Book review : I Do Not Come To You By Chance : By Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani

Kingsley, the main protagonist in the story is a young Nigerian man who has a good education and a promising career ahead of him. His father is a poor but honest retired civil servant. His mother is a small-time entrepreneur who would rather starve than pocket a crooked cent. And they’ve inculcated their children, especially eldest son Kingsley, with their values.

Kingsley, the main protagonist in the story is a young Nigerian man who has a good education and a promising career ahead of him. His father is a poor but honest retired civil servant. His mother is a small-time entrepreneur who would rather starve than pocket a crooked cent. And they’ve inculcated their children, especially eldest son Kingsley, with their values.

His world is shattered when his father becomes ill and the family is unable to afford the treatment needed to save his life. His sweetheart Ola dumps him because he can’t provide for her and thus sees no future in their relationship, and finds man who can afford to buy her a Dolce and Gabbana wristwatch and Gucci slippers. Kingsley who believed that education was everything, that through wisdom, all things were possible, now realizes that his degrees will do nothing but adorn the walls of his parents’ low-rent house. And when a tragedy befalls his family, Kingsley learns that his education may be the language of success in Nigeria, but its the money that does the talking.

Desperate to help his father, Kingsley turns to his mysteriously wealthy uncle Boniface aka Cash Daddy and gets drawn in to the bizarre world of the email scammer. Cash Daddy,a fat man who stuffs into Versace jeans and Yves Saint Laurent shirts, swaggers about town hollering at retainers, savoring beautiful women and fast cars, and consorting with buddies with names like World Bank International and Pounds Sterling, men who, Kingsley notes, all suffer from “elephantiasis of the pocket.” Kingsley now uses his degree in chemical engineering to draft e-mails urging anonymous suckers to believe that he is the distressed and wealthy widow of a deposed Nigerian official who needs help transferring funds out of the country or the nation’s minister of aviation offering a remarkable investment opportunity in a new airport. Then the replies begin to come from all over the world as people unbelievingly fall for the fraud.

The most interesting part of the book in the insight into the life of an email scammer whose job is to send fraudulent emails like the ones we are used to receiving in our mails everyday and sending them to the trash box, well knowing that they are frauds. But more fascinating is that some people especially wealthy old Europeans and Americans, still fall for this fake stories and eventually even become bankrupted.

 I Do Not Come to You By Chance is a sly twist on an old-fashioned morality tale and its refusal to tidily reward the good and punish the bad will alternately horrify, amuse, and bemuse its readers. But at the same time, its breezy tale urges a degree of compassion for the struggling denizens of a realm not governed by law.

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