The Internet has really shrunken the world. Thanks to the ol’ World Wide Web, I have re-established old friendships, both nearby and across the globe, and I have also made some new friends from as far away as Europe, New Zealand and Australia. I have also been contacted by many, (and I mean MANY) people from West Africa, all looking to share their opportunities of good fortune with me. (And, fortunately, I saved many of the more interesting ones in a special file!)
God-fearing and generous, the people who have written to me, (with a surprisingly high percentage from Burkina Faso and Côte d'Ivoire,) usually begin with a very pleasant and loving, (albeit frequently uncomfortably spiritual,) greeting. I have received salutations that have opened with, “Dearest in Mind,” “Dearest Friend,” and “ With utmost respect,” all the way to “ Dear Beloved in the Lord,” “Dearest one of God,” and the most bewildering, “ Compliment of the Season,” (bewildering as it arrived on June 1st.)
Greetings as kind and thoughtful as these are made all the more heart-touching when one considers the various plights these people are enduring. The number of orphaned daughters of murdered wealthy cocoa barons, as well as the widows of murdered wealthy cocoa barons, all trying to protect their accrued family nest eggs is simply heart-breaking. *sniff*
But not all those who write to me are the lone relatives of the recently deceased cocoa barony who’d fallen prey to the villainy of the unscrupulous, or the unflinching finger of fate. I very frequently am contacted by bank employees, (including a Bank Manager, Accounts Manager, Foreign Remittance Manager, Branch manager, Bill & Exchange Manager, Chief Auditor, Credit Officer, and Auditing/Accounting Sections Chief, among others,) who have discovered untold riches without any claims for them due to the numerous plane crashes in which the policy holders and all of their families were killed. The bank staff who write me are asking to share this money with me so that it does get lost in bureaucratic red tape, asking in exchange only that I supply them with my bank account information in order to transfer these funds. Swell guys, but far too trusting.
A great deal about human nature can be learned from Western Africa. And not just human nature. Other lessons that I have been lucky enough to glean during my many introductions and social discourses with the residents of Burkina Faso and Côte d'Ivoire include: 1) No matter how glamorous it sounds, ‘cocoa baron’ is a surprisingly dangerous job, 2) Never, ever, fly in an African airplane with your whole family, and 3) due to the high rate of early retirement, there must be quite a number of job opportunities in the Bank Of Africa in Burkina Faso.
Strangely, as quick to share with a stranger as the Burkinabè and Ivorians are, they appear to be blind to a glaring irony of their national condition; although these two countries are consistently among the poorest nations on the planet, (with GDPs per capita of about $1200.00 and $1700.00 respectively,) I have been personally approached to share in over US$339,200,000.00 in their liquid assets.
But fear not, dearest reader, for in my many correspondences with my new African buddies, I have explained this point. And it is my hope that sooner or later, the call to national obligation will move these individuals to remedy their economic imbalances.
Yes, with a global network of individuals, nay, friends, with my financial well-being as a real and serious concern, I am truly a blessed man. But, it would be grossly negligent of me not to remember those who have sacrificed so much. Thusly, before I conclude, I would like to dedicate this blog posting to the memory of the following recently deceased individuals, whose life savings are without legitimate claims:
- Dr. Harrison Thomas, cocoa baron. Taken by mysterious circumstances,
- Mr. Anthony Patrick, cocoa baron. Murdered, (poisoned) by business partners,
- Mr. Alfred Kamra, cocoa baron. Taken by mysterious circumstances,
- Richard Jean, cocoa baron. Taken in a car accident,
- Mr. Emmanuel Bamba, cocoa baron. Murdered by his own brother!,
- Ebenezer Tema. Died from a 4-day illness shortly after becoming a Born Again Christian,
- Dr. John Gomo. Died from a 4-day illness shortly after becoming a Born Again Christian,
- Benson Williams. Died from a 4-day illness shortly after becoming a Born Again Christian,
and to all of those families who mistakenly believed that it was safer to fly than to drive:
- Mr. Floyd Tarantino and family. Killed in a plane crash while on vacation,
- William Bryant and family. Killed in a plane crash,
- Mr. Morris Thomas and family. Killed in a plane crash,
- Andreas Schranner and family, (of Germany.) Killed in a plane crash,
- Mr. Joseph Knight, (no next of kin.) Killed in a plane crash,
- Dr. George Brumley and family. Killed in a plane crash,
And four other families discreetly mentioned only as “foreign customer(s) and entire family.”
If I can redirect all of the prayers sent my way for the purpose of assisting to launder funds out of Africa towards the departure and and safe transition of these unfortunate souls, they would surely sleeping among the angels as I write.
A passage that I felt relevant:
“It’s gonna take a lot to drag me away from you
There’s nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do
I blessed the rains down in Africa
Gonna take some time to do the things we never had”
- “Africa” by Toto