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Etwas anderer "Spass mit der Nigeria-Connection"

Etwas off-topic, aber doch irgendwie hierher gehörend, ist die Geschichte des in Nigeria entstandenen Popsongs "I Go Chop Your Dollar", der Schadenfreude, Geldgier und Underdog-Bewußtsein auf selbstbewußte Art und Weise anders erzählt, als es in den westlichen Metropolen ansonsten und im Kontext der Blogosphäre im Besonderen (vgl. z.B. manchen "A-List-Blogger") üblich ist:

Während in den Medien - etwa auch bei SPIEGEL online - geldgierige weisse europäische wie us-amerikanische Mittelständler seit Jahren vor der sogenannten Nigeria-Connection, oder den Cyber-Scammers (auch 419er genannt - dem nigerianischen Gesetz gegen Betrug) warnen, werden die sogenannten Maghas (Yoruba-Slang für Narren) in der nigerianischen Popkultur überaus verehrt. Als Beispiel sei hier der Song "I Go Chop Your Dollar" des in Nigeria populären Schauspielers und Sängers Nkem Owoh (auch Osuofia genannt) erwähnt:

"We are the masters, you are the losers"

Der Text geht ungefähr so:

I done suffer no be small
Upon say I get sense
Poverty no good at all, no
Na im make I join this business

419 no be thief, it's just a game
Everybody dey play em
if anybody fall mugu,
ha! my brother I go chop em

National Airport na me get em
National Stadium na me build em
President na my sister brother
You be the mugu, I be the master

Oyinbo man I go chop your dollar,
I go take your money and disappear

419 is just a game, you are the losers, we are the winners.
White people are greedy, I can say they are greedy.
White men, I will eat your dollars, will take your money and disappear.
419 is just a game, we are the masters, you are the losers.

The refinery na me get em,
The contract, na you I go give em
But you go pay me small money make I bring em
you be the mugu, I be the master…
na me be the master ooo!!!!

When Oyinbo play wayo,
dey go say na new style
When country man do him own,
them go dey shout: bring em, kill em, die!

That Oyinbo people greedy, I say them greedy
I don't see them tire
That's why when they fall into my trap o!
I dey show them fire

via The Turkey Curse

Die Chicago Tribune (20.10. 2005) berichtet über das Phänomen:

"Nobody feels sorry for the victims," Samuel said. Scammers, he said, "have the belief that white men are stupid and greedy. They say the American guy has a good life. There's this belief that for every dollar they lose, the American government will pay them back in some way."

What makes the scams so tempting for the targets is that they promise a tantalizing escape from the mundane disappointments of life. The scams offer fabulous riches or the love of your life, but first the magha has to send a series of escalating fees and payments. In a dating scam, for instance, the fraudsters send pictures taken from modeling websites.

Zur Rezeption des Songs können wir in einem Weblog zur nigerianischen Popkultur (naija jams) lesen:

November 9th, 2005
I Go Chop Your Dollar

[I go chop your dollar, Nkem Owoh, Osuofia, The Master] Two weeks ago, an article on the 419 (or advance fee fraud) scam circulated widely in the blogsphere and among the online media publications. Much of the pick-up was due to the the song, that the author led the readers to believe, brashly affirmed that the Nigerian 419ers were out to grab foreigners’ dollars, and moreover, that the song was one of the most popular songs in Lagos.

Upon reading the article, the takeaway of most viewers could probably be lumped into three groups. The first group didn’t give it much though. The second group questioned if the song was indeed for real… “Are they really singing, ‘Oyinbo, I go chop your dollar?’” And the third group thought… there go those Nigerians (scammers) again… @#$% emails? #%&

Shortly after the release of the article, the full-length music video became available online which sparked a whole new round of discussions, yet somewhat to my surprise, none of them seemed to get it (i.e. none showed any well-founded understanding of the song… and many pointed to erroneous translations of the lyrics.)

Prior to seeing the video, I was confused and didn’t know exactly what to think. I asked myself, “Have the 419ers taken over Lagos? Are they so popular that their praises were being sung on the radio?” Thankfully the video is out and after viewing it, everything became immediately clear to me. I’d like to share a few points:

1. The artist on the track is Nigeria’s most popular comedic actor, Nkem Owoh
2. Nkem is known throughout West Africa for his comedic wit & flawless delivery in films such as, such as: My In Law, Atinga, Ukwa, Osuofia in London, etc.
3. He is often interchangeably referred to as the characters in his films – most commonly Osuofia.
4. The song, “Oyinbo, I Go Chop Your Dollar,” is the title track from the comedy, The Master, starring Nkem Owoh as a scheming 419er.
5. The song is intended to be a comedic accompaniment and title track to the film, The Master.
6. If there was any doubt, lyrics like, “National Airport na me get am / National Stadium na me build am” (I own the National Airport / I built the Nigerian National Stadium (Surulere – Lagos, Nigeria)) clearly communicate this.

Hopefully this clarifies things for some viwers.

Moving along… it’s interesting to see Nkem Owoh crossing over into music. Reportedly, several Nigerian actors are attempting similar crossovers including Nigeria’s Movie starlet, Omotola Jalade Ekeinde, who is reported to be releasing an album later this year.

Have a laugh and check out Nkem Owoh in the music video, “I Go Chop Your Dollar” (Director: Uzodinma Okpechi) from the film, The Master (2005)

Von offizieller nigerianischer Seite ist folgendes in der Nigerian Tribune überliefert:

"Nkem Owoh's hit Album I go chop your dollar marketed by Kas-Vid Music is fast selling though the presidency is said not to be happy about the lyrics because it does not portray a good image of the nation."

Aus erzählforscherischer Perspektive beschäftigte sich der Münchner Volkskundler Klaus Roth am Ende seines Beitrags über die "Nigeria-Connection" zwar auch mit dem Spott, den die nigerianische Populärkultur zum Besten gibt, zentral geht es bei ihm aber - by the way: in einer etwas aufgeregten und empörten Diktion - um "Lügenmärchen" beim medienvermittelten Erzählen via Internet-Kommunikation. Vgl. Klaus Roth: "Sie mögen überrascht sein, diesen Brief von mir zu erhalten." Phantastische E-Mail-Geschichten mit krimineller Absicht. In: Thomas Hengartner / Brigitta Schmidt-Lauber (Hg.): Leben - Erzählen. Beiträge zur Erzähl- und Biographieforschung. Festschrift für Albrecht Lehmann. Berlin/Hamburg: Reimer, 2005, S. 395-407.

Update 26.04. 2006:
Markus Schwaiger, ein Berufsdetektiv in Wien und EDV-Spezialist, schreibt im Blaulicht- und Graulicht-Blog über die Nigeria-Connection im Gestus des aufklärerischen Enthüllers. Solche Leute dürften sich besonders über den Song ärgern. AGB

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