The Phisherman


Greetings and All Blessings Upon You. I am Chukwuma Ajayi, and it is I who am the one to be sending you the emails of which you have become so familiar.

At this time, however, I contact you not as in my profession of Executive Director and Vice President of the Royal Bank of Nigeria, of which I must confess there is no such thing existent. It is on behalf of myself as a living, breathing fellow human being that I reach out to any and all who in their kindness might someday discover this missive.

As I generate these words I am located at a table in the outside of a small café of my village, speaking softly to my phone in composition of this. I await the imminent arriving of a man known to me as Abubakar, although that is surely not his actual naming, and of which I have no desire to learn. He is to be delivering to me a flash drive.

In this flash drive is contained the next assemblage of email addresses to which I must send, but not the message of my future sending. That is for I and I alone to produce.

It is my unique skills of the English language that are essential to this operating. Abubakar and those who employ him, of whom I have never a wish to meet, speak primarily Hausa and almost none of the English. That is why I am, as they say, the straw that stirs the camel’s beverage.

As of yet, so far as I have been able of determining, they are pleased with my endeavors. I have seemingly generated a sufficient number of funds from the life savings of those who have been respondents of my emails to keep these higher-up persons desirous of my services. That is why, along with the awaited flash drive, will come twenty US dollars to help me in the feeding of my family.

My quandary in the present, however, is that my family has increased in its total participants, now that my wife Yinka has seen fit to be bearing triplets. Twenty US dollars are, unfortunately, no longer sufficient to my requirements.

So it is at the behest of Yinka’s powerfully worded prompting that I find myself in this current dilemma. Much as it sorrows me, I must reluctantly present to Abubakar a demand for further compensation.

Doing this frightens me to my very marrow. I quail at the prospect of what it may result in, and so I compose this missive in the eventuality that I do not exist in the future.

And now I must pause in these communications, because it is my visual observation of Abubakar’s impending arrival. I shall resume at the next chance of opportunity.


Unfortunately, it is my considerable opinion that our meeting did not go well. Abubakar, as one might expect, did not greet my proposition with happiness. His demeanor became dark and sullen, and he asked me a deeply personal question concerning my sanity.

I was determined, however, to be intrepid in this matter. I informed him that I could not continue to effectuate our enterprise if my children’s malnourishment were to be a part of it. It was my hope that, as a father to many children himself, he would possess empathy to my plight. But my hope was ill-fated to be doomed.

Menacingly in his voice, he intimated that if I meant my saying, he would then be forced to refrain from the providing of the flash drive and the twenty dollars.

My heart, as they say, submerged. I could not face the returning to my family in possession of nothing.

And so, to my eternal shame, I meekly made of the apology.

But the damage had been executed. His cold stare as he slid the flash drive and the twenty-dollar bill to me under the table, spoke tomes. He arose from his seat and, with a final look of daggers, departed.

Now I must suspend these journalisms and return home to endure the inevitable wrath of Yinka. I will attempt to continue soon.


My life is comprised of utter misery. As I speak these words, it is now three of the a.m. I sit in my soybean field that in this year produces such negligible amount from the terrible drought we experience. It is yet another reason for my neediness of alternative income.

Yinka is blessedly asleep. As much as it grieves me to say, it is my unfortunate condition to have a paucity of manhood. Not in a physical sense, there is no worrying in that department, but an emotional one.

In our country’s society, men are unquestioningly dominant and women are entirely accepting of their inferior nature. But in my marriage to Yinka this is not applying.

To my eternal ignominy, I am incapable of disciplining a woman. It is almost a physical illness that overcomes me if I make even the barest attempt. I do not know why I have been cursed in this way.

When we are in public, Yinka and I will perform the proper relationship that is expected. She will walk ten paces to my posterior, not speak unless with permission, and meekly acquiesce to my every command, which I will deliver in the sharpest manner possible. It is to both our awareness that this is a playact.

When we are at home, the tables rotate. Yinka never hesitates to advantage herself of my deficiency. I cannot bear to repeat to you the vile words she used this evening to describe my failure with Abubakar. And now I am to be denied the act of sexual congress until the further notice.

To other men, even if they allowed such a thing to eventuate, which I cannot imagine, it would still present no hindrance. They could easily avail themselves of the many carnalities offered up to them by professional women.

But, alas, not I. Such is my miserable lot that there is not a penny to be afforded for such activities.

And with all that is taking up my brain, I have yet to compose the email I must send. I am doing these transmissions on a laptop of which they provide me that is replaced on a periodical basis to avoid the tracings of law enforcement.

Most assuredly, these laptops contain spyware by which my shadowy employers can know everything I am doing on them, and that is why I must get to these sendings very soon.

But my intellect is weary, and I cannot seem to muster up the appropriate focus. I must return inside and attempt to slumber upon my floor. Continuation, hopefully, will occur tomorrow.


It is a matter of amazement to me how the inspiration arrives. After managing to obtain only two hours of rest, I awakened fresh as the daisy with full knowledge of the contents of my imminent email.

As humbly as I can state it, this is some of my finest work. Very few will be able to resist my persuasion, I am sure of it. And I was able to effect the completion in very little of the time. The higher-up persons should be well pleased.

Not that this will solve all my problems which remain, but there is immense satisfaction in the creativity process. For this moment at least, I am sitting on my front porch in peace.

My five elder children are at work in my soybean field. Yinka is minding the triplets and preparing the noonday meal. Life is tolerable.

But wait. Oh, no! What is that I see driving up the road to my house but a black 1993 Toyota. The automobile of Abubakar!

My heart has ceased in its tracks! I must end this immediately. More will be said later. I hope.


So much has happened. As Abubakar alighted from his vehicle, I greeted him warmly, my stomach doing the summersaults. I invited him inside my humble abode and then, in harshly demeaning terms, I ordered Yinka to prepare tea for myself and our guest and then to immediately absent herself.

It is strange how I can do such a thing without the sickening feeling of illness as long as I know it is not real. But I thank Allah for it.

Abubakar and I sat down at the table, and after Yinka’s servile withdrawal, I awaited the worst.

He informed me tersely of his fury at my behavior yesterday, for which I once again made of the apology. But it was to negative avail, as he demanded of me the laptop.

I shouted gruffly to the next room for Yinka to bring to us that item, and I could see the fear in her eyes as she complied. I knew this was not of the pretend variety that she effects when we are in public, but of the real variety. She meekly made of her departure.

It had been my intention to mollify Abubakar by acquainting him to the exceptional nature of my latest email, but the words had barely escaped my voice before he brought his fist down heavily against the table.

He spat out the words as he told me he had located another person more gifted than I in the using of the English language. He said that, forthwith, I would be no longer employed in his venture. Then he expressed the intent to use I and my family as an example of the inadvisability of employees placing demands upon him.

And with that, from under his belt he withdrew a pistol.

It was all I could do not to void myself. I began to plead with him to reconsider this, the words cascading out of me. His reaction was to sneeringly take enjoyment from my cowardly panic as I blubbered on.

His enjoyment, fortunately for us all, was so complete as to render him unnoticing of what was behind him, which I could discern through my tear-suffused eyes. It was Yinka with an axe.

The axe was well sharpened, as are all my tools, I am proud to say, and Yinka was able to wield it with stunning efficiency.

After experiencing the initial flabbergast at what we’d done, we both engaged in frantic moments of consultation. Then we stuffed the former Abubakar into his vehicle and, as Yinka effected the cleaning up of our premises, I drove to the nearby swamp and deposited car and corpse beneath the surface, to feed the alligators and, hopefully, never to be found.

It is late at night now. The children are asleep, and as Yinka prepares for bed, I sit drowsily in my chair and reflect upon what she has just told me.

She has said that I, among all other men in this country, possess a rare quality of goodness. And that she is honored to be my wife.

It is not certain to me what I will do with this missive that I am creating. But if you are reading it now, it is evident that I was successful somehow in its preservation.

Alas, I cannot reward the usage of your time with several million dollars of a Nigerian prince’s fortune. But, then again, who can?

I thank you for your kind forbearance.