In the 80s, where and what you studied in a higher institution was largely determined by parents.

Many Nigerian parents believe it is part of their parental responsibilities to decide what their kids go to study in a university, even if you have a different choice.

Back then, parents tend to favour certain professions because in their view, guiding their children to have a career is such professions was a great achievement for them.

This was why Nigerian parents in the 80s were so crazy about such courses as Law, Medicine, Accountancy and Engineering. They believe these courses bring prestige to the family.

But today, things have changed. Many secondary school leavers now enjoy the right to choose the university of their choice and also decide the course they want to study. 

Looking back at those years, we bring you those career choices you would have loved to make in the 80s, but your parents won’t allow you to.

1. Music

Osibisa band of Ghana (mashariki)
Osibisa band of Ghana (mashariki)

Your parents probably love music the same way you love to study it. A Saturday morning in a typical Nigerian home is like a mini party. Someone’s father may decide to blare Michael Jackson or Sunny Ade songs from his radio cassette to entertain the whole neighborhood. The community won’t complain because they’re also enjoying the deafening entertainment.

However, as much as they enjoyed this form of entertainment then, the only problem many of them had with it was that music as a career was meant for never-do-wells. Musicians were only happy people, they were poor. This is why many Nigerian parents in the 80s won’t allow their children to go into it. 

2. Dancing

Dance performance by a group of dancers. (The New York Times)
Dance performance by a group of dancers. (The New York Times)

You can dance to music as you like at home but many Nigerian parents those days won’t like to see their children become professional dancers. 

One of the wrong beliefs attached to dancing as a career especially for female children was that the profession is associated with promiscuity and allowing a child to become a dancer, in their perception is like giving the child a licence to get sexually loose. Thankfully, that perception has petered out. Parents now take their kids to dance lessons as schools also establish music classes. 

3. Football

Great African footballers.
Great African footballers.

Football is a very physical sport. It involves body contact and sometimes, when bones hit bones, anything can break. This was the main consequence most parents feared about football and that’s why many never allowed their kids to play football.

However, football has gone beyond the fear of breaking a leg. I doubt if any parent will stop his child from kicking anything his leg can reach these days, because football and money now are an item.

4. Comedy 

LASU students dressed as old school comedians  (Nairaland Forum)
LASU students dressed as old school comedians (Nairaland Forum)

Before comedy became a lucrative profession, comedians were perceived as jobless individuals, who go around amusing people and surviving on the penny they make from their jokes. They were bunch of jokers and clowns, — a group of fools that make living from their foolishness. 

Comedians were not respected and this perception was one of the reasons many parents won’t like to see their children follow any path that’ll lead them to become comedians.

5. Modelling

Olajumoke Orisaguna (TalkParlour)
Olajumoke Orisaguna (TalkParlour)

Don’t even think about this. In the 80s, modelling is the least career you’ll tell your parents you want to go into. It wasn’t really a popular career like Medicine and Law and if it’s not popular and lucrative, your parents would most likely not allow you to make it a career.