‘But my papa no be Dangote or Adeleke, but we go dey ok yea yea
….I go call M.C Oluomo’
-Teni the entertainer, Case
The lines above are the most well known from Teni the entertainer’s hit song, Case. She insinuates, that even if you don’t have parents who are rich business men like Dangote or influential politicians like Mc Oluomo or Adeleke, it’s still possible to thrive in today’s Nigeria. But how true is that?
Nigeria is a very low trust society, where ‘family names’, ‘connections’ and reputations matter a lot. Is it really possible for a young person to get ahead without the social capital that these associations bring?
Princeton Researchers John Darley and Paget Gross performed an experiment where students were divided up into two separate groups. One group was shown a video of the subject 9 year old ‘’Hannah’ growing up in a poor environment. The other group was shown the same child, growing up in a wealthy environment.
Subsequently, the entire group was then shown the same video of ‘Hannah’ being interviewed about maths/social science and general knowledge. The students that thought ‘Hannah’ grew up rich rated her as more sociable, intelligent and articulate, than people that thought she grew up poor.
This experiment shows that very notion that a person grew up poor, makes others view them as less intelligent/capable. So there is already solid sociological research that Teni the entertainer lied to us.
Furthermore, this piece from the Economist concludes that the easiest way to be successful and wealthy in life is to be born to the right parents.Although it varies between countries, overall majority of people that are born into poor families stay poor.
By Dr Ola Brown (Orekunrin)
Culled from Medium
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