Nigerian Lawyer and activist Moe, has called out entrepreneur Aboyeji for saying Nigerian lawyers are not creative.
According to Moe, Aboyeji made the statement last night, during a Clubhouse conversation on “exits and secondary”.
Narrating what happened, she said she was asked a question on what could be done to grow Nigerian’s eco-system, after she answered the question, Aboyeji interjected and stated that Nigerian lawyers are now creative.
Moe called out Aboyeji on Twitter today, January 31, as she demands a public apology for his statement on Clubhouse.
Hello @iaboyeji I hope you have the good grace to publicly apologize for the statement you made on CH yesterday about Nigerian lawyers not being creative. In case, you do not understand the impact of that statement, I’ve decided to clarify a little.
For people reading this, I’ll give a little context. Last night, there was a CH room discussing exits and secondaries. We had such an excellent conversation and then someone asked me a question on what we could do to grow our ecosystem on the legal side.
I gave example of the startup lawyering course I’ve been running for 2 years for African lawyers & how 500+ lawyers have passed through it but we need to do more by making sure our lawyers are being brought in on deals especially at the Series A stage. Since this will help growth.
1. E is well respected in the space – locally and internationally.
2. That room was a public forum with many non-Nigerians.
3. In many parts of the world, people still have a negative connotation of technical expertise of Nigerians & Africans more broadly.
4. Our ecosystem is growing. The legal system is growing with it.
5. If lawyers do not work ok deals how do they get the experience?
Imagine someone respected making a statement 6 years ago in an international forum that Nigerian developers aren’t creative. Yes, our pool of tech talent today has definitely improved from 6 years ago but it took work. E should know. He worked on Andela with such zeal!
E’s pushback was that lawyers are not engaging in policy work. But that’s not true. Many lawyers are actively engaged in policy work. And policy looks like different things. Not everyone needs to go and sit down in Aso Rock. We all have different roles to play.
Ecosystems do not grow in isolation. Lawyers who have gone through my program are now GCs in tech companies & running their own tech law firms. They will go on to guide others too. That’s how an ecosystem grows.
We talk about Project Finance & how the the tech industry has a lot to learn from the growth of PF in Nigeria. Well, we have PF expertise in Nigeria because folks insisted on carrying their lawyers along on deals. It didn’t happen overnight. Talent grows in tandem with industries
We are still in the early days of our tech industry. I’ve been in it for 9 years but we haven’t even scratched the surface of its potential. Our deals are still mostly early stage. We are now beginning to see more Series A. We still have many exits and IPOs even to go.
This is just the beginning. Just like our Developers, our legal talent will grow in tandem with the industry. This is why statements like the one @iaboyeji made are dangerous. You can’t dismiss a country’s entire industry of experts. It was wrong & I hope you apologize publicly