When we speak of Yahoo Boys, shouldn’t we be referring to Jerry Yang and David Filo, who are the founders of the multi-million dollar Yahoo platform we use for mailing (and many other internet activities) today? These men whose ages were 27 and 29 as of the year of establishment have grown to become some of the most influential people in the world today. Isn’t it such an irony that the ages these innovators launched their project on the internet, is also about the age African youths must have become deeply rooted in using the same internet to defraud people? Well, they are mostly called G-boys now. Would the ‘G’ mean Gmail? Or is the spelling ‘Gi’ as in wake? I am clueless.
For prospective G-boys and the general public, let me enlighten you. You do not need intelect, strategy, Bitcoin wallet nor a USA paypal account to earn a living through internet fraud. Low self esteem, poverty, hopelessness, laziness and hard – heartedness, are just the needed skill-set. Oh! You might need some unclean dread locks too.
To be realistic is to say the country has failed economically. There is little point telling you what you already know, but a remindal is important for the fanatic, myopic and those suffering from memory loss. A majority of our active population (ages 18 – 65) are inactive. The country is powerless, as we work about without electricity and run our affairs darkness. The refining industry seems to be in perpetual comatose, as our natural resources are being carted away by more serious countries. The naira prostrates for the dollar every morning. After spending 2000 years on earth, we can not boast of three decent meals a day. We have gone mad.
What does the Nigerian young man do to survive in such a harsh economic and political atmosphere? Get a job? Haven’t you seen the long queues at Nigerian Brewries ‘Apptitude Test’ at UNILAG; a gathering that has come to become a social affair for bumping into primary school mates and church members? Or you have not noticed how youths fall prey to desperate multi-level marketing nuisances and kidnappers posing as recuitment agencies? Oh, a N50,000 job at that Ikeja ICT firm, whose owner will frustrate and humilate you before (s)he owes you for months.
All of these (challenges) makes you think, youths become internet fraudsters so they can earn a living, cater for their family, acquire assets (landed and intellectual) and help others out of poverty. It is unfortunate to see what their ‘cash-outs’ are spent on. At the stop of the traffic light, a skinny, vulture-like structure, in sagging jeans and smelly under-shirts pulls up beside you in a sharp halt in his 12 million naira Mercedes sport car! His breath oozes of last night’s booze. The hair on his head reminds you of Achebe’s ‘Things Fall Apart’. The deeply rooted darkish-brown strides on the armtpit likwise, manufactures a stench only a cardinal bishop can cure you from. He owns an iPhone 8, and the latest Samsung Galaxy. MTN would save cost recruiting him to paint their building, for his teeth will paint a thousand buildings and still retain their (yellowish) colour. In his company are fellow low-life brethrens who are either his colleagues or apprentices, and prostitutes whose eye-lashes are long enough to give shelter to a neighbour in the rain. The music is loud, the partying and twerking is wild, the zombie behind the stirring is speeding at 130 km/hr.
…to their subconscience, they feel rich and in town. Things have gotten better, and they will never know poverty again. Taaarrrrh! Unknown to them, they bathe in the stream of abject poverty and ignorance. Their graph of stupidity nullies the law of dimishing return. Nothing has changed, but poverty recycled. A boy used to riches and confort from a small age will not be an internet fraudster no matter how bad things get. If he does, exotic cars nor drinks will be his core priorities, as they have been a part of him ab initio.
There is no justification in defrauding people and making life unbearable for the next man. There is no justification for professing fake love all in the name of ‘tashere’ bitcoin or iTunes cards. There is no joy in bring down companies or tearing families apart because you want to buy a Mercedes Benz or a fairly used Crosstour. If it be a job or an enterprise, search deep into your creativity, come up with a legitimate means of livelihood, and enjoy the dignity in labour. There is a glimmer of light ahead.