Being scammed is the name of the game in Nairobi, and not one person can say they haven’t fallen prey.
Singer Eric Wainaina has recounted the day he was conned in Nairobi. Speaking on Janjaruka, a new web series that was launched last month, he said he was only 12 years old at the time.
There was a shortage of rice in the country and one day, he got this phone call from the home landline. “The guy said my father had bought some rice somewhere and they are waiting for me to pick it in town,” he said.
Eric was to meet the guy at Mama Ngina Street, and carry Sh7,000 for paying for the rice.
“My dad was mteja, and my mum did not want to lose that opportunity, so she put the money in my shirt pocket so I could be safe,” he said, adding that it was the largest amount of money he had handled then.
He boarded a matatu and headed to Mama Ngina to meet the guy.
“The guy looked sharply dressed. He asked if I was Eric and if I had brought the money, I gave him the money and he told me to wait for him to bring the rice in a few minutes.”
Eric says he waited for two hours, only for a waiter to come down and ask if he was Eric.
“He told me that my mum had called them to ask if I was there. My mum said she had a bad feeling and asked if I had given the guy the money and I said yeah, and she realised I had been conned,” he said.
Eric says the only thing his mother was happy about was that nothing bad had happened to him.