An Open Letter from the Nigerian Prince

August 3, 2020 | Somewhere in Nigeria

Fellow global citizens,

You may be wondering why you haven’t heard from me in a while. Rest assured, I have a story to tell you – one of hope and dreams and longing and ambition.

I’d like to begin by clearing the air. There seem to be other scammers mimicking my style when it comes to requesting large sums of money these days (looking at you, Syrian Banker), but I, The Nigerian Prince who started it all, have stepped back from the forays of the Internet.

Here’s what happened.

About 30 years ago, when email was becoming a ‘thing,’ I was a mere schoolboy on the precipice of graduation. My family sat around the dinner table one night and, after a hearty meal followed by rounds of political debate, my parents asked, “Prince, child, what will you do for a living?”

I told them I’d like to write emails. They laughed and said there was no money in that.

“My parents asked, ‘Prince, child, what will you do for a living?’ I told them I’d like to write emails. They laughed and said there was no money in that.”

So, I set out to prove them wrong. I set up countless email accounts and wove stories of my fortune being held hostage to war, corruption, and political unrest. I humbly, urgently cajoled you into sending me your bank account number so that you could help me move my money out of the country, with the promise of generous pay. And you did.

We had a relationship, you and I. I was a perpetual victim and you were looking for someone to save (and profit from). My English wasn’t the best, but I enjoyed the flourish of greetings like “Compliments of the season” and “Pardon the abruptness of this letter” and “Get back to me Urgently!” I became addicted to the pretenses of being a business executive, a barrister, a royal with a better backstory, and the quick acceptance of lies like “This transaction is 100% risk free.” I targeted your naiveté in hopes of erasing my own. And your millions of dollars became my millions.

It was extremely fun – until my scam was revealed.

I don’t need to say much about my fall from grace other than, well, I fell.

My peers urged me to lay low. I began journaling and took an English course, an excellent investment that spared me from relying on Google Translate. The more I read the news, the clearer it became that most of you found me funny (pitiful, even) – just like my parents did when I said I wanted to write emails.

Anyway, that’s in the past. I’m married now, with 3 children of my own. Thanks to you, they attended excellent private schools. I’m also wiser now, and it’s clear that my actions all those years ago were foolish.

But there’s a silver lining.

“Looking back at those thousands of emails, it turns out what I loved most was the writing. I, The Nigerian Prince, was born a storyteller.”

Looking back at those thousands of emails, it turns out what I loved most was the writing. I, The Nigerian Prince, was born a storyteller. That’s why I’m excited to tell you I’ve been accepted to a graduate writing program in Los Angeles! If I accept, my family and I will need to relocate to the United States and I will finally – finally – pursue my dream of becoming a novelist.

That’s where you come in. I hope you can contribute a few dollars towards my continued education; in return, I will give you a small percentage of the royalties from what will soon be (let’s face it) a bestselling memoir of my life.

After all, what is life if we are not pursuing our dreams?

If you’d like to support mine, please Venmo me @NigerianPrince4Ever.

Yours,

The Nigerian Prince