Readers' Responses to a Labor of Love

by Sabella Ogbobode Abidde

There are times when I think I need a personal assistant to help with responding to the emails I receive from readers on a daily basis. In all, one can never tell how readers will respond to any given essay. But generally, there are different types of responses — from scorn and abuses to praise, and from virulent to moderate criticisms to those who offer words of encouragement. And every so often one gets well-thought out responses that make one adjust his position or conclusion. And then there are responses that are just outright funny and or outlandish and outrageous. For those of us who do this as a leisure pursuit, it is a labor of love. Here are a few of the responses received in the last few days. Some have been edited for brevity. In all cases, names and identifying information have been deleted.

On Love and Marriage:

I am involved with a Nigerian living in Lagos, and I have never met him, but I would like to. I have a question concerning passports and visas that would need to be obtained in order for him to come to the U.S. He does not have a valid passport now, and says that it is hard to obtain a passport, and that it is very expensive. Could I be dealing with a scammer? I really would like to help him, seeing that I am in love with him, and he professes his love for me, too. But, I want to be sure that I can trust him. I would just like to know if it is in fact a problem for a Nigerian to obtain a passport, and to get a visa to come to the U.S. Is it really expensive to obtain a passport and a visa?

I just don’t know who to ask about this, and family and friends are totally against this because they think that I am being scammed since he is asking me for money. I just know that he doesn’t have a lot of money, and I would like to believe him, that it is very expensive for a Nigerian to obtain the documents that he needs in order to come to the U.S.

You can see the problem I am having. My head tells me one thing, but my heart tells me something entirely different.

I guess I have read so much about the 419 scammers that it has placed a bit of doubt in my head. I don’t think that he is a scammer, even though he did lie to me at the start of our conversations, and he has been asking me for money. I do believe that he wants to come to the U.S., but I don’t know how true his story is about how hard it is to obtain his documents that he will need.

I can give you more details if you write me back, but I just don’t know where else to turn to ask my questions to. Please respond if you can answer my questions, before I make a really big, costly mistake that could ultimately be avoided. If you can’t answer my questions, maybe you could refer me to someone who could.

Thank you for your response if you choose to do so.


Signed: Priscilla, USA

Hello, Mr. Abidde,

Thank you for your prompt response. I would still like to know if you know about the passports and visas for a person coming from Nigeria. Is it hard for someone who is a Nigerian citizen to obtain these documents, and what all do they have to do to obtain them? Is it very expensive?

Have you heard anything about lottery scams whereby a Nigerian citizen attaches themselves to a single lottery winner, just to obtain citizenship in the U.S.? I have been told that it can be done, but it will cost $10,000. Do you know anything about this, and is this an old or new scam that is being used there?

I’m sorry to keep bothering you, but I appreciate any information that you may have, or may have come across from others e-mailing you. It’s not that I don’t love this man. I just work hard for my money, too, just like the next person, and money is not easy to come by, just as you know. I understand what you e-mailed me, but then I also understand what your quote at the end says, too.

Love is worth any amount of money. It would be nice to be guaranteed that this love would be returned, though.

I would just like to know if you have heard of this particular type of scam before now.

Thank you. I am supposed to send the money on Friday, so if you could get back in touch with me before then, I would value your opinion, just because of the fact that you apparently know more about Nigerian men and what goes on in Nigeria.


Signed: Priscilla, USA

I have to write to you to request assistance, if you can help me. I have been corresponding with a man from Isolo for about 3 months now. I have fallen in love with him deeply, but have fears regarding all that I hear about the scammers in Nigeria. My first concern is that he claims to be a white man, but born and raised in Isolo – many have told me that is not possible.

He says he lived in New York for about 10 years on a working visa, but went back to care for his son. He says he cannot work there because he does not have a permit?! Can you tell me if that is possibly true?

He claims he is going to come to the US with his young son and marry me. No man has ever made me feel as loved as he has. I am not concerned whether he is black or white in particular – but will not do with lies. Is there any possible way you can help me with this matter?

I am a poor single mom and would love for everything he says to be real and true, but some things don’t quite make sense and I have become concerned about his requests for money. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Signed: J. M, USA

Hello Sabidde,

My name is Michelle, a Chinese girl lives in Australia. By chance I have read some of your articles, and learning that u r interesting on writing about cultural stuffs. Actually recently i fall in love with a Nigerian guy, who he feels the same on me. But he is reluctant to have relationship with me and he said his culture won’t allow him to go out with a girl who is not from the same culture (not because im Chinese). So i wanna to ask u it is true?

He is acting funny sometime as he will ask me when i wanna to get marry, or he will tell me when he wants to have kids, but sometime he will keep distance from me. Will the cultural barriers or the family force would stop a Nigerian guy to go out with a girl that he likes? Sorry, I shouldn’t treat you as a trouble solver. Anyway, thanks so much for reading my story.

Best regards

Signed: Michelle

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1 comment

Anonymous March 31, 2007 - 5:40 pm

I was tempted to write 'whatever!' and send it like that but I decided to add these few lines for the benefit of those who do not know…… yes, some Nigerians commit fraud, scams etc but so do other nationalities. There always some bad eggs in the bunch. But to hold an entire nationality to ransome becoz of the 'crimes' of a few is most unfair. Those pointing fingers fail to note that Nigerians are some of the most well read, educated and talented amongst Blacks and dare I say other nations in the world. I dont have to mention names. No matter what any body says I will NEVER be ashamed of being a Nigerian and I will never join other nationalities to insult Nigerians. At lease a Nigerian would never dream of bombing National secretariat becos he hates the Govt like Timothy Mcveigh Nuff said


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