The Nigerian Shame In London II: ‘Kongi’ Soap Doesn’t Wash Off Shame

by Dele Oluwole

Patricia the Valour

“Hello. I really enjoyed your article. Although I am not Nigerian, I too, feel what you are feeling. I am an African American woman who married a Nigerian man on January 4, 2007 in Apapa, Lagos, Nigeria. Ever since I told my family and friends about my choice, I have had to be on the defense. It is like the mention of the word Nigeria brings distaste to many people, for Nigeria is well known for scams. I walk in the bank and I see signs about not doing any business dealings with Nigerians. My husband and stepson should join me in the states next month, and still, people tell me to “be careful” with him. One thing I did not know is that Nigerians were known for their athletic ability. That is very good to hear! I really never knew what mixed couples go through, but now I do. It is like I go around with my fist up on the inside always ready to defend my decision and my husband if someone says something very insensitive about him and my stepson. Although Nigerians are well known in America for their schemes, that does not mean all Nigerians are like that. I met many Nigerian people that were humble, lovely, honest, and kind. Unfortunately the number of Nigerians that take advantage of people are increasing yearly. I get an e-mail from Nigeria telling me I have won a lottery . .and you know the rest. Recently, someone e-mailed me and asked me to help a teengage, Nigerian boy. Although she never asked me for funds directly, she sent me correspondence of the conversations she had with this supposedly teenage boy, and in those e-mails, he did ask her for funds. She responded that she was unable to help him. I wrote an article (blog), and she got my e-mail address and contacted me that way. She asked me to help him! However, my stern reply let her know that I would “never” send funds to anyone in Nigeria, or America, without personally knowing the person. How do I know his story is true–I don’t? How do I know that she and this person are not working together–I don’t. I was taken advantage of by a person who identified himself as a Nigerian man, and I will never put myself in that position again! If I do not know you personally, I do not loan or send you funds or do anything financial on your behalf–bottom line!! With all this deception going on, one has to be careful. So although I am not Nigerian, I still feel the shame of Nigeria’s bad reputation. When Nigeria’s economic situation is changed, then perhaps the schemes will decrease. Desperate people, although that is no excuse for manipulation, sometimes do desperate things! Excellent article . . .I know how you feel.”

Some Nigerians prefer to pour out their venoms on writers who dare to write on topics like this instead of addressing the subject matter and condemn the perpetrators. They claimed the articles labels and that it’s just a way of lazily re-echoing what they already know. If they know it why have they not done anything about it? They should remember that no amount of garnishing will change evil because evil will always remain evil. ‘Ti ako ba sofun Obayeje pe on baye je aro pe awon jo tu Ilu se ni’ If you don’t confront a clandestine saboteur he’ll think you are together in the business of nation building’. When we keep quiet we do not only condone this appalling acts, we also support them in principle. ‘Woe unto them that keep quiet in the face of crises’. A Nigerian who was not bold enough to disclose his identity responded to Patricia M. Daboh comment on part 1 of this article posted on

The anonymous Villain

“Yeah, yeah another Naija bashing! Cant we get something else to talk about? I feel your concern but I must say I feel the Western media are just magnifying the issue of Nigerian scammers just as they magnify the issue of Blacks on welfare (for your inf. do you know there are more whites on welfare than blacks?) but you will never know becoz the media with thier hidden agenda continue to show and publicize only blacks on welfare. As for the case of 419. It is share greed on the part of the duped that make them get duped in the first place! How can I tell you I have an unclaimed amount of money and I need your account and a token amount to clear it and you believe? Where do you know me from? The internet? You see what I mean? I do sympathize with the scammed but there is a spiritual law that says what goes round comes round or chicken come to roost. White people from the time of Christopher Columbus have raped, duped and cheated natives of their land and rightful inheritance. Its no surprise to me we are witnessing this on their descendants. When you sow the wind, you reap the whirl wind. Nuff said!”

……..and Patricia fired back some scud missiles:

“No one is bashing Nigeria, but it cannot be denied, especially by those of us who receive weekly e-mail schemes from Nigeria asking for our help in trying to retrieve funds from some type of lottery, that Nigeria is known for its many schemes. We are not making up these things, but it is really happening to many of us! If something is a fact, than it is a fact. And until those facts change and are replaced by more positive facts, than, unfortunately, the numerous schemes that come out of Nigeria will be the focus. Of course, the recent elections, and all the negative things that happened during the elections, does not help Nigeria’s image as well. Every country is known for something positive and negative. Unfortunately, again, this seems to be a time when the world is focusing on all the negative things that are coming out of Nigeria (schemes, poverty, electricity shortages, and fraud). If anyhone is tired about the negative things that are being said about Nigeria, which I fully understand your feelings, than write a positive article about Nigeria. Give readers something positive to focus on to balance out the scale of people’s negative perception of Nigeria”.

On a final note, If it will take a non Nigerian who by marriage has become one of us to hammer home the truth that will sink in us so be it. ‘Oloorun kin gborun arere’. A stinky person does not perceive himself. Until we decide to address and uproot the source of the shame in our own little ways nothing will change, shame is shame and no amount of laundering can remove it …… not even the popular ‘Kongi’ soap.

“Woe to the wicked! Disaster is upon them! They will be paid back for what their hands have done” – Isaiah 3:11

You may also like


yemisi May 31, 2009 - 7:01 pm

Dear Carmen,

Very unfortunate, I have quite a few friends from Kenya, Zimbabwe, South Africa, etc your loss…You should be ashamed to display your immaturity, after all this means that you are making judgements on other people without 'knowing' them. AMAZING!!!!!

Carmen April 11, 2009 - 8:02 pm

I am a Kenyan in my early 30’s and as long as i remember right from the time i was a kid,i was warned not to associate with Nigerians.I know there must be lovely Nigerians out there but when all your life all you here is negative things,you tend to be weary of them.I have no Nigerian friends because i am ashamed to say,i have never trusted them.

Excellent article!!

olatunji olalekan maroof January 22, 2009 - 2:33 pm


Dele Oluwole June 5, 2008 - 5:16 am


I understand your point quite well and respect your opinion as well but you can not deny the fact that there are no times you wish you could avoid these Nigerians who bring shame to the mother land. There is a popular Yoruba adage that ‘ti oju ban se ipin oye ki afi won oju, another one also says ‘Ti ako basofun obayeje pe on bayeje arope won jijo n’tunse ni’.

Posterity will not forgive us if we continue to treat this issue of image tarnishing with kid gloves. We must speak against this ills of ‘get rich by all means’ attitude otherwise it will be too late.

I am a proud Nigerian and I never hide this fact, I am an IT consultant in the UK with a Telecoms giant, everyone look forward to Fridays when I relish in the show of beauty of my African (Yoruba precisely) garb. They all know I am from Nigeria, for the singular reason that I am happy to wear my tribal clothes a white colleague who worked with shell petroleum, Nigeria in the 80s speaks Yoruba to me occasionally and eventually picked interest in me and we are very close friend now.

Shall we because other countries are into the same shameful societal ills cover or glorify our own? So, Ronke cool down and let’s bash these bad ones amongst us till they reduce in number if they can not give it up all at least. ‘Omo oson lon ko kondo ba Iya e’.


Dele Oluwole

ronke abuah June 4, 2008 - 10:40 am

I am a solicitor by profession and encourage the freedom of speech and expression.

Sometimes i wish there can be laws to restricting some writeups from being published, very sorry as i feel bitter after reading all these. Ghanaians and citizens from other countries in Africa are involved in all these crimes mentioned is not as if it is perculiar to nigerians.

I live in London and have lived the better part of my life here. I am proud to be a nigerian any time any day.

If you and i start working on creating a good public relations for Nigeria, we all would benefit.

Remember the children of today and tomorrow.

ronke abuah June 4, 2008 - 10:24 am

For once we nigerians should learn to say good things about ourselves. I would not have bothered replying to this article but i am getting sick and tired of nigerian bringing themselves down.

so many things are happening everywhere in the world,the indians,Americans even the british are involved in crimes.

can we please, please and please put an end to all these bad public relations.

There are so many goods things nigerians are doing out there why not promote all these.

Alot of young peolple who are nigerians are achieving great things out there.

Have you of recent taken time out to research. There is ‘kanu Nwak’ not sure of the spelling of his name, the greatfootballer, there is pastor Paul Adefasin of the ‘house on the Rock’, this is a man God is using to touch the lifes of young generations all over in the world.

Seyi and kunle of the ‘jungle production’ in nigeria, have you seen the quality of the adverts they produce on a daily basis.

There is ‘oluwole aduwo’ one of the greatest 3d animators in the world to mention but a few.

Please wake up.and for heavens sake stop all these type of write ups.

Julius May 25, 2007 - 12:22 pm

I once read in an article by a Nigerian that we've allowed the western newspapers to demonize us. Well, the truth is I don't need nobody to tell me what we are made of, I stayed in Nigeria for the first 30yrs of my life, I have lived in the north, east and west. I schooled and worked for years in Nigeria, I don't need anybody white or black to tell me who my people are. I know them, and I know them well. Mr. Dele, I fully support your article, some people all in the name of fake patriotism might think otherwise. Of a truth, the westerners have their own evil, but it is the Nigerians that I care about because it affects me and so many others like me. I love my country and I pray the scammers will continue to meet their downfalls.

Ben May 23, 2007 - 6:22 am

If this article was written by a Pakistani, Arab or Kenyan it will have been thus: why are we constantly penalised by the world when we are exactly the same as them? Ah! But not a Nigerian, they prefer instead to believe exactly what agents write daily about us and totally become bamboozled into think they have a problem that no one else have, they lack the power to critique such farcical interpretations!

There are those Nigerians who affiliate with foreign agents to pour scorn on their country and fellow Nigerians, the writer of this lame article is one of such Nigerians who feel subjacent in their person and cannot stand up to face the reality that Nigerians are scammers and criminals like all other Nations of the world. Why should ours be any different? How did Nigerians let the hype happen?

Why should we bear a greater brunt for crimes less heinous than those committed by the accusers?

Highlighting only the negative in a section of society will only serve to create the perception that they are only good for unholy activities. If 150 million Nigerians are all scammers there will be nothing left in any country outside Nigeria, our precocity attests to that!

The only reason our name has been dragged thorough the mud and continues to be so is due to self-pity article like these, the British don’t go round the world discussing they have a serious paedophilia problem. They will not tell you not to leave your child with a white English person because some of them are know to sexually attack little children.

The African-Americans may know that there are hourly occurrences of black on black killings, drive by shootings, murder, and drug dealing in their community but that is not the central theme of their existence. I can say similar about other sections of the world societies. Why for the life of me has Nigerians taken crimes committed by some Nigerians as the backbone of our citizenship and given foreign agents the tool to further desecrate and subjugate our nationality?

On many occasion when Nigerian and non-Nigerians have discussed scam I have tried to talk about terrorism, scam in other sections of societies, illegal wars, arranged marriages, honour killings, racism, paedophilia, burglary, car jacking, white collar crimes but they were not interested.

The impression given and my deductions from these encounters is that….NIGERIANS ARE THE EASIEST PEOPLE TO PICK ON.

Dele Oluwole May 23, 2007 - 4:14 am

Miss or Mrs She anonymous, thanks for your response to the part II of ‘The Nigerian shame in London’ the true sons of the soil have provided whatever reply I would have loved to answer you with at


Dele Oluwole

Anonymous May 22, 2007 - 8:19 pm

LOL! Anonymous villain indeed! Everybody is entitled to their own opinion…just as you are entitled to write your article. I am of the school of positive opinion and would rather read an artle by Paul Aduije who tells me how I can move my country forward from the Diaspora than to join the Western media to flog a country and a continent they have already decimated. I do not deny that there are Nigerian scammers but so are there Russian, American, British etc. It is what you project into the mind of a person that he/she will become. So I choose to project positive things. I can understand your disappointment and annoyance in your country people but what have you done lately to make Nigeria a better place? Thanks for your little scripture at the end but I will add this to it. "The curse causeless shall not alight". For your info. I am a 'She' not a 'He'!


Leave a Comment