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 My trip to Nigeria

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whatsthatcomingoverthehil
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 11:47 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

hi all,

I used to visit this site a lot more frequently a few years ago and haven't posted in a long time but I was compelled to post again to share my thoughts after a recent business trip to Lagos.

As cities go its a bit of a dive, shabby buildings, bad roads (and drivers!), the tell tales signs of extreme poverty all around. One of the saddest sights I have ever seen was the thousands upon thousands of shacks built on stilts along the banks of the river visible for mile after mile as we travelled down the victoria highway. Colourfully dressed people carry boxes of all kinds of produce, darting in and out of traffic trying to sell their goods to the motorists braving the gridlock of Lagos's infamous rush hour traffic. This really isn't the kind of place you would be likely to visit as a tourist.

As it was I spent pretty much all of my time there inside the hotel compound or in "safe" work environments, but the impression I got of the Nigerians I got to meet was very favourable, very friendly, and very hard working (though their attitude to electrical safety left a lot to be desired). The Nigerian culture is all about 2 things as far as I could see, worship of Jesus and worship of wealth. The people in and around Lagos are for the most part very strongly christian, I happened to be there over easter sunday and the entire city pretty much shut down. The wealth aspect is all about the more wealth you have the bigger a man you are, and the more flamboyant the display of "expensive shit", the more respect you get from your peers. Our host over there, a particularly wealthy and well connected man, bought into this ideal with various displays of extravagance.For example one night, after finding out we all liked wine, he drove mself and a colleague to the house of a wine importer where we spent a very pleasant evening listening to jazz and sampling some very nice reds, as we left he insisted on buying a couple of cases of red for us and our party. He even stopped on the way back to wind up the police at a check point to show us how well connected he is. To be fair though, he also extended this generosity to the less well off, giving away mountain bikes and other such gifts to slum kids at a charity event, whether this was for publicity or a genuine display of altruism I guess we will never know.

The reason for this I think is down to corruption, because serious money can buy you serious power and influence, money becomes everything. I realise this happens too in the west but at least here its all done behind closed doors, out there its much more open and everyone knows the score. Its such a shame as Nigeria is hugely oil rich but the rich-poor divide is huge and will never change while people can buy influence so easily.

I'm going to cut this short here because I don't really kno where I'm going with this. The trip which was my first to Africa did give me a much clearer idea of what life is like in the places many scammers come from and it did make me think long and hard about how I feel about scambaiting. I do still think the people who fight the scammers are doing a lot of good, and given a bit more free time and the inclination I would bait again. However its easy to forget sometimes that there are real people on the end of the emails we send, we might treat it as a bit of a game but to them its real life, with real consequences. I don't for one second condone what they do but I do feel I understand a little more about the world they live in.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:26 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Interesting and useful, thank you.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:19 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Thanks for sharing, whatsthatcomingoverthehil. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 7:33 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Quote:
the more flamboyant the display of "expensive shit", the more respect you get from your peers.


nigerians invented hip hop culture? Very Happy

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 10:25 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I was brought up in East Africa and to be honest don't expect this sort of behaviour with all Africans.
NAtive East Africans are just as christian and charitable but tend not to flash wealth,
Home, family and good food are more important, as well as the number of cows/goats you have.
(Native/black) South Africans have been a little more influenced by wealthy whites and do tend to want the same crap that the majority of westerners do (including stuff that doesn't belong to them)
Big house + BMW + bling + servants
West africans do seem to go the whole hog and presumably would do anything to achive it going by what I've read on these forums.

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Raga Man
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 10:36 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Interesting observations, whatsthatcomingoverthehil. Thanks for the insight.

What a contrast to the redneck culture of the United States. Your status as a big-time "Bubba" is defined not by how much expensive, flamboyant stuff you have but by how many rusting car bodies, old washing machines, and other weird crap you have in your front yard - like this doorbell:

Image

I like the Nigerian style better. At least it's easier on the eyes.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 10:44 am Reply with quoteBack to top

whatsthatcomingoverthehil wrote:
However its easy to forget sometimes that there are real people on the end of the emails we send, we might treat it as a bit of a game but to them its real life, with real consequences.

Their victims are real people too, and suffer more severe consequences.
I got into baiting for the entertainment value only. I'd read several baits and thought "I can do that". Now my main motivation is to do what I can to disrupt the activities of very nasty criminals.

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you dont have a phone.that makes makes you joe butt. Fuck you and go find something to do man. Stop disturbing me please.
This is definitely why you will remain and die in poverty, ignorant of good things and easy acknowledgment of bad things and words. Shame on you, you wicked generation children.
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buried under 419 emails
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 11:55 am Reply with quoteBack to top

"However its easy to forget sometimes that there are real people on the end of the emails we send, we might treat it as a bit of a game but to them its real life, with real consequences. I don't for one second condone what they do but I do feel I understand a little more about the world they live in."

A very small minority of Nigerians send 419 the emails. Another view is that the senders of these emails are also help shape a negative opinion of Nigeria. Something all Nigerians have to deal with, no matter how honest they are.

Also from what I have learned over the years is that the senders of the emails more often they are involved with larger syndicates that are involved other criminal activities,..

I have met few Nigerians and 419 and other scams are a sore spot with them. The slightest mention can cause them to go in a rage..

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 2:16 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Thanks for sharing your trip!

I can understand your last point but just as a lot of westerners lump all Nigerians as scammers I think you are lumping all of the nice people you meet as targets for our baiting. I doubt you were hanging out with yahoo boys on your trip. It is very true there are a lot of good people in Nigeria but those are not the people we are baiting. I also first started baiting purely for entertainment but now I see the destruction these criminals wreak on their victims. They ruin people's lives. They do not just focus on what they perceive to be the wealthy westerners. They scam fellow countrymen and people from third world countries as well not just the "rich".

I show the lads the same mercy they show to their victims.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 2:53 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Quote:
Their victims are real people too, and suffer more severe consequences.
I got into baiting for the entertainment value only. I'd read several baits and thought "I can do that". Now my main motivation is to do what I can to disrupt the activities of very nasty criminals.


This....

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TripleG
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 3:21 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

interesting insights! I found a nice book about 419ers:

I Do Not Come to You by Chance by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani
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windypops
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 3:25 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Very interesting look at Lagos today. My sister lived in Lagos for six months in the mid seventies. She told me she saw a pickpocket nearly hacked to death in the street by an angry mob when he was caught. Later, the same people were lionising a well known corrupt local official who ran all the rackets, when he passed through.

She said they have this big man culture, where making a lot of money by whatever means is acceptable as long as it involves some kind of ingenuity.

They had a lot of small time street card scams going on then. Find the lady (or three card monte as it's known by magicians) was common. They knew it was a sleight-of-hand scam, but couldn't figure it out and were quite happy to lose small amounts of money. But if the performer fluffed the routine and revealed how it worked, he'd likely as not get a bloody good hiding. Not because they had lost money, but because they had been made fools of.

When it comes to lads I've had all sorts. Some are hardened, nasty venal criminals that deserve everything they get. At other times, I'll admit I feel like I'm kicking a puppy. They are so inept and incompetent and are clearly scamming because they are so desperate, they feel that's the only option left open to them.

Hay ho. Confused

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Last edited by windypops on Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:06 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:00 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

This culture of gaining wealth by racketeering and craftiness ties in with why armed robbers are held in such low regard (especially when wished upon a lad's mother). It's the antithesis of the ideal - wealth by brute force and violence vs cunning and intelligence.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 2:31 am Reply with quoteBack to top

TripleG wrote:
interesting insights! I found a nice book about 419ers:

I Do Not Come to You by Chance by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani


Thanks for the heads up.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 4:37 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Sleepless has been back and forth to Nigeria (Lagos, Enugu state, and a few other places too) and mentioned that goat apparently is good food there and the fun and whatnot she had there. Apparently you can lose weight from it being so hot.

EDIT: Yeah you can why they would scam but don't denounce the entire country of being scammers. When I first started baiting I thought it was for fun and then I started reading stories about how vicious these less than human scumbags will go to get a quick dollar and decided that if I can keep as many away from a victim for a long period of time that it would be beneficial in the long run.

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