By: Zenas Ubere


If you are a young man, fairly successful, and you want to be tagged as a yahoo boy, here is how to do it.

1.

You have to identify as Nigerian. Nigerian Prince is not synonymous with internet fraud for no reason. Internet fraud is a divine talent that mostly Nigerian young men can display. If you think it is a lie, remember what happened in 2019, when the US authorities announced charges against 80 people for an internet scam and money laundering of over $46 million. Weren’t 77 of the indicted people Nigerians? We have the volume because we are better at this fraud thing. It does not matter that the biggest fraud in US history was executed by a white man, where he amassed $65 billion from a Ponzi Scheme. Nigerians, nonetheless, remain the greatest when it comes to fraud. So, be Nigerian.

2.

Now that you have chosen the right nationality, you have to be of an appropriate age. I will advise that you be in your 20s. I am not implying that those above 20s do not qualify to gain this honourable tag. It is just that the younger you are, the better. Advanced men who look plump (especially with a pot belly) and married do not fit into the yahoo boy image. Even though, in the secrecy of their chambers, some of them conjure money out of foreign bank accounts with miraculous powers. Yahoo boys are always young and single. Go young or go home.

3.

My people say that a man who goes to the farm without his cutlass went for sight-seeing. And a cutlass is to a farmer what a laptop is to a yahoo boy. Therefore, you have to own a laptop. It could be that you use it for web or graphic design jobs, or you just use it to stream movies and HD porn. Just own a laptop. And when you’ve got one, you may want to use it in public places, like cafes and restaurants. And because being nosy is a love language in Nigeria, one curious fellow would walk past you, draw backwards and poke his gaze into your laptop screen, asking, “Na webmail be this?”

You may not understand what he means but, worry not, you’ve just been marked as a yahoo boy. Even though it may seem unlikely that an actual yahoo boy would be as careless as displaying his God-given talent in public places, putting himself at the risk of an arrest.

4.

Please do well to note that you have to wear good clothes, clothes that announce you have enough money in your bank account. Wear designers. Wear Givenchy, Gucci, Fendi and every other trendy fashion. And if jewellery is your thing, go for gold. I know this phrase may sound like a Gold Circle advert, but I mean it. Go for gold. Nothing announces flamboyant-yahoo-boy like a gold necklace, a gold wristwatch and an ear stud. Come out in glitters.

No matter how tempting it gets, even if your village people are controlling you through a mirror festooned with feathers, resist them and do not wear suits. One, because the Nigerian weather is too hot for a suit. And two, because you are not trying to look like aspire-to-perspire businessmen. Neither are you trying to appear on Forbes Africa 30-Under-30. Neither are you trying to look like a pastor with a booming chain of churches. You are merely trying to be labelled as a yahoo boy. Dress as you want to be addressed.

God forbid that you come out in agbada and caftan and hope to be marked as a fraudster. The image does not fit. You are not trying to look like a politician. We all know politicians to be honest people, a set of people that are never associated with fraud. Stick to the maraphacken designers.

5.

Most days, stay at home and always have electricity. And because you are Nigerian, one of the bulbs outside your apartment would always be turned on; therefore, your neighbours would notice that you always have power supply. It could be possible that you are a freelancer working from home, or a software developer with a remote job, but this does not matter. Give it a week and a concerned neighbour will say, “That guy de always get light. E go be yahoo boy.”

One of the advantages of being tagged a yahoo boy by your neighbours is this: You will earn the admiration of those who praised the yahoo boys for keeping Nigeria’s economy afloat during the recession.

6.

If you can, buy a car. Something that complements your size and doesn’t steal the attention away from you. Preferably, go for a small salon, like the Toyota Avalon, a car befitting your youthful status. And with a befitting car, you will get enough police and SARS attention. What’s a yahoo boy without police and SARS attention?

7.

You have to know that when the police and SARS men notice your glitter, they will make advances at you. It is not like they are into you and want to sleep with you or something. They just want your money. Talk of Jezebels and Delilahs in Force clothing.

They will come at you with strong advances, touching your body and pretending to search you without a warrant or mutual consent. Brace yourself for this search because they could, in the process of this activity, mistakenly or deliberately, touch your buttocks and your balls. This could tingle your skin but do not budge. You are being tagged a yahoo boy and that is your reward.

Furthermore, they will go through your phone and laptop, prying through old chats and emails. And if by the special grace of God, you had used the word “client” in any of your messages, then your tag would shine brighter than your gold necklace. The police and SARS men will caress your pocket and romance your bank account, taking as much cash as they can, and you will ejaculate all they can stroke from you because you have earned the yahoo boy tag, and some things come at a price.


Zenas Ubere is a creative writer from Nigeria. He has works published on Agbowo, African Writer, Praxis Magazine, Witsprouts, the K and L Histories of Yesterday Anthology, and elsewhere. He writes from Owerri.

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