Ghetto dances: The poor are always taken advantage of

The poor are always taken advantage of

If one does not have money it is easy to fall prey to these get rich schemes.

You are always told that the investment will reap double digit  profits in a very short space of time and the more people you invite to join, you earn points and  invariably harvest super profits.

I first came to know of this investment vehicle through Baba VaTata and as you know we were thick as thieves.

I trusted Baba VaTata so much that it never occurred to me to do some critical thinking.

When we met that day at Zororo Bar in the cool of the evening, he was so excited about the whole scheme.

“Sevenzayi has a good scheme, if you invest twenty dollars in a week it will be sixty dollars and you can reinvest and reinvest to maximise on the profits,” said Baba BaTata. He was excited and I knew this by the glint in his eyes.

I knew Sevenzayi of course. He had disappeared for many years in South Africa.

 Almost everyone in the community knew him because of his flash cars.

Each time he came from South Africa he always had a new sleek SUV and he liked all white parties.

If it was Sevenzayi I had no reason to doubt the scheme. Only recently Sevenzayi seemed to have come back for good.

By the time Fatso and Rasta joined us in the bar,  I was ready to build a castle in the air.  I did quick calculations and realized that by the end of four weeks I would be one thousand dollars richer.

Fatso and Rasta also swallowed the bait, hook, line and sinker. It was too good to be true.

“I will buy myself the car of my dreams,” said Rasta.

“Wait until you get the money, you will be rich beyond your wildest  dreams,” said Baba VaTata

I can never forget that day. New horizons were opening up. I was tired of working at Amandwandwe Security for peanuts.

 I wanted to make a bold move and become economically independent.

“You know what guys, the more people you invite to the group, you earn points or get a few more rewards. You will grow your portfolio and make more money,” said Baba VaTata.

“So when can we start?” asked Rasta as he stood up to collect more beer from the barman. Baba VaTata had already paid for the beer.

“Once you make your first payment, you are in,” said Baba VaTata.

I still had not paid the rent. There were still some few days before the landlord, Mr Tigere would start looking for me. I could use the money in the meantime. One more thing, I had to convince my wife, Mai Maidei to lend me some money.

I knew she had some savings. She always said that we must buy new sofas. If she could give me the money, before the end of month,  our investment would be over a thousand dollars.

When I went back home that day,  my mission was to convince Mai VaMaidei to lend me the money for  a week or two. I even told her that I would return back  double the money.

“Is this not a ponzi scheme?” She asked.

“”This is legit, Baba VaTata is in it and of course you know Sevenzayi. He is the one running the scheme. He is too rich. He can’t steal from the poor,” I said recklessly and I  was speaking very fast, trying to convince her.  She finally relented. What made her to capitulate was the involvement of Baba VaTata. Nothing  could go wrong if Baba VaTata was part of the scheme.

I invested all of our money and after a week I was paid more than double of my original investment.  I remember after that first payment. Mai VaMaidei was so excited and she even suggested that we reinvest back all of the money and we did. 

In the coming days I invited more than ten people who joined the scheme. Jimu, who lived next to Handitika and had joined earlier bought a toyota hybrid car. I was excited.

This was too good to be true. I was going to be rich. I was going to make “serious”money.

After Jimu  bought his car, he was seen moving around with Sevenzayi, word soon spread like wildfire and many people joined and invested their money.

We always made the payments at Sevenzayi's parents home where he had converted a small  back room into  an office and employed Saru who lived along Shumba Street as secretary. We also received our payouts  there.

I was now due for a large payout. The next day I went early in the morning.  A few excited people were milling around. Others wanted to invest and some like me were due for payouts. I had big plans this time around.

After an hour or so of waiting without getting any service I began to get worried. More investors like me had joined in the interval.

“What is happening here?” A  man I had not seen before said.

I knew something was wrong when a nervous Saru came to address us.

“Sevenzayi is not here. He took all the money with him,” she said.

“Where is he?”  I shouted in panic.

“Some policemen came here yesterday looking for him and it was soon after that he said he was  going back to South Africa. He left in a hurry,” said Saru.

I groaned and broke in a cold sweat.  There was panic around me. I had a sinking feeling of defeat.

I was duped once more, the poor are always taken advantage of.

* Onie Ndoro is an educationist, IELTS tutor, storyteller and ghostwriter. For feedback: cell 0773007173/Twitter  @Onie90396982, Email:[email protected]

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