The Privilege Series: Part 2

Wealth Privilege

Two weeks ago, Dbanj was trending all over Naija twitter.

Why?

News had gotten out that he allegedly had the police illegally detain a woman that accused him of rape. Not only was the young lady illegally detained, she was denied access to her lawyers, family and external support system. 2 days after, she was released and taken to an unknown location where Dbanj’s representative further kept her, seized her phones, illegally accessed her social media handles and posting promotional videos on behalf of D’banj.

Sounds like a scene from a movie right? Well, it isn’t.

This allegedly happened and it happened because of something I call Wealth Privilege.

Wealth Privilege encompasses all the advantages and opportunities a person is afforded as a result of the amount of money he/she has in the bank, or even the money the person’s parent or family member has in the bank.  

When I was younger, I hated being called an omo butty. For those not familiar with the phrase, Omo Butty is a term used to refer to people born with the proverbial silver spoon. Apert from that, being called an omo butty also came with the connotation of being spoilt, being gullible, lacking street smarts, or being immune to life’s many challenges. I think that is why I hated the tag. I had my own share of challenges and I thought it was unfair for me to be judged by what society thought was a silver spoon.

Lately however, I have come to understand that I did have many advantages I enjoyed because of this supposed silver spoon. Maybe it’s the choice of schools I had the opportunity to attend, the quality of education I had, the exposure I got from having the funds/resources to visit several places, or even the seemingly mundane things, like being able to afford books, not having to worry about tuition, lesson teachers etc. I also enjoyed a fair share of opportunities growing up because parents had the resources to help groom whatever talents I developed.

Many times, we hear inspirational stories like that of Bill Gates, or Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos or even Mark Zuckerberg. We hear stories about how they supposedly built their companies from ground up. What we however don’t hear as often is the extra opportunities these guys had because of the social class they were born into. Jeff Bezos had a $300,00 loan from his parents to invest in the business. How many of us have families that can afford to give that kind of loan? Not many.

Many of us don’t have a soft-landing pad ready for us if our businesses fail, and so we may not be able to take the high business risks that people that have that landing pad can. This is not in any way to take from the efforts of these successful business owners, it’s just to say, situations and circumstances differ, and whether they like it or not, they enjoyed a certain kind of privilege that gave them an advantage.

So while their stories can be inspirational and motivating, it is important that we take into account the many kind of privileges they enjoyed.

Now, if you read my last post on the privilege series, you will see I concluded by saying what you do about your privilege is a more accurate reflection of your character. I strongly believe that. Being rich or being born into wealth does not necessarily make you a bad person. If you however choose to misuse this privilege, if you use this privilege to further victimize people that are not as advantaged, then you have a lot of work to do on your character.

In conclusion, the alleged Dbanj issue is just a recent example that comes to mind about misuse of wealth privilege. There are several more. I am sure you reading this can think of one or two examples yourself. I personally look forward to living in a society where the amount you have in the bank is not necessarily a determinant of how you will be treated. And I hope Dbanj and his management team come out to clear the air on this matter.

PS: Check out the first part of the privilege series if you haven’t https://ifyroberts.wordpress.com/2020/06/24/the-privilege-series-part-1/

And watch out for the remaining posts on this series.

Thanks for reading.

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