ALL THAT GLITTERS…. By Mwangi Ndegwa

All of us are in the race to achievement. All of us have goals that we aspire to achieve in life. For some, it's a good house,...


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All of us are in the race to achievement. All of us have goals that we aspire to achieve in life. For some, it’s a good house, highest level of education, a good family, success in business, being of impact in our religious and social circles. This is well for all human beings were created with ambition ingrained in our DNA. Anybody without ambition to improve their life, has not started living as yet. Nelson was such a fellow.

Born and raised in Botswana, Nelson had ambitions in life. Right when he was young, he knew which trajectory his life would follow. He wanted to be a successful business person majoring in precious metals and real estate. His expectations were not far fetched, for Botswana is a country endowed with huge deposits of gold and the population is not that high but the availability of liquid cash to most of the citizens was slowly pushing up the price of real estate up. Nelson saw a golden opportunity to make a killing in these two areas. After completing his college education where he had majored in finance and economics, Nelson applied for a job at a well known company dealing in real estate. He had planned to work for two years and then start his own company.

He was among the lucky ones who got shortlisted for the interview and finally, he secured a position. He was eager to learn everything that pertained to properties and real estate. He made vast networks and while still working there, and got contacts of international dealers in precious metals. In his free time, Nelson was either hanging around these shops or on the internet gathering every piece of information that would come in handy in his planned venture in precious metals. His hard work didn’t go unnoticed and within no time, he had risen through the ranks to be top top level management. His ambition soon became insatiable and he soon began involving himself in underhand and shady deals. Nelson began cutting corners sometimes bribing and other times using outright threats to push through a deal. He was raking in millions for his company and in the process, earning for himself, a handsome commission. These huge amounts of money soon clouded his judgement. He had become such a shrewd businessman that his fame soon reached the ears of a syndicate of international conmen. They saw a golden opportunity of making a financial windfall. They knew that Nelson had a huge appetite for gold and that was the bait they planned to use. They contacted him and gave him an offer he couldn’t refuse. They told him they were international gold dealers and had secured a huge cache of pure gold in South Africa but that they didn’t have the requisite documentation to transfer it from there to their home country. They even sent him  a sample of pure gold as proof of the authenticity of their deal. All they wanted was for him to wire money to their account, the equivalent of 40% of the total value of their gold as security. Once he had helped them move the cache, they would refund his deposit plus a hefty commission of 30% of the total value of the gold.

Nelson did not even need to take  time to think this offer through. The so called dealers had threatened to use another person if he didn’t act fast enough. He immediately wired the money and got a call from the bank manager requesting him to go to the bank in person. He became alarmed by this request and drove quickly to the bank with a thousand thoughts going through his mind. When he arrived at the bank, the first question the manager asked was whether he knew the owners of the account he had just wired the money to? Nelson said no. The manager had bad news for him. “The account you just credited is flagged on all bank systems because it belongs to a syndicate of international conmen who prey on unsuspecting business people and had coned thousands of people and you Nelson, are their latest victim.” Beads of sweat formed on his brow. He had just lost close to half a million dollars. His head started to spin and the next time things got back into focus, he was in a hospital bed.

Cases of people being conned out of their hard earned money are so prevalent and you wonder why we never learn. But I came to discover the reason behind this: People nowadays want microwave solutions to their problems. The want, at the snap of their fingers, to find themselves at the pinnacle of success. They are ready to do anything and everything to achieve success even if it means going down the illegal route. Many are willing to pay handsome amounts of money, some even taking loans to “get rich quick”. These schemes are all over and they’ve shifted to the digital space. Every valuable thing in life has a process of acquisition but most people don’t want to go through it. These scammers are aware of this and that’s the loophole they utilize. They paint something in very bright and attractive colors and if one is not careful and doesn’t peel off the layers of colors, you will fall for fools gold thinking it’s real gold. Many have lost fortunes buying glitter instead of gold. I hope neither of us reading this will fall into this trap.  To read more posts by Mwangi, click HERE

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