I believe this online begging culture started from 419 and I’ll explain. A lot of 419 is based on superstition, the occult and fetishism. I remember arriving in Nigeria 2 years ago and the police escort from the airport were discussing with themselves about it in the bus.
I learned that some of the 419 guys believe (as they have been told by their spiritualist) that they must give away or spend a certain amount within a period or else they will die. That explains the sometimes conspicuous spending they do in public which flies against logic.
One of the policemen said that they sometimes give this money to artistes and ask them to spend it on their behalf on fans. I was stunned as these were policemen talking. There may have been some element of hyperbole but again, these were the people who knew the criminals best.
Some giveaways people do online don’t make sense or follow any pattern. I started thinking that maybe those policemen were right. They told me the story of a guy who had to spend $100k one weekend every month or he dies. He missed his target and was killed at a nightclub.
I feel there is more to it than suspersition. Maybe it is a way to cover up your tracks with money laundering. If you create many accounts that beg online and receive, you have created a different trail. Passing it through others as philanthropy makes it look even better.
It may be a good recruitment strategy for footsoldiers as well.
You can follow @asemota.
Tip: mention @twtextapp on a Twitter thread with the keyword “unroll” to get a link to it.

Latest Threads Unrolled: