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So to catch up: Bayo asked me to send him $1850. Because, while under the guise of a Uganda female celebrity – let’s say Crystal Kavulu, he got stuck in Nigeria, having fallen prey to some of its numerous thieves. After I fell just short of alleging that every single Nigerian above the age of four is a pirate, drug-dealer and /or mugger and that the few who are not engaged in those professions are prostitutes-in-waiting, he began to ask, fervently, that we focus our correspondence on this money. 

Last time we spoke, I told him I had just met Straka Mwezi with $1,500. It was meant to pay for her mother’s surgery.

Bayo, in a part of Nigeria, where no qualms or conscience exist, decided that that surgery money would be perfect for stealing. 

Dear Earnest,  

please I don’t have time, tell Straka Mwezi that I promise to make all refunds back to her. Please get back to me with the WESTERN UNION informayion including the MTCN number on the reciept. 

 Regards 

“As if Crystal”

 

I was appalled. That was the old lady’s surgery money! How depraved was this guy? 

And how cunning? I unleashed what sports enthusiasts will understand as the email equivalent of an ankle-breaker double-crossover a la those of Iverson:

 

But Crystal, even you you know very well that I can’t take the money to Western Union. You also know my situation full well. Isn’t there any other way? 

Let us see what that rascal will make of that.

And in about an hour and a half, I saw what the rascal had made of that. This: 

Yes I do know your situation. Please you can send someone to help you have it sent. that’s the only solution to my problem. Please.

He changed the subject quickly back to the money before he made any slip-ups that would betray the fact that he has no idea whatso about this situation of which I spoke.

And so I decided to throw him a bone, cut the gay banter and swing the metaphorical axe such that it cleaves into the chase. I replied: 

I will ask Sylvie Owori. Let me get back to you.

Then, two hours later I emailed: 

Hooray! 

Sylvie has gone and sent the money. It should be there by now. I am so happy. You will have it any time. 

 

I then left office for the night, leaving Bayo to stew overnight.

 

 

 

The next morning there was a hulking form leaning against my desk, its brow set sternly, and its fingers rapping impatiently against the wood. It wanted to know why I had sent the money but neglected to send the question and an MTCH number. 

I don’t normally enjoy office breakfast, because the sumbis are half air and the little bits of mincemeat rattle around inside, and that is disconcerting, but this morning there were sausages, too. Delish.

I dashed off a random ten-digit figure and sent it off. 

Oh! 

The question is where you born. and the number is 3 815 984 498. Good luck. We are hoping to have you back very soon. Matembe is even worried about you. What made you go to Nigeria so soon after the wedding? I hope you are safe. 

 I should have bought some milk to go with this tea. I think I shall buy some milk powder. But guys from Vision Voice radio might hear that there is milk and launch raids on my office…

From: Nigerian scam Hq@mapikindetief@yahoo.com 

I have been to the western union location and i could not pick up the money,could you send me the full information used in sending the money,i am there waiting now.Send me the name used in sending the money and the Mtcn number again.Thank you very much. 

This was turning out to be a really good day. I imagined Bayo with a darkness over his countenance from the ego sting that came after the Western Union girls gave him suspicious looks when he went to collect money that wasn’t there. Under a girl’s name moreover.

I hope they were cute. A man can be dissed, but you don’t want to be dissed by someone you are admiring.

What? But Sylvie went there yesterday! I gave her the cash myself! $2,000! Let me call her and find out what is wrong. 

And with that, I tripped off for Lunch with the cool kids. You guys have got to get yourselves some Nigerian scammers. They do wonders for the general mood. It lifts the spirits to rarefied heights to think of them scurrying around scraping and scratching for money that only exists in your imagination.

He sent email after email requesting updates. I happily ignored them. And then after a couple of days, I finally replied. With the crushing news.

My sister! I don’t know what to do! We cannot find Sylvie anywhere at all! She has disappeared with the money!  We went to her hostel and she had even packed her things! We went to the boyfriends place and he has also vanished! The police are looking for them! Oh I don’t know what to do! 

I was so into the role as I typed that bit, that I am sure I even did the hip-slap thing they do on Ebonies shows. Like maama-nyabo! We were in a terrible situation. Not only was Crystal stuck in Nigeria, where I as if suspected that she had already been targeted by cannibals, I had just been robbed of two grand, which meant that Straka’s mum would not be able to have her operation. This was terrible news.

I guess you can’t take it all in at once. You have to pick what you are going to be worried about. And Bayo picked. His money. To be worried about:

Your mail was seen and your points noted but i still need the money,s it is now i can not wait till they find her,please find a way and send me another money,when am bck we can sort things out.Let me hear from you immediatly so i know what i am doing

But, what the…

But Iwe? What do you want me to do? I am here suffering! I have just lost two thousand pounds, moreover which I borrowed from Straka of all people!  

And to make it even worse, Sylvie has gone missing! What do you expect me to do now? Do you want me to sell your property to get the money? 

I was being sarcastic, but clearly the non-Crystal thought this might work.

Yes if it has come to that please do. I can’t stand staying here anymore. Please get back to me and don’t worry once I get back I will give you your money back.

And so as if got in touch with Nvannungi, who has always been envious of Crystal’s car. If Crystal will let me sell it… And that is where we are right now. I stopped hearing from the scammer after that. But I just sent a message from a different address offering to buy the car. Let’s see what happens.

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