MUST READ: With Love From Computer Village


Married with kids now, sometimes I just look at them - a boy and a girl- and wonder, I was once like these; innocent, inexperienced and very naïve, because, of the truth, no one is born a gangster or the like.

Twenty-eight years in Computer Village as a 'Sales Rep' doesn't mean, if I get there, I wouldn't get striked with a bad deal. Being Ibo doesn't even warrant that you've read all the tricks in the book because, the book doesn't even exist; its a cull from all your everyday experience that has made every Computer Village 'sales rep' an author of his own books of tricks.

As bad as I might get a bad deal upon stepping foot today into computer village, it doesn't mean, I myself can't sell glasses to the blind. Come on! 28 years isn't a small term in jail, spare me here :)

You've once been duped? Oh, someone sold you a fone and after you got home, you found it has transformed into eba? Fufu? Even bread? Well, that must have been painful. But more painful is the invent of -should I say prototypes- of original fones? Like Nokia? Samsung? And even the Blackberry (Torch 2 Model) which we've found ourselves calling chinko. (China fones)

These fones really gave a boost to business upon their arrival in 2004, a bosom friend of mine Taye, went to a store where they sell those at wholesale prices, and bought quite a large sum. The crazy thing back then was that people weren't really knowing the difference between these and the original thing, well except when they switch it on and try to play music, the embarrassing sounds that tend to output only the noisy part of the songs absent bass and tenor fills the air.

No one knew, even it took a while for me to realise this is the next phase in 'Sales rep-manship' I'm trying not to be harsh here because, the things that have gone through some people in Computer Village is quite shocking to mention a few.

One woman, back in 2005 bought a chinko fone from Taye. MTN just started improving on their data services and browsing was still very new and young to mobile devices. This woman bought the supposed Nokia for quite a sum - N50,000 when in actual fact Taye got that china fone for less - N7,500 and at wholesale price, I bet It wouldn't be more than N5000.

The woman took the fone with so much enthusiasm having felt she struck a good deal quite that afternoon, but after some hours, same day, she came back - sweating and looking all over for Taye. I saw her and recognised her instantly, but then where was Taye? I needed to warn him about seeing the woman around in drenched in sweats. Going around, I later saw him, but it was too late. The woman was with him already. I couldn't say what was going on because the woman didn t act as I'd expect a woman, she was rather calm, although sweaty.

After some minutes with Taye, constantly opening the fone and closing it, I concluded he had met his doom, because how would you explain to a woman old enough to be your Aunt that she has just been duped?

Taye came after sometime to me, smiling and saying wow! he was really scared seeing the woman approach him. He didn't know if he should stay or run or just act like he never knew her, but his instincts convinced him to stay, and he got the benefit in that. The woman wanted him to help her set the time and give her a nice ring tone.

It then dawned on me, this woman doesn't even know how to operate a fone! She must have gotten the money from probably her very rich Alhaji husband or from another Alhaji.

But all the same, Taye went home afterwards, feeling a little unsafe about himself already. I smiled as I saw him walk on, hoping one day, we'll all quit this and really make a life for ourselves.

For the few more episodes that would follow this, I plan to expose to us all the very crazy tactics and plans,we boys in computer village employ to make N5,000 become N500,000. Some of us have been jailed, some detained, some transferred abroad to further capitalise on the lessons learnt in there, but amidst all the 'hoodlumerism' there's always an innocent 'sales rep' in computer village, only that he's no longer there as I speak. :)

Signed - Amadi

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