In 2016, I nearly became a yahoo boy.
A friend in Ghana, who was a yahoo boy, wanted me to come join him in Kumasi and do relationship scams.
Broke and under-employed, Yahoo yahoo looked like the easy path to wealth, the easy way to freedom.
Unless you’ve gone days without money, unless you’ve been insulted and sidelined because you keep begging friends and siblings for cash to get by, you’ll never understand why young people become yahoo boys.
So why did I not go on to become a yahoo boy?
I used a simple heuristic I’ve always used to make all my life decisions.
Before I commit myself to any career, I’d do this:
In 2016, my answer was an emphatic no.
The yahoo boys I knew who had gone 10, 15, 20 years in the game had a life I’d never wish for my enemy. Of course, they could now be called yahoo men.
- Many of them were in jail, serving terms from 5 to 15 years.
- Many of them were dead. Either karma got to them. Or they had a little too much to drink and while driving home ran into a truck and died.
- Many of them were raving mad. Either the repercussions of using voodoo to scam people. Or the adverse effects of hard drugs, like Codeine, Tramadol, etc.
- Many of them had no peace. I consider peace to be a calm mind, a home full of love and laughter, and a healthy body.
Around me, I didn’t see any successful yahoo boy. In the long term!
The logic used by many entry-level yahoo boys is to get in, grab as much money as possible, then go legit.
Start a business in fashion, oil and gas, or real estate. Or whatever.
Just get out of yahoo yahoo and live forever happily ever after.
But the thing with illegitimate means is that it’s addictive.
Once your get-away business starts struggling, the first option is to go back and grab some more capital.
Slowly, you’re trapped in a vicious cycle.
Truth is the yahoo path has no promise. It’s a dead end.
Naval has a line from his How To Get Rich Without Getting Lucky Podcast that makes this clearer…
“In the pursuit of wealth, don’t do anything that will set you back. Don’t do anything that will send you to jail…”
Yahoo sets you back a lot. It should not be an option for wealth.
If you care for yourself, please don’t become a yahoo boy. Whatever you’re going through, there is a way – even in the darkest hall…