Why are Nigerians part of so many scams and other shady activities?

June 8, 2007

Nigerian scam for dummiesFirst off, let me say that I have nothing against Nigerians; in fact I believe they’re perhaps the most intelligent and resourceful of all Africans (and I have lots of them as friends). I mean, everywhere I’ve lived in Africa, if you needed to be ‘hooked up’ with bootleg cable service or any tech related service (on the low-low:-D), Nigerians are who you would turn to. This is just to show you how entrepreneurial they are; although I believe they could use their skills towards a more positive purpose. Sadly, it seems a few around the globe have earned Nigerians an infamous reputation as con artists, crooks and all sorts of criminal denominations, such that one cannot help but think of the stereotype whenever Nigeria is mentioned. It is unfortunate that with all the positive things happening to the country lately (democratic elections, Nollywood etc.) that the image of Nigeria be tarnished by a few low-life scammers and con artists. And did you see some time ago that special 20/20 on ABC about Nigerian scammers? It basically denounced to a nationwide audience the confidence trick known as 419 and some of its variations. Some of the perpetrators were even caught on camera and confessed to their crime in a dramatic display worthy of any Nollywood flick. All I kept thinking while watching was “Gosh! What is America going to think of us now?”

As for the reason for the rise of confidence tricks in Nigeria, it’s been suggested that the phenomenon was a result of a declining economy in the 90’s. Many who found themselves unemployed resorted to scam wealthy western visitors for easy money. The rest as they say is history…

Photo source: joyoftech.com


Mister, I need Visa to go America

June 5, 2007

A recent visit to the Immigration offices in NYC and the hilarious video below reminded me of what a stressful process it was to come (at least try) to the US and maintain your status once admitted. I’m sure you’re heard your share of I-20 and other visa related nightmare stories so I won’t waste your time ;-). So sit back, relax and enjoy the clip (courtesy of Nollywood of course!)…

Ten Things every African in New York should do before death

May 30, 2007

to-do.jpgAfter stumbling upon some ‘top ten things’ articles here and there (and some of them were pretty retarded), I’m taking it upon myself to write yet another one (yay, aren’t you thrilled you little buggers:-D), but this time putting it in the context of Africans living in NY, or the US (where applicable), heck you don’t even have to be African really, just possess common sense. The list that follows may seriously impact you and perhaps bring upon felicity (can you hear me laugh?) in your life, so go ahead and do those things because Papa Shongo said so…

10. Play the lottery, both the New York Lottery and the Green Card Lottery that is. Getting rich and a permanent resident card? Damn, talk about getting papers!

9. Work with your own social security card (get your ‘papiers’ straight damn it)

8. Tape your wallet to your forehead if you live in a ‘hot’ neighborhood. This is so the Police can clearly distinguish between your fake Fendi wallet and a gun. Failure to do this may result in your death (ironic considering the title of this post and all :-)).

7. Find a Senegalese restaurant and order thiebou djeun, seriously.

6. Go to 28th street and Broadway (you know, that ‘underground’ spot with top notch surveillance equipment and stuff) to shop for as many imported designer goods as possible (they got crazy deals on Diesel jeans! Some argue that those might be counterfeit but they’re just jealous :-/).

5. Get a second wife: Everybody’s doing it, well at least half of the West Africans in Harlem and the Bronx. Oh please don’t act like you don’t know…just kidding but you might to read this NY Times article on polygamy.

4. Start a business. If all else fails, open a West African hair salon, send one of the ladies working for you at the train station to harass future clientèle with chants of: “hair braiding miss?” There’s gotta be money in this, have you ever visited one those salons in Harlem? Constantly packed!

3. Invest in a property: that’s right; a house is always a good asset to have, anywhere in the universe (except maybe on Pluto).

2. Get an education: make sure you do this by your 50th birthday please. There’s just something not admirable about a dude driving a taxi cab or baby sitting for 30 years. Go to school and become an astronaut or something, prove to the world that you can be much more.

1. GO BACK! I’ll let you meditate on this one…