Don Jazzy Responds To A Fan In Need
by Oby Douglas
If you’re on Facebook, I am certain you are no stranger to messages like this from strangers you’ve never met: “Hi my name is blah blah blah, I need your help please…my account number is…My God will reward you richly. Thank you”
The Internet is crawling with messages like the one above. Ninety percent of those messages are usually brushed aside as scam and forgotten in the same moment they are received. In Nigeria, many of us believe these scams have diabolical connections, so it easy to understand why some of us never get past the first few lines of those messages let-alone send a reply. When you are living in a community riddled with stories of ” touch and follow”, “stolen private parts”, “419” and “good luck bandits” in a twisted sort of way it’s only rational that your mind could become paranoid when faced with strangers in need; even when those faces are harmless avatars on the profiles of a social media network.
Occasionally, I wonder about the number of persons who – after exploring every other option their pride could permit to change a troubling situation – resort to social media networks to seek help, only to be met with cold shoulders because their troubling situation did not have the good fortune to trend on twitter.
A few days ago, a young man; David James Jay, circulated an emotional letter on Facebook and Twitter about his personal struggles. I found two things interesting about his story, namely; his need and the reaction of the public to his situation. Concerning his need; David isn’t dying of Ebola, his sister isn’t one of the missing girls and there is nothing wrong with his kidney. He is simply a computer science student who needs ten thousand naira (N10,000) to complete his savings to buy a computer in order to make the most of his university education. (Read James’ story
Perhaps the concept of a workman in need of work tools is not as emotionally persuasive as a story of rape or starving children. And this could explain why no one (except Don Jazzy who recently sent James the sum of thirty thousand Naira) batted an eyelid to the young man’s tragic tale which in many ways is symbolic of the Nigerian situation today; a rising case of half baked professionals and students with no access to proper learning resources, gearing up to manage an economy that aims to compete actively on the global stage.
I spoke with Mr David on the phone recently (his contact number is available on both his Facebook message and twitter profile), He confirmed that he has almost raised the complete money for his computer and he is very grateful to Don Jazzy for responding to his need. When I asked him if he had expected any positive response from the celebrities and people he contacted for help on his social network, he replied “Yes. I was hopeful that they would respond. I really tried to do it on my own, but I had run out of options. I am grateful to Mr. Don Jazzy for his assistance. When I saw the alert I screamed. My God will continue to bless him and his family“
According to James, his challenge is not totally resolved yet, because of the situation with his brother’s iPad and something about his mother waiting for contributions in her collective to mature. But he is a long way from where started and he plans to keep pushing his message on Facebook and twitter until he is able to buy the computer he needs for school.
If James is a fraud, the next story that enters our inbox or mentions might be legit. How do we tell the difference? Most times we can’t. But we cannot afford to let those fears cloud our heart and make us cold to strangers in need. Kudos to Don Jazzy for doing the right thing.