“My Name is Nwabudike and I am from Nigeria….”

Perhaps you’ve received an email like this: 

“My name is Nwabudike and I am from Nigeria. Please I would like you to keep this proposal as a top-secret and delete it if you are not interested and get back to me if you are interested for details as regards to the transfer of $24,500,000 to you. this money initially belongs to a client who died and had no next of kin in his account-opening package.”

Or like this: 

I am Mrs. Isabel Jose from Spain married to Mr. Joe Armstrong from Sierra Leone for eleven years now, we have three kids … I have a business proposal which I believe that will be a very Good opportunity for both of us so I decided to contact you on this business opportunity in our bank, the business is this I discovered an abandoned sum of 10.500m US dollars (Ten million five hundred thousand united states dollars) in our safety deposit vault that belongs to one of our foreign customer. Who died along with his entire family on 15th April 2005 in a ghastly motor accident along Valencia express way.

Or maybe an email with a more friendly and familiar tone, like this: 

Dear friend
I am Dr Raymond Chien Independent Non-executive Director of Hang Seng Bank Hong Kong I have a business transaction of $44.5 million USD to share with you,If interested contact me for more details via my personal email

We’ve all received them. They come from Nigeria and Spain; Kenya and China. They have a name, a promise of more money than most of us could ever dream of, and often a tragedy thrown in for good measure. They are the famous internet business proposals that we know are false. We laugh at them. We “tsk, tsk” at them. We hit delete. But how many of us have secretly thought, just once, that maybe, just maybe we could outsmart the sender. Maybe we could turn the tables on them and receive something for nothing?

A clever playwright in Chicago did just this with an internet business proposal. In 2009, Steve Gadlin received an email from a Kenyan gentleman. The email was an offer to purchase a play that a Mister Victor Gido had written. The price? $30,000. Thus began an email correspondence that one can guess went to and fro until ultimately Mr. Gadlin purchased an original play for $50.

Here’s how it happened:Mr. Gadlin took the most impossible plot line ever developed in the history of man and asked Mr. Gido to write the play. The plot line was this: “A Millionaire  named Quack Quack Quimby has forgotten the true meaning of the Jewish Holiday Tu Bishvat. His daughter goes to great lengths to remind him of its meaning and make him happy once again”. The result?  The result was “The Nairobi Project“.

I heard of this play through my son and daughter in law, Lauren. Lauren, an actor in Chicago, played the role of one of Mr. Quimby’s daughter’s, Avital. Much to my disappointment, I never saw the play but the idea is outrageously funny and clever. The business proposal ultimately entertained audiences in Chicago by providing an unusual and completely original play at the cost of a mere $50.

There are critics who claim that Mr. Gadlin is exploiting our Kenyan friend. To this accusation Mr. Gadlin brings up a fair argument – just who was exploiting who? One can assume that this was not the first email that Mr. Gido had sent to solicit customers for his writing skills.  Mr. Gadlin paid a man who willingly jumped at the opportunity (in fact, suggested the idea himself) a mutually agreed upon fee. In return Mr. Gido received name recognition for a play that was put up in Chicago, a major city of the United States and described as “America’s most flourishing independent theater hub” For an aspiring playwright this is amazing.  How many people wait for years to get their big break – to have their plays noticed by producers?

An anonymous ‘someone’ is behind every one of these internet proposals. They are not created out of thin air. Someone writes them, casting a net out into a world-wide pool of potentially desperate takers. So what if most of us delete them? All they need is one and the anonymous someone walks away happy while the desperate kick themselves as they go through the nightmare of trying to replenish their now empty bank accounts

So next time you get one of those emails, take a look! If Mr. Gadlin could turn it into a real-live money-making opportunity, there may be some hope!

What are some of the business proposals you’ve received via email? Share your favorites in the comment section! 

18 thoughts on ““My Name is Nwabudike and I am from Nigeria….”

  1. Haha.that story about me is awesome.but,the real truth is,i am not a spamer..i looked for production companies on the web then came through blewt productions,gave it a try,and was reverted..and i thank God it was since ive developed myself through the salary paid by mr.Gadlin by investing the money in the music industry.


    1. Mr. Gido – I am so happy that you found this blog post and commented! And even happier that you have been able to invest money in the music industry. I would love to have seen the play because my daughter-in-law was in it. Thank you so much for commenting and I apologize that I got the story wrong. I will correct it and let people know that you commented. So fun to make your acquaintance and if you ever get to Boston please let us know and we will take you to dinner!


    1. Only Chicago. I was disappointed! My junk mail is filtered too but occasionally the odd one slips through. Funny thing about the post which you may have picked up from the comments – it went into some people’s junk mail folders because of the title! Love to you and Jacqueline on this Saturday. I bet Phoenix weather is stunning right now.


  2. At first I did not think you posted today, but found it in spam. Yeah my spam is working…it saw “Nigerian” and bumped it for sure. Makes me think I would like to see this play!


    1. Oh my gosh Lou Ann! You’re the second person that told me that! I need to let people know! this is so funny – it makes the post even funnier! I wish I had seen the play as well – I guess there were no grammar corrections, they did the lines verbatim and that made it even funnier. I hope you have a great weekend!


    1. Haha! Good luck to her with her prince – Or maybe she too will find a playwright! Speaking of which – a good friend of mind had all kinds of propositions from a Jordanian prince on OK Cupid.


  3. If I remember correctly, I am apparently related to a gentleman in Syria who left behind a large sum, being that he was actually a prince…

    I always heard about these e-mails and never really believed them until I got one myself!


    1. Hahaha! Love this…..You missed your prince…poor poor Cinderella. It was just so funny to me that he actually engaged the person and made some money off it…..Would that I had that kind of creativity. I’d be the one with the empty bank account. (Not that this would be that much of a tragedy :)


  4. I have had similar ones. And then of course, all the scammers, who come with a tragic story and fall in love with you immediately and then ask you money… But the strangest and most disgusting proposal came from a South African man, who wanted to visit me in Belgium and have a threesome: him, me and … a donkey!


    1. That is certainly the worst and strangest. I must say, my self esteem is going down as I write this. I am sorry to say I have never had a proposal….of course it sounds like I am lucky on that front…..


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