damage.

Having survived 15 raging weeks of the Apprentice Africa show, Blessing Njoku, wherever she is, must be remorseful for ignoring James’ warning and allowing her tongue to end her race just a fortnight to the top.

This being the ultimate job interview, Ceo Biodun Shobanjo asked the three of the original 18 contestants remaining to persuade Bank PHB and Insight Communications executives why each of them is the most fit to become the African Apprentice.

So began the interview with Blessing being asked about her ability to handle pressure considering her pedigree of breaking down whenever they lost. She answered without batting an eyelid that once she scooped the job she would be fine. Did she believe there are difficult people? “I believe there are no difficult people, but people we have difficulties dealing with,” she answered smoothly.

Then she was asked what micropedia, macropedia and encyclopedia are, she was not far from off and could have earned 75/100. The questioner probed deeper, managing to expose her. For example she said she had read 20 books in the past year. Can you mention them please? And she fidgeted.

She then proudly reiterated that she can be “manipulative” seeing the ease with which she can sell you what you don’t need. It was a mistake she would later regret.

Then came Eunice Omole. For someone with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the prestigious University of Virginia, it was shocking that she had no clue what stagflation is. She however answered other questions brilliantly, and with her sexy appeal, the judges licked their lips and soon forgot her mess. In a hot boardroom, Shobanjo told Eunice that she is over-confident and aggressive and needed to work on her listening skills and asked Isaac to be a little more aggressive.

Turning to the Igbo lady, his small eyes dancing with pending trouble, he said, “You were said to be a strong fighter… but there was an expression you used during your interview that you were manipulative… I’m seeking to hire an apprentice that is wholesome and solid; someone whom I might entrust one of my companies… and based on the fact that we live in a society where integrity is extolled over being manipulative, plus the fact that there wasn’t much depth in your answers…Blessing, I regret to say, you’re fired!”

Sales manager Isaac Dankyi-Koranteng is determined to be one of the top five African business executives, and although critics have called Eunice a vicious little-brained “bitch”, she has held her own and proved she works harder than she likes to party. It’s therefore not clear who between the two will be “knighted” on Sunday but the finale promises to be the most thrilling battle of the sexes.

--Daily Monitor, June 21, 2008