Friday, March 27, 2009

Do You Know Your Brand?

If someobody calls your father a thief, what will you do?

I am usually appalled by the level of naivety displayed by Nigerians when this issue of Scam or 419 is mentioned. I will advise us all to do a search (Google/Yahoo/MSN etc) for the top 200 scammers in the world today and I can assure you there is not a single Nigerian in the lot. In fact, MSN brought out a list of scammers recently with their pictures and profiles and there was not a single Nigerian in the top 20! In fact, the top American in the list agreed to pay back taxes on his loot to avoid going to jail. There were Russians, Serbians, Turks -mostly Eastern Europeans on the list.

I will not try to absolve some of our countrymen who still indulge in this nefarious pastime (we are 140 million for God's sake) but with the efforts of the past and the level of awareness amongst the populace, it is a largely passing/passed fad. It is not as it used to be. Mugu don wise. Guyman sef don born again. We do know that most of those emails and letters still circulating on the web do not originate from Nigeria anymore. From the way the English is structured, you can guess where they are from.

Besides, anyone who still believes that there is a 'HRH Miriam Abacha' with a $20 billion stash looking for a foreign account to keep it must need serious help or might even be beyond help. Where have you been living for the past 15 years? Under a rock?

We need to understand that those who use the number '419' to describe fraud are usually Nigerians themselves. The number is actually the section of the Nigerian Criminal Code that deals with Advanced Fee Fraud. Now, that law was meant to protect Nigerians from foreigners who were all over us particularly in the 70s during the Oil Boom when we had so much money, our problem was how to spend it.

When people -like Oprah- call Nigerians scammers or call Nigeria the land of scams, it is meant to be an insult! DO NOT CONDONE IT. Take it as an insult and deal with it as such. Demand an apology.

I have no apologies for being a Nigerian. It is difficult enough being one without you telling me how stupid you were to fall for an anonymous email. Do you want me to tell you how my Uncle was swindled in 1974 by a white boy who said he was the son of John F. Kennedy?


Exactly. Gerrout of my face!

Last time I checked, Bernie Maddoff is not a Nigerian.


My World said...

well said.nimmo....
I am sa proud as you to be a nigerian...

JustDB said...

wow.. thanks for sharing... must confess I'd just accepted the 'stats' as true rather than do any independent digging of mine.

bumight said...

true talk. now, we just accept that every scam email is nigerian.

Anonymous said...

Very well written. You know the funny thing, most times we (unconsciously) brand (& or qualify) ourselves wrongly then, for the better part of the time we go on campaign trails to re-brand ourselves.

What means i? Once read an article and i commented, "the tirades of an angry woman." Guess what the writer responded, "....a black angry woman." Comm'n, does 'woman' not qualify you enough? Why go the hog to say 'black', how does that qualify you better?

We now later to say we want to 'liberate' the 'black'; forgetting that we (unconsciously) put ourselves in the 'presumed' bondage.

Let us all live with the thots of Martin Luther King Jnr (i presume) " be judged by the content of our mind than the colour of our skin."

Kafo said...

very true
so true

thank you very much for this

Just...Toluwa said...

First time am reading this point of view. Well thought and written!

Shubby Doo said...

God bless u for writing this. Years ago when I was doing my MSc, there was an international survey done to show which country was corrupt/ripe with bribery. Guess we country came top...greece. All my greek friends in class cheered (some even clapped) as they openly admitted that it was a way of life.

Since then when oyinbo people open their mouths to bad mouth nigeria... I shut it for them!

Shubby Doo said...

@bumight - Every email scam is not nigerian o!...please don't even get me started on the russian or Ukrainian ones

NoLimit said...

Well said N.I.M.M.O...I'm a naija girl and I'm proud to be one...if you dis my country, I'll dis yours right back!!!period!

ablackjamesbond said...

Well said.

N.I.M.M.O said...

@ALL: Wow! When was the last time I had 10 whole comments to a post? You guys must really be feeling this issue.

I believe that as Nigerians, we just need to take charge of our identity and our destiny. To stop other people defining for us who we are and what we can do or cannot do.

Truth is, if we don't, people will do it for us and we will continue to grapple with 'a name that our father did not give us'. We will be so busy branding and re-branding and re-re-branding that we won't have time to do anything else.

Many thanx y'all!

N.I.M.M.O said...

@rethots: You bring a kinda new perspective to this discussion particularly reading through your comments in previous posts too.

It gives me an idea for another post.

Recent Comments