What qualities do you seek in a romantic partner? Good looks, loyalty, openness? And what qualities do you absolutely detest? Lies, dishonesty, disrespect? For the woman in this week’s ‘What She Said’, lies are her biggest relationship deal-breaker. Which is why she can’t seem to understand why she has only dated the biggest liars of all – internet scammers.
Navigating life as a woman in the world today is interesting. From Nigeria to Timbuktu, it’ll amaze you how similar all our experiences are. Every Wednesday, women the world over will share their experiences on everything from sex to politics right here. This is Zikoko’s What She Said.
We’ve barely started the interview and your dating life already seems…well interesting.
Just say that it’s upside down with your chest, me too I agree. It’s funny how I’m talking to you about this instead of going to look for a pastor to help me do deliverance. Because at this point it’s beyond me. My village people are clearly following me. The women in my family kuku don’t know how to pick sensible men and that includes my mother when she picked my father. So I guess this is my cross to bear for life.
What happened with your father?
He just woke up one day when I was I think six or seven and followed another woman. No warning at all, he just packed his bags and left the house. We were staying in a house that belonged to my mum’s family, I’m guessing that’s the only reason he didn’t send us packing. The next time I heard from him I was 20, the woman he followed had left him. He said she jazzed him and the scales had fallen from his eyes. My mum told him she would rather die than let him back into her house and I agreed with her. I don’t think about him, I don’t know how he’s doing or where he is in life. He’s dead to me, but every time I remember that he exists I just start laughing. Like how can someone be so useless in life?
Are you talking about just you and your mum when you said women in the family?
No o. Her younger sister has four children and three baby daddies and is currently not living with any of them. One of her older sisters is living with her second husband but she might as well be a widow because he’s completely useless. In fact, he’s even a liability because she’s the one fending for the whole family including the useless man.
And what’s your story?
Where do I even want to start with this thing? I’m 27 years old, and it was this year I realised that I have a type and it is internet scammers. It’s funny because if you ask me what my deal breakers are in a relationship I’ll tell you cheating and lying but somehow I keep finding myself dating the biggest liars of all – yahoo boys.
How did it start?
You might not believe me, I’m not even sure I believe myself but I wasn’t targeting them. I had my first boyfriend at 19, he was 31 and all I knew was that he was very successful. He was one of those rags to riches stories in our neighbourhood and everyone knew him. But we just knew him as a successful businessman. Funny enough his name was Tunji* Plus. But I thought it was because he had many BDCs. Now if I see anybody with plus or wire in their name, I know that their ways are not pure.
When did you realise he was a fraudster?
Not in the relationship funny enough, I think I was already even out of my second relationship when someone randomly came to gist me that EFCC had carried Tunji* Plus. I was still asking ‘what happened?’ ‘What did he do?’. The person kept giving me this ‘who are you forming for look?’. Like you didn’t know he was a yahoo boy when you were dating him but I actually didn’t.
What about your second relationship?
I was 22. I can’t remember how we met but I think it was in school. He wasn’t even going to my school but he used to come around a lot. I first started suspecting when I met his friends. They weren’t like him at all he was very quiet and didn’t talk much. But they were very loud, they used to wear Gucci this and Louis Vuitton that. We would go clubbing Friday, Saturday and Sunday. And in each club, they would legit drop millions of naira. They were the type of yahoo boys that had it written on their faces. They were even proud of it, they didn’t hide it. They will be talking about how one client has clicked in front of me. Once you hear client just know it’s someone they want to maga.
Did you ever ask him what he did for a living?
I never asked him directly if he was a yahoo boy but he never said he was. When I asked him what he did for a living he said he was into real estate. He also used to manage some artistes.
How did the relationship end?
He dumped me o, for one mixed-race girl like this. The day I even saw the girl I couldn’t vex too much because she looked like Beyonce. Funny thing is I really liked him. He was very sweet and very generous. You know that ‘I want it I got it’ Tik Tok video, that’s how it was with him. Before I say I want… he would have already bought the thing I was thinking about. I still have some of the designer bags and clothes he bought for me.
Who came next?
Bentley came next. Everyone called him Bentley because he used to say when he blows he would buy a Bentley. I’m still not sure if he was a yahoo boy or just one by association. Bentley’s elder brother was a confirmed yahoo boy this was something everyone knew, he was on the streets completely. But Bentley himself I’m still not sure, he was wearing the designer things and driving a Benz but I don’t know if he was just borrow posing with his brother’s things or if he was also doing wire. It wasn’t a serious relationship at all, he just wore me down with enjoyment. He was chasing me for a while and he bought me plenty of things. Once I said yes the relationship did not last three months. We just drifted apart.
It doesn’t seem like the fact that they were criminals influenced any of your breakups.
I have two mouths I can’t lie. I think the way that I reasoned it in my head was that even though they were lying to all these other people and defrauding them, they weren’t doing the same thing to me. And I can’t lie I just saw yahoo as one of those things young boys do. It was just like a business venture. Some people blew and some didn’t. It wasn’t a crime, it wasn’t harmful.
I’m not even dating anybody. I’m taking a break to be a baby girl. I also know better I’m not as young or foolish. Anyone doing yahoo yahoo is a bastard and deserves to die in jail. They are evil. It’s when people around me started suffering at their hands that I really understood it.
Think history could ever repeat itself?
Never my antenna for yahoo boys is now very sharp. I’ve also dropped a lot of people from my old circle of friends. I can’t lie the people around me also influenced the type of people I was dating. A lot of them were dating yahoo boys or married men. Just somehow people.