The Nigerian Prince

Know Thyself....And The Personalised Economy

Few weeks ago, a friend of mine reached out to me about a job he almost got but was rejected when the client found out he is a Nigerian. David was frustrated mainly because he worked so hard to get the client only to lose it because 'he is a Nigerian!'. As funny as it sounds, that's the reality on ground - honest, young and hardworking Nigerians are seen as fraudsters because of what a few have done and are still doing to taint the image of the good ones.

"The Nigerian Prince"

The Nigerian prince first went global in the 1980s during Shehu Shagari’s (a former Nigerian president) administration when he failed to properly tackle high levels of unemployment and poverty, stemming from the economic crisis as a result of declining oil prices. West African fraudsters began snail-mailing scam letters around the world. Today, it seems more like a punchline than a real threat, but the Nigerian prince still gets paid: in 2018, the con brought in more than $700,000 from Americans alone.

According to an online publication by AARP, It was one of the first cons to flourish on the internet, the “Nigerian prince” scam, also known as the “419” scam (named for the section of Nigeria’s criminal code dealing with fraud), has an ignominious history that long predates the digital age. Its roots go back to a notorious 19th-century swindle called the “Spanish Prisoner,” and the method of attack has progressed from letters and faxes to emails and social media.

What hasn’t changed is the premise: The scammer poses as a person of wealth and position who needs to get a huge sum of money out of their country and urgently requests your assistance, in return for a sizable share of the treasure... And when they get it, that's the end, you will never hear from them again - You've officially been chopped and screwed! - AARP Today it's more than that. It's no longer "The Nigerian Prince" it's a full blown financial scams on different Levels, all perpetrated using different social apps, dating sites or even available hacking tools. This is a widely practiced act among some Nigerian youths - extorting money from individuals and businesses all over the world. They are popularly called "Yahoo boys". This has been a trending topic on the web for a while now. It's so bad that an honest Nigerian would easily be passed for a scammer.... Making it difficult for a hardworking Nigerian to link up with a foreigner without the later not watching his or her back. But here is the truth, there are more honest and hardworking Nigerians than the fraudsters - These sets of Nigerians refused to take the path of "The Nigerian Prince" but Princes in technological innovations from Information technology to blockchain technology and we are changing the world with our mental capability because man? we are good!

Nigerians are amazing, honest, hardworking, intelligent, goal oriented, focused and high achievers. Today young Nigerians are either building technologies that are changing the world or making headlines in the musical and movie industries. We don't scam to make money we create solutions using technology and our talent to make honest living. One of our own, Philip Emeagwali is well recognised around the world for his use of a Connection Machine Supercomputer to help analyze petroleum fields. This takes me back to the theme "Know thyself and the personalised economy".. Dating back to an ancient Greek inscription, the injunction to 'know thyself' has encouraged people to engage in a search for self-understanding. Knowledge of oneself is power.

My Take

The journey to self knowledge is one that every great mind must under take because your purpose as a living being depends on that. We are all created unique with certain capabilities that are nonexistent in the life of others and that's where our strength lies. To make life journey a successful one, you must live within your purpose so life wouldn't be a journey of stress and despair but a journey of fulfillment and joy. The question is, who are you? What are you built for? As a young Nigerian i am taken to helping people find happiness by: achieving their goals and aspirations, making them better than they were and helping them improve on their strengths. My believe is, by helping people you build a community of trust, kindness and loyalty all around you. All these cannot be bought.

I am proudly Nigerian and i have built great relationships with people all around the world. A friend - an American once entrusted $10,000 to me for a project we were going to work on. The first thing i said to myself was "Yes, Nigerians can be trusted!".... Stop stereotyping Nigerians as fraudsters. Like every other countries in the world we have the good and the bad. Give any Nigerian you meet a chance to be true to you. Don't judge from a distance. To know thyself you must be willing to extend grace to people of different background just as you would do to yourself. Like the saying goes "treat others the way you want to be treated".

Your personalised economy is the value you create from self knowledge. Knowing oneself is great and powerful but what is knowledge without usage? Why are you a developer if you can't create(develop) something? There are two stages to success:

  1. Knowing yourself and what you are capable of.

  2. Using the knowledge to create value.

Your wealth is within your 'know how'.

And here is a tip for organisations, 'Know your customers to be able to deliver value to them'....

Organizations that go the extra mile to know their customers can effectively use the knowledge to provide personalized experiences to their customers. Lessons can be learnt from brands such as Amazon and Netflix which capture the interests and behaviour patterns of customers and use these to deliver customized services, make fitting recommendations and reward customers. - Chisom Okwara The best way to make an impression is to create value by understanding the needs of your audience. Your personalised economy is groomed from the impact you make in people.