Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Yeoal Writes: Six times Nigerians were unfairly called scammers

Nigerians are some of the most hard working people on earth. Their ability to persevere no matter the adversity they face is something Innate.  Among these hard working people are honest people who no matter the situation will not break the law, even when it means they won’t be caught.
Case in point is Miss Josephine Agwu; the woman that returned the money which was misplaced at the airport. She is not the only one, there are a thousand and one similar stories like this that happen every day in Nigeria, unfortunately these stories are hardly ever reported. We have Nigerians who are doing exceedingly well both home and abroad, but again these stories are never reported.
They have been overshadowed by the actions of a few people and unfortunately the media and foreigners have succeeded in selling to the world that we are nothing but scammers.

Let us count down the times we were unfairly kicked down

This is the most recent scenario. The singer alleged that a Facebook page in his name had been opened by someone to scam people and instead of condemning the act, distancing himself from it and moving on, he decided to ignorantly blame Nigerians alleging that it must have been the work of a Nigerian. He has however deleted the post and apologised after Nigerians attacked him over his comment.

Ted Cruz
Back in 2013, now American presidential hopeful, Ted Cruz took a swipe at one of Pres. Obamas programs, Affordable Care Act whose website was having issues and somehow he also decided to shade Nigerians in the process.

“You know the Nigerian e-mail scammers? They have been a lot less active lately because they have all been hired to run the Obamacare web site.”
Nigerians around the world rose up to condemn his words which forced him to apologise.

My experience with a cosmetics rep……….

Back in 2006 / 2007 (I can’t remember the exact year right now) I was thinking of ways to make money. It occurred to me that we did not have the presence of any reputable beauty and makeup brand in Nigeria at that time. I decided to reach out to the rep of a cosmetics company. She was excited when I introduced myself and told her that I wanted to become a distributor of their products. Everything went smoothly. There was never a glitch in communication. It was as if she was on standby as she was always on hand to respond to my questions and inquiries.

Then it got to the point of ‘where are you based?’ When I told her I am Nigerian based in Nigeria, Otukpari!!. That was the end. She did not respond to my e-mails again. I tried severally still no response. At a point, I even became worried because I thought something bad had happened to her.

I was perplexed…

*more after the jump*

I wondered what happened. It was when I gisted someone my experience that she made me realize that she stopped communicating with me because I told her I am from Nigeria . She explained to me that it is hard for Nigerians to do legitimate business abroad as most people have unfairly stereotyped us.

I was shocked because the lady saw the huge potential. We would have both made serious money because the makeup industry was not what it is right now and her brand is a very reputable brand. To say I was shocked is an understatement. I was disappointed.
 I have since stopped using their products. If they claim they can’t do business because I am Nigerian, I would not support their business with my ‘Nigerian money’. Shikenna!!. *lool*
The Huffing Post…….. 
The respected news site wrote an article where they criticized American presidential hopeful, Donald Trump. The title of the article read “Is Donald Trump Pulling a Nigerian 419 Scam?
While berating Donald Trump, they also took a swipe at Nigerians in the article. Read excerpts below……

He also knows he has zero chance of winning the Republican nomination for a billion reasons.So he did a classic marketing strategy. He did the Nigerian 419 scam.The Nigerian 419 strategy is to have a misspelled email from the son of some deceased Prince who needs all your bank info in order to release $20 million that he will eagerly split with you. Then he steals all of your money.

Why is the email misspelled? After decades of Nigerians sending the exact same email, why is it always mis-spelled? And, by the way, the OFFICIAL LANGUAGE OF NIGERIA IS ENGLISH.
Gabrielle Union in BETs ‘'Being Mary Jane” 

Being Mary Jane is a show that is shown on BET network. It is a show where Gabrielle Union plays the role of Mary Jane. It centres on her life…from work to romance. But another distinct thing about the show (that I like) is that it also sheds light on some of the challenges being faced by people in the black community. From harassment of young black people to stereotypes that black people are subjected to, the show addresses it all. So you can imagine my surprise and disappointment when an episode of the show was aired and the main character Mary Jane took a swipe at Nigerians in an episode (Season 3 episode 7).

Her friend in the show who was going away to Nigeria tried consoling her that they would communicate via the Internet to which she replied
“You know that is not why Nigerians use the internet…….Email scams”!

It is ironic because the show addresses the issue of stereotypes but they ended up doing the same to Nigerians.

Pres. Buhari… 

This is perhaps the most painful, as it was allegedly said by our president. He reportedly collaborated the view of most foreigners that we have a reputation for crime.

"Some Nigerians claim is that life is too difficult back home, but they have also made it difficult for Europeans and Americans to accept them because of the number of Nigerians in prisons all over the world accused of drug trafficking or human trafficking. I don't think Nigerians have anybody to blame. They can remain at home, where their services are required to rebuild the country."

Most Nigerians found his words hurtful with so many of them condemning his words, one of whom is outspoken senator, Sen Ben Bruce…..

“But why will a President go abroad to say with his own mouth that his own people have a reputation for crime?

“President @MBuhari, Nigerians are not criminals. Nigerians are honest hardworking people. #IAmANigerianNotACriminal. If you agree you are a criminal, who am I to disagree? But certainly in the case of my followers and I, he is lying!”

Despite the way the world sees us, we Nigerians are not criminals. We may have a few people tarnishing our name and reputation abroad (which society dosen’t?), but that should not take away or diminish the honesty and hard work of great Nigerians like Wole Soyinka, Ufot Ekong, Dr Opeyemi Enoch, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and a host of other wonderful Nigerians including readers of this blog.

We shouldn’t be unfairly stereotyped.

1 comment:

  1. matter how to complain n deny it, most Nigerians are dishonest


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