Why Tech Companies need A̶f̶r̶i̶c̶a̶n̶s̶ Nigerians as Community Managers. (Part 1)

There seems to be a discrepancy in what counts as an ideal fit and a perfect fit for a community manager role by various hiring managers/companies.

After getting this rejection email

I entered my thoughts.

Was it something I did?

How can I learn more from this experience?

We’ve all been there, right?

I had an epiphany, why not reach out to a local(based in Nigeria) community manager who has the desired role I am looking for.

My desired role = A Community manager for a remote-first /Foreign-based tech company.

Things started to get interesting after a quick search on LinkedIn. With over 457,000 community professionals/ managers in Nigeria, I couldn’t find one individual who occupied such a position * mind glass shattered*

I became sad and a tad bit curious as to why such a dilemma was present, compared to other tech fields such as software development and UI/UX where you could find individuals in Nigeria who work for foreign tech companies.

Something was amiss, as Nigeria has the largest unicorn in terms of numbers in the whole of Africa, with 4 companies out of the 6 present in Africa.

Tech talent ✓

Concerning skills set and readily available professionals, Nigeria has the largest number of community managers in Africa (a quick search on LinkedIn should show this result), and Lagos in Nigeria is now the top startup city in Africa.

Community professionals ✓

Skills set ✓

With all these vices ticked off, who is to blame for the underrepresentation of Nigerian community professionals in the community management space?

The hiring manager/company or Nigerian community managers?

This got me thinking of the rejection email mentioned earlier, the exact role I applied for was a “GLOBAL” community management fellow. As soon as the camera came on for the interview, I could sense a bit of uneasiness from the interviewer. It’s like when you go to your favorite ice cream shop to buy your best flavor, you know all the flavors by heart and you’re familiar with how they all taste. One day you visit the store and notice one ceratin favor that you’re not used to, a favor that seems out of place? a flavor you’ve never had before. You’re either curious or you order what you’re familiar with, without giving that flavor a taste.

I wanted to know what the interviewer thought of me as the out-of-place ice cream flavor. (I’m a foodie so expect a lot of food references ).

I asked the question. “Has there been anyone in Africa or Outside the US that has held this “GLOBAL” Community position before ” he quickly stammered and blurted out said” Not that I know of, I was the last person to fill this role”

FAIR ENOUGH.

A glance at the brand’s website shows that past fellows are only US citizens, a fellowship that started in 2015.

It does make you wonder so no one outside the US could fit the role and skillset of this fellowship?

To answer my previous question the blame is to

……. to be continued

Community Manager. Full-time Foodie. My Spirit Animal is Naruto