A Woman Conned

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I didn’t quite catch her name, so let’s name her Kate. I met Kate outside our campus gates, distraught, cheated. She let me in on a tale that left me all jumbled up on emotions, not knowing whether to laugh at her or offer her a shoulder and say; “There there…take it easy child.”

Besides being an accounting student, Kate makes a living out of teaching at a primary school. She knows a college mate of mine, Derrick, who told her that he could get her exam papers for this year’s KCPE examinations at a small stipend. Scam alert! She jumped right into it, told her students who did a little harambee and managed Ksh.10,000. When I met her on Tuesday last week, she was a woman scorned and conned. Apparently when she brought the money to Derrick, he wanted more than just the money. After receiving the amount, he added an extra payment- sex. Take it or leave it. She left it.

Looking at her sorry predicament, it is easy to point out the factors that led her to this quandary. First, we are a nation of people dying to win at whatever cost. We have a bunch of outcome-oriented students taught by similarly outcome-oriented teachers and pushed by goal-driven parents. The prize is to get into a trophy college. Ordinarily therefore, we strive to get ahead. We will do anything, and if Ksh. 10,000 is all it takes, well, what the hell.

Of course, there is no correlation between passing an exam and happiness, but you cannot tell that to a student sitting for a final exam. It isn’t so much about happiness as it is about winning. And then there is Derrick and his ilk, who have a keen eye for desperation, and boy do they see it from miles away. Me thinks the sex demand was just part of the con. I doubt he really wanted to bed Kate. It was his way of defrauding her because he didn’t have the mwakenya in the first place.

But then I end at the same point I began with; I am not sure I should laugh at Kate or pity her. On one hand, I am not a player in the business of selling national exam papers, but I know a paltry Ksh. 10,000 doesn’t fit that bill. Being a teacher, Kate should have known better. On the other hand, here was a woman who has been conned of an amount way above her net pay grade. And God help her if she dares report this to the fuzz.

After she was through bleeding out her woes to me, my advice to her was simple; to count her losses and name them one by one.


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