A Twitter user who identifies as Lola Okunrin has narrated how an unnamed friend of his was fired from a public relations (PR) company for referring to his own mother as an “illiterate”.


In a short thread, Lola said his friend’s boss had reached out to the fired employee on Saturday when he was home with his mother.

He said the boss had asked to speak with her over the phone out of courtesy on learning that his mum was nearby.

Before his friend passed the phone to his mother as requested, Lola said he had referred to the elderly woman as an “illiterate” — wanting to notify his boss to use the Yoruba language as his mum was not proficient with English.


However, the employee later got a sack letter, with the boss asking if he treated the PR firm’s clients the same way.

“A friend who works in a PR company got sacked yesterday Saturday. What happened surprised me,” Lola wrote.

“Apparently, he was talking to his boss over the phone while standing beside his mum at home. His boss on hearing the voice of his mum over the phone asked to greet her.



“So before he passed the phone to his mum, he told his boss “Ma, my mum is illiterate, please speak Yoruba to her instead of English” His boss became angry over the phone like “how dare you call your mum an illiterate’.

“‘Is that how you tarnish the images of our clients too? You are meant to polish who she’s and not call her an illiterate’. Bla, bla, bla! Next thing, she cut the call and immediately fired him via an email.

“I don’t know how this works but mo wa surprised.”


The thread has since ignited a plethora of mixed reactions from users on the microblogging platform.

A user wrote: “She should have said, ‘my mum is not literate’ or let the boss figure it out. Since the boss doesn’t understand that illiterate is someone who can’t read or write in a language.”

“She was probably looking for ways to get rid of him, that was just an excuse,” another user pointed out disapprovingly.

In yet another comment, a user added: “Illiterate sounds like an insult because we Nigerians always read unnecessary meanings to things anyhow.

“My grandmother can read words in Yoruba without any trouble but can’t do the same for words in English Obv this makes her a Yoruba-literate & an illiterate in English.”

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