aside Keeping up with NGOs Part II

I now bring to your attention the harsh reality regarding prospective employment in these highly prestigious organizations. It is amazing how there are so many job advertisements going around in the daily papers and yet we are still plagued by mass unemployment ofcapable graduates. Ena mpakana ma University awo asintha mayina asanapezebe nchito. Pa CV kumalemba mayina awiri, “University of Nyasaland – ‘formerly known as University of So and So’. That coupled with the lack of any real work experience amazakufunsa

kuti: “nthawi yonseyi mumatani?”

inu mukuwona ngati ndimatani?

It really isn’t our fault that most graduates have failed to break from the chains of unemployment, especially in the development sector. Some may argue that this has something to do with the poor quality of the current Universities Curricula in the country. Kuti mwina we are not being adequately prepared for the industry. Others may say that it is because ana amasiku ano samafuna kulembera ntchito za ma juniors, such as taking up a banking teller job or becoming a community mobilizer in a remote district like NTCHEU. Perhaps true but a story of another day.


I used to be baffled by the minimum work experience required for junior posts in the NGO realm. I thought that maybe I was just looking at the wrong jobs.  But as time went by, I only grew more suspicious. Khala ngati anthuwa safuna kuphunzitsa anthu ena nchito. Alibe nthawi yotenga ma fresh graduate kuti ayambe kuwapanga mold as ma future professionals. Iwowo ati si aziphunzitsi. So to separate the babies from the grownups, they set a higher standard of let’s say 5-8 years of required experience. So what are fresh graduates forced to do? Kumakokera zaka ndi mabodza. Ati “I was a Field Research Manager for 1 year ku survey ya NSO”. Iyayi akulu akulu… Firstly, you were an Enumerator! Secondly, a 2 months survey does not qualify as a year of research experience. You do not have any relevant work experience for the post basi! Period. But can we blame them really? How else is someone supposed to attain significant work experience if they are filtered out from the word go? Ufitii chani?

1 year experience as Field Research Manager

When I got my first job , many of my friends were curious to know how I did it. I waited barely a month after graduating before getting the Job. I usually lied kuti it was all just by luck. I would frequently bring up the ‘God’s time is best’ metaphor. But to say the truth, the boss of the organization that was hiring me knew my dad and he kind of owed him a favor. Kaya anathandiza chani kaya (probably made a problem go away for him). Any way… Dad decided to cash in on the favor. Hence young Kwivu got offered an internship position on a one year contract. But not all of us are lucky to have dads with expertise in off-the-book abortions. Oops. Slip of the keyboard. My story is clearly an isolated case to say the least, but fact remains that connections are quickly replacing formal channels of employment. Whether this is good or bad is not for me to say, as it obviously worked out for me.

So not all of us have the minimum experience, and neither do we have the connections to get us in through the back door. As if that is not enough, masiku ano mabungwe akumatulutsa ma ‘formality’ vacancy posts.

What are these you say?

This is basically when a job is advertised simply to adhere to standard HR procedure while the person for the post has already been identified. This is why I personally recommend anthu olembera nchitonu to ask for details about vacancies musanalembere. Save yourself the hustle and internet bundle. Nanji Nanji the way Airtel is set up nowadays.

So… how many of the adverts in the news are actually really vacant? Bwanji potulutsa ma vacancy-wo muzilembako ka note “post is currently already filled”. Kuti mwina tizitha kudziwiratu?

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