Sufficiently Formal

Akunna stared at the laptop. It was a good one, a Dell he’d gotten from the Kenyan. He thumbed his phrasebook, scratched his head.

“Come give me your opinion,” he said to Chimaobi.

“I know you will be surprised at the tone of my letter to you, as I wish to send you greetings and tell you of a surprising new business relationship that is a singular opportunity of your life,”  Chimaobi read from the screen.

“Is it sufficiently formal?” asked Akunna. “The sender needs to seem a man of great importance. A banker, perhaps.”

“I am not sure,” said Chimoabi. “I have never been in a bank.”

Kwento came back to the table holding a game board. “Come on, Chimo. Let’s play some Ayo.”

“What do you think, Kwento?” asked Akunna.

“It should be once in a lifetime opportunity, fool,” he said. “That is how bankers talk.”


What Pegman Saw

Many undergraduates in Nigerian universities dabble in internet fraud. Nicknamed “Yahoo Boys” (pronounced Ya-oo), scamming has become a way of life for the young con-artists. The Nigerian Prince scam is seen as a crude, low-return scheme by the more experienced practitioners. They have moved on to far more sophisticated cons that employ online dating, nanny services,  phishing, social media fraud and a host of other practices. 

The once-ubiquitous Internet Cafe is fast disappearing from Nigeria as wireless broadband makes cyberspace more accessible to everyone, including these fraudsters.