The hustle is real; I was conned off my phone while job-searching

by Monicah Wangari
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Someone once referred me to a job opportunity. I was desperate for a job. For the longest time I had lived with the narrative that for one to be successful, I have to go to school, get a job, get married, have kids then die peacefully. Back then, I didn’t know that it is not a path as straight as I dreamt.

By God’s grace, I have a job, the famous 8-5. However, I didn’t just get here. I took a few hits here and there. 

I remember in early 2017, I was jobless. I was really desperate to live the success narrative above. It felt like I was lacking something and at the same time lagging behind on life since I didn’t have a job. Then a friend, let’s call him Ell, hooked me up with someone for a job.

It was a Sunday morning. I was supposed to go to church. I didn’t. Instead, I went to town to meet the guy Ell had hooked me up with, let’s call him Zed. Zed was to help me with the job application process and brief me up, as the interview was the following day, a Monday. I was ecstatic. 

I got to town, printed my cv, and headed to the location that Zed had proposed. He sat by a corner. I courteously greeted him. I mean, this guy was gonna make my dream come true, at least I hoped so. He handed me a blank page and a pen to note down my already printed cover letter. Ati that’s more appealing to the employer. I got down to it. Sasa si my hopes kept rising. While I was writing, he got a call and he stepped outside to pick it. He kept making his way to and from where I was. Then he eventually came at me with a “my phone airtime just ended, kindly assist me with your phone so I can keep communicating with another guy who’s working on getting you the job.” Kama ni wewe ungedo?!

And that is how my phone left me. It took me like 10 minutes after he’d left for me to realize I’d been played. Heartbreak in minutes. I asked the staff who told me security offices don’t open on Sunday – I wanted to get the camera footage. It made no sense that they were open with no surveillance on that specific day. Imagine going back home to tell guys your phone was stolen by the guy who was supposed to get you a job the next day. Si ni life. The hustle is real.

Frustrated and disappointed, my mind was convinced Ell played part in it. I did ask Ell about it later on – turns out it wasn’t his friend really, just those forwarded messages. I was also convinced the guy drugged me. But seeing how excited I was, maybe I was simply ignorant.

I saw this sad tweet earlier about a new graduate’s job search. And the memories came back to me. In a capitalist society like Kenya, Nairobi is a man-eat-man world. Sigh!

What’s your hustle story?

Ps; that dope featured photo was edited by the artistic chege higi. Check his page out; digital art by chege

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Kevin August 27, 2020 - 10:58 am

Yikes… it’s uncanny that I’ve had a starkly similar experience in town… I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s the same guy. I hope you followed up with your friend… what did he tell you about the referral?

Monicah Wangari August 27, 2020 - 11:15 am

Hey Kev,
Damn am sorry.
I did follow up but it was a dead end.
He said he didn’t know the guy well and the numbers were switched off

When It Rains, It Pours! - September 9, 2020 - 11:24 am

[…] The hustle is real; I was conned off my phone while job-searching […]

ScamTember - Afrobloggers. October 2, 2020 - 3:04 pm

[…] Themkare shared an incident when someone saw it fit to help themselves to their phone in When It Rains It Pours and before that had written about losing another phone in The Hustle is Real I was conned off my phone while job searching […]


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