I, like any other normal, right thinking Kenyan, have a predilection, actually love, to be conned; to be easily tricked into believing or doing something stupid.
I am just like the victims of ‘Yahaya’ in Lady Jaydee’s song that goes by the same name.
Yahaya is this handsome, well built, charismatic, classy, funny, handsome, intelligent, articulate, and exquisitely dressed character who presents himself as extremely rich; he is also like-able and very interactive in social places. He talks big as long as the rounds keep coming but does not buy any round. According to Lady Jaydee, “Anakula offer za watu. Anapoishi hata hapajulikani”. All they know is that he lives somewhere in Kinondoni but none knows the house number.
Even his claims of the big jobs that he holds cannot be verified. Everybody, including me, and you, know that “hana hela”, but still, “tunaingia kingi tunafuata”. We know that we are being duped and yet we continue entertaining him.
My mind tells me that I, being the normal Kenyan of sound mind that I tell myself that I am, I am no different from Yahaya’s soft targets; I am impatiently waiting to be conned or tricked.
History is replete with proof and examples which have exposed my love to be conned. Stories abound of how ecstatic I am, like any other Kenyan, when signing up in housing schemes that never meet the light of day.
Or the many instances when I become a sucker and I purchase a tiny maguta maguta plot in the middle of a desert which has a greenhouse, storage facility, a borehole and a farm manager; with the promise that the tomatoes and capsicum which the company will grow for me therein will have a ready market once they have been harvested, and I will earn Ksh. 400,000 annually. My mind especially notes the courtesy buses full of Kenyans who are salivating and in competition to be conned; courtesy buses transporting them to and from artificially created paradise showcases in the middle of nowhere.
My mind also remembers the quail farming and trading craze a few years ago which came with promises that it was a goldmine; before it came crashing down as fast as it was introduced, leaving in its trail thousands of extremely miserable beings wakijikaza kiume.
My mind can not forget uncountable instances where the ecstatic me, among many others, has been told to close my eyes so that my life savings can be prayed for to be tripled, only to open my eyes and discover that the man of God is long vanished, long evaporated.
What about the long ques of euphoric girls who are lured into prospects of traveling abroad to well-paid maid jobs and a chance to escape joblessness at home, only to be abused in the Middle East.
What about the thousands of Kenyans who become orgasmic when new pyramid schemes are launched, only for their life savings, families and lives to be ruined when the pyramid schemes go underground and the masterminds close office; or the young men and women who pour their all into betting schemes only to lose all their earnings in the process.
Or Kenyans who willingly become prey and elect sitting duck politicians based only on parties and ethnicity and not manifestos, and later complain that they were conned; and the cycle is repeated in subsequent elections.
I am flabbergasted to think that I am a mug who has been used as a tool by the Yahayas of this world; as an old-fashioned stupid person to propagate their ill-intended, illegal money minting schemes. But I find solace in knowing that the Yahayas have been, are, and will continue to use their most precious tool, con, on me in broad daylight, and unapologetically.