All Nigerians Are 419 Scammers

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I bet the title caught your attention. It would catch any Nigerian’s attention. We as Nigerians officially have our very own negative stereotype. Just like all Arabs are potential terrorists, and all Mexicans are illegal immigrants that live with their whole extended family in one bedroom, and work for less than $5 a day, all Nigerians are now scammers.

It’s a very sad portrayal of the citizens of a country that has the most educated group of people in the United States, and boasts to be the giant of Africa. The sad reality is that although there is a lot to brag about in Nigeria, and we have citizens that are outstanding in every aspect of life, we’ve been categorized as a bunch of scammers and con folks that are all about 419 on the internet. In every major city in the US, and in most of the western world, when you count the top 10 professionals in any major professional industry, you are bound to find a Nigerian’s name somewhere on that list. From schools, to the work environment, Nigerians are excelling in all that they do. So why does the media use a few bad eggs to categorize a whole country of about 150 million people?

A couple of years ago, after ABC ran their special on 419 scams in Nigeria, Oprah on her show mentioned something to the effect of being careful around Nigerians, because we are all scammers. I mean, someone as exposed as Oprah, should not be making such ignorant statements, but hey… we all vex for about 10 mins, and continued with life.

A couple of weeks ago, the movie District 9 came out, and although I haven’t seen the movie, I’ve heard enough about the gang of Nigerian 419 scammers with their leader named, Obasanjo. Yeah… I don’t think I need to watch the movie to get irritated. I was going to watch it, but I decided that I wont give my $10 to support a movie that potrays my ex-president and the nation as a whole a bunch of scammers. I’ll bootleg it, or wait till it comes on TBS.

Today, a friend of mine sent me a link to a PS3 commercial that threw in another random reference to Nigerian 419 scamming. The line was “YOU CAN’T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU HEAR ON THE INTERNET OR I’LL BE A NIGERIAN MILLIONAIRE BY NOW.” I’m sure that video will be floating all over the internet for the next couple of days. This one in particular really upset, because I know the number of Nigerians(including myself) that have had Sony Playstations the day they came out, and the number that will go buy more in the future. It’s kind of sad that Sony would have to stoop that low for a advertising gimic. Here is the video clip for those that want to see:

Now let’s flip the mirror. We as Nigerians don’t help our cause in trying to dispute this stereotype. When the song of the year for 2007 is “Yahoozee!,” and “I go chop your dollar” was everyone’s favorite song, and “Maga don pay” is danced to at every club, and naija party, we really don’t help our cause. I’m not saying that these artists are to blame, cos I must admit the songs are very catchy, and I love them too, but all I’m saying is that when you’re on the outside looking in, and you see a group of people singing “Maga don pay!!!… Shout Alleliua!!” it doesn’t really look like we have a problem with 419. Heck, it looks like we celebrate it, and encourage it. Imagine telling your British friend what the meaning of the song is, and trying to explain to him or her why everyone in the club is dancing to it, and popping champagne. Yeah…Most of us wont find it very easy to explain. So how can we really vex when someone says Nigerians are 419 scammers. We celebrate something and get annoyed when someone else makes a statement referring to the same thing we celebrate. All I’m trying to say is that, some of the blame falls on us and we have to start correcting that.

Scamming is not something that started in Nigeria, and we’re not the only country that has scam artists. If you want the truth, a recent study showed that Nigeria is actually not the country where most scams come from. The United states is number 1, followed by the UK, and then Nigeria is number 3. I know I was surprised when I saw it too…lol. I personally believe that this stereotype goes beyond the fact the Nigeria has a high scam rate. There is a slight tint of racial prejudice to it, and a tint of “I can’t believe these N***ers have been scamming us for so long” also. Let’s face it, the typical oyimbo man wouldn’t expect a black person to outsmart him in anything… even in a crime like scamming, and the “Nigerian scammers” have been doing it since the 90s.

So as I conclude one of the most random posts I’ve ever done on jaguda (Ironically I was writing my 10 things I love about naija series), I’d like everyone to take a min to sign an online petition to have SONY remove their PS3 ad (Click Here), and the next time you are dancing and partying to “Yahoo…uh oh”… or “I go chop your dollar,” think about the image you are potraying to others.It is not necessarily what you want to see being spit back at you.

25 COMMENTS

  1. Calculate the Madoff & Enron LOOT & then develope the balls of steel to talk about Nigeria! Heck yea we gon be "moeting" & "champagning" to Yahoozee, Maga Don Pay & I Go Chop Your Dollar coz they've been corporately robbing us for a long time, its about time we get our loot back by hook or crook, screw all this nonsense they be putting out there abt Nigeria…REMOVE THE LOG IN YOUR EYE BEFORE THE speck IN ANOTHER MAN'S EYE!

  2. I have signed the petition. I wasnt aware of the ad nor the District 9 character. I wont be supporting either.

    What is the meaning of the songs "Yahoozee!" , "I go chop your dollar", and "Maga don pay" ?

  3. Me sees nothing wrong with wetin Sony do o! It's a joke. Grow up! There are better things to put up petitions for. If you need help with things to petition for, I'll gladly start the long list.

    • Ohh really, you did not see anything wrong with what sony did? how about you grow up and stop playing your freaking PS3, so that then you will be able to see that that was defamation of character to the citizens of Nigeria. hiss!!! Someone who has never met a Nigerian or heard about Nigeria and sees that ad, what would they think…better start seeing something wrong!

      • FYI I don't play PS3 but the ad won't stop me from patronizing them.

        Speaking of "defamation of character", 419 is BAD no matter who says it and WE Nigerians are known for it. Who in this entire world with an email address has not received a 419 email from Nigeria? In fact if I were Samsung, I'll bring up an ad someone in Nigeria is kidnapped for cell phone minutes (it happens in Nigeria). The joke is valid and therefore funny. Not funny to some though. The bottom line is that we need to fix our country and stop paying attention to TV ads or movies people make to make money.

        • @windows

          That u will continue to patronise them is y they wont respect you.

          The bottom line is Naija shouldnt be disrespected.

          • I don't feel disrespected in any way and that does not make me less unpatriotic than those calling for a Sony boycott. For as long as their products satisfy my needs, I'll keep buying them. We Nigerians should respect ourselves before we demand "respect" from anyone.

            Notice how most Nigerians (and their friends) have either seen or heard about this ad that was aired in a couple of channels in the US. Controversy actually sells.

        • wait a minute…did you just try to make a joke about kidnapping? As If Nigeria is the only country were kidnapping happens. is it just not in recent years that kidnapping began to occur at this rate, due to the MEND people trying to make a point about their cause? Listen the SONY joke would have been funny it had not represented an entire country as people who are linked to scams. I have never and would never send someone an email that has to deal with claiming some riches out there. So Yes I do take offense as a hard working Niegrian living broad, paying my freaking taxes, investing in this shitty economy. So any body Sony or who ever who tries to make my chances in an field, be it job opputunities, or even loan opputunities form banks or other insitutions harder, needs the attention of me and whoeever else is flustered by that ad. I am not calling for a boy cot, but an apology from Sony and a retraction of that ad, as it is disrespectful. To me and to other TRUSTWORTHY, HARDWORKING, and TRUE Nigerians out there.

          My two cents. I am done with this ish.

          • I guess I'm not "TRUSTWORTHY, HARDWORKING, and TRUE Nigerian" enough to find it disrespectful.

          • Na wa ooo… Una dey vex oo…lol.

            I agree with both of you guys to a certain extent… As much as it was disrespectful from Sony's angle… or at least a cheap attempt at being funny, we as Nigerians need to do better and stop supporting 419 or being passive about it… At the end of the day 1 bad egg if left to rot can ruin a whole basket of eggs, and that's just the reality of things.

          • Why is it OK to dance to "Yahoozie" and "I go chop your dollar" but not OK when Sony makes a 30 second ad?

  4. @ Windows. My point exactly… we need to stop that rubbish…. SONY isn't 100% to blame in this scenario

    • Really? So would it be cool for a company in Nigeria to make an ad saying if you believe whatever you see abi hear, you wld be as rich as an American Investment Manager (aka Madoff)?

  5. You guys are damn crazy for calling ALL Nigerians "Scammers" and get it into your heads that you guys are the reason for the ones into this dirty game and you cant deny that its a game you made them play!. Im a Nigeria and i proud of that. and guess what? people like me are coming up to erase all this bad names you have given to NIGERIAN and know this " YOU CAN'T RAILROLL US LIKE YOU RAILROLLED OTHERS INTO DIRTY GAMES" I AM EVERGREEN AND THAT IS THE TRUE MEANING OF NIGERIA . just wait!

    • O boy abi na o girl which one you dey? Your response poses so many questions that need answers. First of all where you say you from sef? Did you read this article at all? Who are you referring to as "you guys"?

  6. They changed the commercial ooo!! LOL! I saw it again today…it's now "…Don't believe everything you hear on the internet, that's how world war 1 started…" LOL!

    Mcheeew, ndi anu mpama..why wouldn't they change it, egwu a daghi tu fa. lol

  7. They changed the commercial! I saw it today lol! It's now "…don't believe everything you hear on the internet, that's how world war 1 started…" LOL!

    mcheeew, ndi anu mpama..why wouldn't they change it..egwu a daghi a tu fa..nonsense

    lol

  8. "The Federal Government has condemned a recent advertisement on the Internet, which it said was damaging to Nigeria’s image"

    "The Federal Government said Sony Corporation should immediately withdraw the advertisement from circulation an…d tender an apology to Nigeria for the negative campaign."

    LOL! Sony Playstation no dey fear?? lol Who wan try Naija F.G.?? lol

    ndi anu mpama mcheew*

    See the link to the news article here!
    http://odili.net/news/source/2009/sep/8/504.html

    • Perhaps if Nigerian Law-makers in the National Assembly begin to honestly look at revisions and harsher penalties within the context of Chapter 38 (part 419, Sub-sections 419A-B) the Nigerian "Image" throughout the world would improve. The language in 419 (as it stands today) is weak and obviously caters to the "Scammers."

      " The offender cannot be arrested without warrant unless found committing the offence."

      • The Nigerian Lawmakers will only begin to think about the welfare of Nigeria and Nigerians if Nigerians can oust them thru the ballot. For as long as that isn't the case, it's not about to happen anytime soon. We should all work together for a Plan-B to get our country back.

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