Every so often, you receive a beautiful message on WhatsApp or by email telling you great things about yourself. The message extols the virtues of sacrifice, love and courage. You are so touched, you want to cry. You are fighting to hold the tears in; there are too many people around and they shouldn’t see you cry. When you get to your room, you’ll wail like an infant trying to get mummy to buy him a Ben 10 watch. Mummy’s explanation that Uganda doesn’t have enough electricity to power that watch is falling on deaf ears. Jimmy, mummy’s right. Owen Falls Dam can’t power a Ben 10 watch; when we build Karuma though…

Back to that very powerful message-it says, at the very end, that you must forward it. If you don’t forward it, it usually says the same things-destruction, spoil, sadness will follow you. For whoever creates these messages, here are a few other ways you can compel us to forward them. Forward this message or else:

A boda boda guy will scratch your car in traffic. You’ll look up to give him that look that says terrible things to him and the next five generations that he’ll father and he’ll turn back and scratch your car again. And again. And a fourth time for effect. In shock, you’ll raise an alarm and get out of your car. He’ll disappear. Just like that. You’ll be left raising an alarm, having stopped rush hour traffic. Everyone around you will say they didn’t see any boda boda guy. But your car will have scratches. Forward this message

Forward this message or else the lift will get stuck with just you, your boss and the CEO in it. Your boss and the CEO will have what to talk about and you’ll feel awkward, clearing your throat every so often to remind them you are still there. They’ll continue to talk about golf and how “air in the country is so fresh”, oblivious to all your nervous coughs. They’ll even discuss a demotion.


Forward this message or you’ll be in a taxi to a faraway destination and when you get there, you’ll realize that your wallet is empty. The conductor will have already fought with two previous passengers who alighted and attempted to run off without paying. Forward this message.

Forward this message and you’ll get a phone call from the real White House, not a Nigerian one, asking what account they should wire your money to.

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