No one will save you, except you

Jackie Wilson Asheeke

Thieves and con artists thrive in tough times. Periods of fear and uncertainty make most people desperate for relief. Enter the conmen. They take people’s dreams and fears and use it against them. These people are without conscience; they tell any lie that separates people from their money. Ripped off people condemn the police or the government for not protecting them. But, at the end of the day no one will save you, except you.

The government handles the laws, regulations and the climate for our quality of life. We need the police to enforce the laws. None of that will matter if people don’t take responsibility for the decisions they make.

We keep reading stories about women who have given over enormous amounts of money to scam artists calling themselves Prophets or Apostles or ‘Doctors’. This won’t end until people take responsibility for themselves and stop looking for miracle cures and solutions.

Far too many Namibians are ‘investing’ in foreign currency trading scams, pyramid schemes, and whatever else they think will turn a quick buck. The conmen know this and are on the hunt for greedy or gullible targets. There are many.

In a recent case, women were told by a so-called ‘prophet’ that they were investing in some unknown business. He regaled them with lies that they would get a huge return on their investment in a ridiculously short period of time. That was the first ‘give away’ that should have made these women close their purses and run for cover.

Here is the best rule to defeat the grifters – If money was so easy to make, then everyone would do it.

Giving money to some slickster in a shiny suit and pointy-toed shoes who pulls out a wad of cash and waves it in your face, is always a wrong decision. N$1,000 will not earn you $100,000 in a week, a month or a year. Anyone who says these things is lying even if they claim that Jesus gave them the information in a dream.

There are no miracle cures for HIV/AIDS, COVID, TB or anything else. Men who are impotent: there are no expensive mumbo-jumbo mixtures that will make your penis suddenly function, shrink your belly or stop balding. Women: there are no exotic drinks that can grow hair, lose 20 kgs in a week, stop aging, or make some man love you. Selling these usual myths earns big money for conmen.

In these days of financial disaster and pandemic, the sociopathic conmen are making money and destroying lives. These exploiters learn some pseudo-news from the internet or television and then present it as if it was a revelation. And, all kinds of people decide to fall for it.

I was raised in the ‘hood and have seen and heard different con games used on people. I shake my head in utter confusion about how someone could give a ‘prophet’ $100,000 in cash for any reason. I am trying hard to recall a prophet in the Bible that demanded gold from the faithful.

We all have burdens and worries. We all have fears and pain. There are real solutions for most of what ails us. There are real, tested treatments for many medical concerns. When we are depressed, giving money to dream-weavers will not solve those inner woes.

We must take charge of ourselves and seek credible sources of information and support. The internet has many wonderful outlets, but twice as many pitfalls. We must be aware when we read articles about research. Double-check everything against many sources and professionals in the field. Most of all, we need to consult our common sense! If something sounds too good to be true…IT IS!

We must believe in ourselves and make better choices. You can fall in the water and scream for someone to save you as you drown exactly where you fell. Or you can start swimming to the nearest shore, looking for floatable things to help you along the way.

Seeing the brothas in my ‘hood rip people off, I learned that you can’t be cheated if you know you must work hard to achieve your goals or solve your problems. Only those looking for short cuts fall prey to conmen.

Trust your instincts. If something sounds strange, if you have unanswered questions, if your 6th sense tells you to walk away -listen to it. No one can help you in the end, but you.

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