This is a continuation of last weeks story, ensure you have read it before you read this What a shame Kenyans *(Part 1)
After confirming that Queenella had actually given us fabricated information, we sat down to brainstorm on how to get the truth behind this story. One is innocent until proven guilty. So Kristin writes a text message to Akello, (Hello, I have contacts in Kenya and I am suggesting that the person is going to the school to pay the money directly. Greetings!) She then forwards the same to me.
Most schools in Kenya have an account number, so if we get the right information, then the money can be sent straight to the school. Minutes later I receive a text from Kristin, (Hi, here is the answer from Kenya, but I don´t understand it-Thanks for the message but I will not be responsible for anything). I do not understand the message too! I ask her to give me Akelos number so that I could talk to her and make the suggestion on the thought that because I am her fellow Kenyan, then she will understand me better.
My phone call with Akelo
Kristin agrees to this and forwards me the number. At around 2pm I make the call, a female voice picks up and we converse in Swahili. I introduce myself and tell her I am looking for Akelo. She tells me Akelo is attending to a church function and I could call anytime after 6pm. Not very convinced, I ask her a few questions.
“Is Queenella at home?” She tells me she is at not at home at that moment and tells me when I call later she will be home. Then I ask, “Has she gone to School?” “ I am not very sure on when she returns to school because she still does not have school fees.” She responded and I get an opportunity to ask her, which school is she in. And now she tells me, “I am actually Queenella’s aunt and I just came visiting so I am not sure which school she goes to.” We end it there. “Ok, thank you very much, please do inform Akelo I will call her later in the day.”
So I get back to Kristin and tell her I did call unfortunately I did not get to talk to Akelo. I take my time and I call her again at 6pm my Norwegian time which is 8pm in Kenya, assuming that Akelo and her daughter will most likely to be home.
When she picks up my phone, I recognise the voice is actually the voice that I spoke to during the day. I feel disappointed, it takes me back to my days in radio where you have an exciting promotion and the same callers call in more than once and fake their names simply because they have been winning too much or at times they have tried the first luck and failed and now want to give it another trial by using a different name.
I explain that I had earlier called and missed her. She tells me she has no job, so most of the time she is at the church helping out in the church errands so during the day, she is rarely at home.
I inform her that I am a Kenyan living in Norway and would like to assist her friend Kristin pay Qeenellas school fees directly to the school. She sounds hesitant about this suggestion and goes on to tell me why she needs the money sent to her then she could go and pay by herself. But I try to convince her that she does not need to go through the hustle of going to the school which I am informed is quite far from her place. In between the conversation, I ask her, “By the way, in which school is Queenella and in which form is she in?”
She states that Queenella is in form three but doesn’t reveal the school though she says it is within Nyakach. We don´t agree and as I try to dig in, she sounds really irritated. But since I have the School fees structure, I ask her, “ Mummy your daughter is in form three, it surprises me that you do not have an idea which school she is in. My friend Kristin tells me Queenella is in Nyakach Girls High School, is it true?”
My phone call with Queenella
“And why do you ask all those questions if you already know the school? Here is Queenella talk to her,” she said and handed over the phone to Queenella. “When are you coming, I need the school fees very soon, it is two weeks now and I am missing so much on my studies. How did you come in between all those and why do you insist that the money should be sent through you? She keeps talking and I really feel irritated on this side, but I hold my peace.” She is raising her voice on me so I stop her. “Hey Queenella, can I get this from you. You say you haven’t been to school for two weeks now, which school are you in and in which class? “Nyakachi Girls High school, I am in form 3,” she said.
“What names do you use as per your admission in school?” I ask. She gives me her full name similar to the one I had asked from the school and there was no student by that name. So I ask her, “Can I help Kristin pay your school fees direct to school?” Her response is a clear No. She then gives me a long story as to why this cannot be done. “Our school is very strict and the principal will never allow our school fees to be paid by any other person other than our parents. Again we need to be there in person when our school fees are being paid so that as students we remain with the receipts.”
Having schooled in Kenya, I know that this is a lie. Many are the times my parents sent me to school to pay school fees for my siblings, which I did without any problem. Secondly, of late many school fees transactions are done at the banks, you do not have to go to the school to pay the fees in person. But all these may differ with schools and their location. So I now decide to tell her the truth.
“Queenella, it is unfortunate that I doubt this all information you have given to me. We had intended to pay the school fees directly to the school as per the fee structure you sent Kristin, unfortunately the fee structure differs from the form three’s at Nyakach Girls and again your name does not appear in Nyakach Girls. I asked for your full name just like you said it, however there is no student by that name. I really can tell you are giving us fake information, is there anything you are not telling us?”
She goes silence and immediately hands over the phone to her mother. I give her the same information and ask her why is all this information misleading. She gets really furious with me and tells me all sorts of words as I patiently listen to her make all accusation on me. “I can see you do not want my daughter to go to school and that is why you want to come in and spoil all our plans. How does it benefit you when my daughter stays at home. Kristin has been paying Queenellas school fees for the past two years and now there are only two years to go and now here you are. You know what, God will reward you, and you will not believe that she will go to school and finish her studies without lack of school fees. I am a believer and I have seen God make miracles. Tell your friend, not to send me the money anymore. She has done enough, I am not interested in her help anymore.”
All this conversation is going on in Swahili. She went on and on and she wouldn’t let me say a thing, so now I raise my voice and tell her, “Mummy, I am sorry for annoying you like this, we had just thought there was a need to clarify the information especially after we got conflicting information from the school…… and before I could finish my sentence she hung up on me.
All is not lost
That was last week on Tuesday and until today, she has never called my number, neither has she contacted Kristin. When I ask Kristin about the two years she has been paying Queenellas school fees, she tells me she has never given any financial help to Akelo, this was her first time. Anyway, the truth is we did confirm the information was all a lie and that she had a clear plan on how to Swindle Kristin all this amount of money.
It is unfortunate that I have heard quite a number of fake stories about Africans in the diaspora, from fake passports, fake names and many more asking for financial help in very dubious means. There is still hope that these are some of the rare cases that try hard to taint the good image of the African continent. As I said earlier, Kenya is a very dear country to the Norwegians, and that is why I write this story not as a way to expose the bad side of Kenyans, so but as a way to caution all the well wishers to always clarify any information before they decide to offer their help to anyone. There are genuine cases that need help and it is always very satisfying to know that you actually helped genuine people.
For the Kenyans and other Africans like Akelo, liars will not have it for too long. The truth shall set us free, we lose the best opportunity because of our greediness. When the Mzungu is working hard to help us out in any way, lets appreciate their efforts by being sincere. “I really have wanted to help her, because I am convinced that maybe Queenella is in school and in need but now, I am sure she will not dare come back with different information, so she loses out. It is sad”. Said a disappointed Kristin. Hope this gives us something to ponder about on our fate as Africans. Have a blessed week ahead!