In my capacity as the current sitting Ernest Bazanye, Fresh Prince of the Showbiz Press, I often find myself in the company of glamorous and talented people. I hope you don’t hate me for this. I assure you that even though I be rolling wit da stars like dat, I remain very down to earth and will never forget my roots. In fact I spend a lot of time in those roots. Even though I spend that time name-dropping.
Some of the celebrities I meet are insufferably vain and odious. Others are just normal people who happen to sing or dance or act or deejay or TV-present very well and can be pleasant and affable people when you meet them at a cocktail event sponsored by a beer or phone company.
Some of them turn out to be so nice that they will send you spiralling to depths of gut-churning guilt because of all the mean things you said about them in your newspaper articles. Or your blogs. Like Doreen Kayongo and Melanie, just to mention two.
I truly believe that no one in the business of entertaining the public is above criticism, but I really feel bad about saying those things about Doreen Kayongo and I am so so so sorry. So sorry. I like you.
There are some, though, who we can all respect and admire for the ass they kick, such as the celebrity in this story. Even though we are not bossom buddies and I am not likely to be a part of her wedding entourage, we are acquainted well enough: I am a big fan and she doesn’t find me repulsive. No, I am not going to tell you who she is. What about. Let’s say she is, um… Karitas.
No, it is NOT Karitas, that is why I am saying it is. If it was Karitas, I would say it is someone else. Like Marcus Kiryowa or someone. Go face.
On the 13th of October I received the email below:
How are you? Hope everything is ok? I just want to know if you can be of help to me.Something terrible happened to me on a trip i just made to Nigeria. I was robbed of all my belongings at the hotel i planned to stay in and i also lost my cell during the incident which makes it impossible for me to reach out to people at home. I have spoken to the Embassy andthey are not responding to the matter effectively.
Please i need you to lend me about $1850,you can help me have it sent via
Western Union Money Transfer so i can re-arrange myself and return back home. I will surely refund the money back to you once i get back. Below is the information you might require in sending me some money.
Name: Karitas Karisimbi
Please, kindly let me know if you can be of assistance as I’m seriously in need of your help. Thanks and waiting to hear from you
Regards Karitas Karisimbi.
Most of you can see instantly that that this is nothing but a load of Nigerian 419 scamsterism. It makes no sense. First of all, anybody who knows me well enough to borrow money from me knows me well enough to realise that I have never even been in the same philosophical region as $1,850 ever, and so, if they were stuck in Nigeria, they would ask me to send prayers to God, not send money to Western Union.
At the very least, they would ask me to call Steve Jean for them. Steve is rich. Steve knows what $1,850 looks like. He probably has $1,850 in his sock right now.
For those of you not acquainted with 419, it is the legal code in Nigeria for emails that lie to people and con cash out of them. Usually the scammers claim to be Foday Sankoh’s nephew and want to give you 45 million dollars in exchange for your bank account number, but this scam is different. They hack into your email address, then send messages out to everyone in your address book, claiming to be you, trapped in hellish, perfidious, treacherous Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt or Kamwokya and in dire need of fast cash to purchase an escape.
It is people like these that give Nigerians a bad name. People like these and Bayo.
Have you, my dear readers, ever met a Nigerian? One thing about them is that they hate the generalisation (and I do realise that I just generalised). The idea that Nigerians are thieves must be as offensive as, well, being instantly associated with Idi Amin once you identify yourself as a Ugandan.
So, with this in mind, I responded to the email.
From: Ernest Bazanye <EBazanye@newvision.co.ug>
Subject: Re: Urgent Response Needed
Date: Tuesday, 14 October, 2008, 12:20 PM
Oh my gosh. Karitas, my sister! You are stuck in Nigeria! That is terrible!
I hear that Nigerians are merciless thieves and that the place is very insecure. I don’t even know what made you go there, to a country of criminals. Nigerians are nothing but crooks. No wonder they stole all your belongings.
I hope you are okay. Sit tight and don’t worry. I am going to call Amos Nzeyi and I will have that money ready in a few hours. You know he owes me cash, anyway. In the meantime, don’t trust anybody you meet there. Let me get on right now.
And because blog posts are never ever ever supposed to go above 1000 words, I’ll take a commercial break now. Oh, yes, he replied…