Coronavirus Or Yahoo Yahoo: Which Is The Bigger Pandemic?

Partially functional, half of me is comfortable/The other half is close to the cliff like Mrs Huckstable” – J. Cole (Too Deep For The Intro)

Nowadays every young Nigerian between the ages of 16-29 knows someone who knows someone who knows someone doing Yahoo.

It’s not even up to six degrees of separation anymore.

It’s not just an elaborate network. It’s a fucking industry!!!!

Oh, y’all thought Nkem Owoh was just spitting rhymes when he said, “419 no be thief, it’s just a game, everybody dey play am?”

Families, religious leaders, business people, hackers, voiceover artists, phishers, scammers, gift card redeemers, skit makers, musicians, BDC operators, people in government, universities, workplaces etc. It’s an ecosystem.

Lots of music artists are fooled by the industry myth that you have to be young to blow. They believe they don’t have time on their hands already. Plus, many of the music artists they idolize and grew up on peddled drugs and bragged about it on songs.

To them, fraud is just like whippin crack by the stove.

After all, Jay Z came out of the crack game alive and is a billionaire nowadays. So, why not?

Plus, the Music industry is a fucking expensive industry.

You could feel the pain on Industry Diary where Erigga said, “You say make I shoot video for 2 million with Clarence, which show upcoming dey do?/How you want make we balance?”

It’s easy for DJ Khaled to say things like “start a record label, and sing yourself.” Na person wey never see food chop talk less of to afford studio session wan sign himself?

Should we talk about laundering fronts?

All the record labels? Or is it Nollywood people that produce movies in a bid to launder money?

Abi the pastors wey dey pray for protection for Yahoo boys? E.K.Gwuru!!!

What EFCC shows us is even smokes and mirrors.

The easiest thing is to blame guys like Naira Marley who are unpretentious at least and label them as bad influences.

No be every Yahoo boy dey carry dreadlocks or dye their hair or wear dirty jeans or get tattoos or wear stud!!!!

Some of the people you are twerking for wey dey barb low cut and fade dey wear suit and tie na premium Yahoo boys. As in deep tissue Yahoo!!!!

Went to a bar one time to watch football when I was living in Ibadan.

Boys choke everywhere dey design fake Wells Fargo cheques.

You have Nigerians even in war-torn countries in the Middle East running scams.

Some people wey dey go school for Cyprus and China sef dey read part-time dey pick full-time.

People move to the abroad or other African countries when picking gets harder here. Abi how the Wells Fargo credit card go work if your guy no get connect for Yankee?

Tech people sef. Web designers. Graphic designers. Red Hat. Black Hat. White Hat. All of them na Yahoo red cap chief. There’s almost no line to blur things anymore.

Even bank staff that release sensitive information to these guys. Attend any bank’s graduate training school and you’ll hear stories.

Yahoo Yahoo even has an apprenticeship system.

Well-to-do people run production lines by picking up young guys and gifting them laptops and Internet data while feeding them and taking care of some of their basic expenses.

In exchange, they collect percentages whenever these guys pick. E be like record label and royalties.

You even have relationships/marriages that are Yahoo Yahoo partnerships.

The husband/boyfriend is the scammer and the wife/girlfriend is the voiceover artist.

You see 15, 16 year olds holding JAMB past questions on one hand, while replying client with the other.

When I moved into where my apartment newly, I introduced myself as a writer to my neighbors who asked what I did for a living.

I don’t even blame them for their skepticism when they come back late at night and see me through my window pressing laptop. Them no dey write Yahoo for face naa 🤷‍♀️

The Vice Principal Admin of the FGC I attended had a favorite saying he always quoted whenever he wanted to announce Friday Labour.

“There is dignity in labour.”

But how can Bro Jide who earns 40k working at GTB while wearing one suit, tie and one shoe tell his friends doing Yahoo that are calling him to hang out at Elegushi during the weekend that there is dignity in labour?

It’s okay to live in denial and act like we haven’t seen any of these things. After all, ignorance is bliss.

The same way women on here say all men know someone or have a friend who has sexually assaulted a woman before and they did nothing about it and we keep denying it is how we will keep denying this Yahoo matter.

And it’s also time we dead the Yahoo Boy narrative. Girls sef na fraudsters too.

I’m black. I’m Igbo. I’m Ebonyi. I’m in the minority of minorities. And so I understand how easy it is to judge people by stereotypes.

It’s easy to say not all Nigerians are fraudsters until you know someone whose entire savings has been wiped by a supposed Nigerian Prince. That’s when you might probably understand.

Even local Yahoo dey. There are black magas too. No be only white people dem dey scam.

As a country, we are currently battling the coronavirus pandemic while battling with an unending governance pandemic.

My biggest prayer is just in case we manage to fix our governance after defeating Corona, make Yahoo Yahoo pandemic no chop us by then.

Because? E. B. Things!

People say things like “It’s not fraud, we are only taking back what they stole from our ancestors”

The same way the African American community used survival to justify selling drugs to each other.

Look at how much it destroyed them. Na fraud go kill us like this!

‘Taking back what they took from your ancestors’ but you don’t only scam white people, you also defraud African Americans and people of other ethnicities too 🤡

Uche Okoro

Writer. Sales & Marketing. Business & Investing Afficionado.

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