How to fight dirty in the Information Age

Have you ever been cheated in a business transaction, by a business colleague? Has any business ever taken you for granted, and basically called your bluff because they felt you were a dog with a mere bark, and no bite? Do you have a strong social media presence, then let me teach you how to fight.
How do you like my pitch? Oya, straight down to business.

I am not ordinarily one for public shaming, especially since I know it is not cool to be a victim. However, I have now come to realise that sometimes, we must engage in public shaming, not because of any desire to humiliate or disgrace, but because sometimes, we must protect ourselves, warn other people, and send a message to people that they cannot just to things to others and think they would get away with it because their hands are tied. Now, I understand what Okechukwu Ofili must have felt when he called out Silverbird bookshop and other major bookshops in Nigeria who had been ripping off self-published authors because they had no one to stand up for them.

I started engaging a certain man, who we will call Mr C, when my herbs supplier in India introduced him to me as the man who could ship my herbs from India. She had gotten his contact online, through his website – another reason I think this medium is most appropriate since there are others like me who might make the mistake of trusting in his credibility after meeting him online.

After some calculations, and consulting with his colleagues in India, it was agreed that I would have to pay something close to 300 dollars to ship and clear my herbs. My supplier shipped the herbs to his Indian colleague. He asked me to pay 200 dollars, which I did in a matter of hours.

I was really eager to collect my herbs last year October, as I knew I would be travelling soon. He kept promising me my products. Let’s just say that between then and now, I have travelled to 5 different countries, yet he never brought my products to me.

It started with the story of the fact that some airlines were rejecting the herbs because powders required more scrutiny in Nigeria, which I completely understood, though my frustration knew no bounds.

Then the lies started. “The powders have been shipped. No, they were not shipped, NAHCO strike is affecting it. The warehouse has been locked for days. Christmas problems. New Year problems. Election problems.”

Through it all, I stayed calm. Mostly because I had no choice. The goods were with them, and my money was with them.

Some weeks after election, I got frustrated, and decided to call his Indian colleague. I found out this colleague was in Nigeria, and had been here for quite a while. He had dumped my package with another colleague of his there. That one had hustled to ship the herbs, and it had been here – since January!!!

I couldn’t believe my ears. This was a transaction I started since last year September, that was supposed to take few days. And this was now April.

To cut the long story short, the Indian counterparts asked Mr C to bring 510 dollars to clear the products. Mr C seemed to be fuming because we felt that was just too outrageous to clear products worth about N40,000.00. He said he would keep pricing it, and by this time I was getting impatient.

Anyway, two days later, Mr C said he doesn’t want to use his own personal issues to disturb me, that I should go and clear the herbs myself. He said he would return my 200 dollars. This was in April. I asked which personal issues. He said “I told you my father died. We are doing the funeral in the village.”

It was at this point my countenance towards him changed. He had told me about three weeks earlier that his mother died, and he went to bury her. Now, he was lying that it was his father.

Let’s just say between then and now, it has been a deluge of lies, avoidance, and more lies. He later begged to return N40,000.00 instead of 200 dollars, to which I agreed. The most painful part was that if Mr C didn’t pay the money, how would I take 510 dollars to clear those herbs? It would amount to me using 710 dollars to clear the herbs, and my loss would be massive.

After waiting and waiting and waiting, with more tons of promises, lies, and lies, and lies, I finally decided to clear the herbs myself, without informing Mr C. I did this because I didn’t know the reputation of the agent they had given my herbs to, if they would just dump them somewhere once they don’t see me. And most importantly, the herbs had been there since January. I had bought them since last year September, and they had expiry dates. I couldn’t let Mr C’s fraudulent character kill my own business demands.

On the day I cleared the herbs, Mr C paid me N10,000. Maybe in his mind, he felt he has paid me my money because since then, he has gone from lies and pleas to even raking for me. He just keeps saying “I will pay this week. I will pay next week.” I think because he believes it might not be a lot of money, I will get tired and leave it for him. But the truth is that it means, the loss I am already incurring would even be more.

And he was right in his thought. I got tired. This whole affair had gone on for too long – almost a year! Trust me, what I wrote here is a serious understatement of the real story. The full story will just be too long.

So what did I do? I decided to call Mr C out online, since the internet it where he gets his customers. So I wrote a full blog post like the one you read above, but I included his name, company, website, picture, etc.

I ended with this… “Don’t ever patronise Mr C. He is a liar, cheat, and a fraud! He takes advantage of the fact that people have no way of lashing and fighting back. Many times, he likes to play smart, but he is not that smart. Everyone who imports should stay far away from this man. I have decided to add his picture, in case his current company runs down, and he decides to set up another company.”

And then I sent the blog post to his email, telling him that the only reason he tried this nonsense with me is because he doesn’t know me and my reputation on social media. I told him he had till Monday morning 11.00 am to pay me my money, or the blog post would automatically appear. I would never take it down, unless the money was paid. Anyone who searches for his company would see the blog post. I then scheduled the post to appear at the promised time.

Of course, he knew I wasn’t kidding because I had already done the blog post. If I had gone to that length, then I couldn’t be bluffing.

As usual, he started agitating, and making promises. I didn’t even say anything, and never called him or made a request. Let’s just say that two days later, I received my money.

And that, my friends, is how to fight a battle in this age, without lifting a finger.

Ere's Secret by Firi Kamson

Finally  Ere's Secret is available for pre order on all platforms, from Barnes and Noble to amazon uk, us and canada. and yes our very reliable smashwords.

Yippee Finally…. Ere’s secret by Firi Kamson is available for pre-order on all the platforms from AMAZON to Barnes and Noble.

The book blurb

"I have a secret.
In three days, i'll be turning 40 and i'm in love for the first time. decades ago, i sacrificed my life for the good of my family. but tragedy struck too close to home, reminding me of the brevity of life. Noe i have a choice to make: continue living in the shadows of allow my true self to emerge'.

Ere's Secret promises to be an interesting and easy read, and yes it takes us a while before we discover what the secret it.

About the author:

 Firi kamson was born in Nigeria, where she grew up. Becoming a lawyer, a writer and a pilot was her childhood dream. She dropped the lawyer part and got a B.A. in foreign languages and literature specializing in french. Worked as a freelance translator and a photographer for a couple of years before she decided to explore the creative world of writing. She writes a column for, as Tee, an online Nigerian based magazine, where she journals her experiences in South East Asia. The dream of becoming a pilot is still there and who known one day it would be fulfilled. she lives in South East Asia with her nerdy husband and very active daughter and son. Ere's Secret is her first book.

Free copies available. to get a free copy share this blog post on your Facebook wall, twitter page, leave your email address and we would get back to you. hurry up while offer last. winners would be chosen randomly.

One more Blog Post

In the middle of the pain
We will act like nothing is wrong
We will smile when we get to church
Not the regular smile
We will find a way to fake a duchenne one
We will pull our pastor into a corner
Cry on his shoulders
Telling him of how lonely and hollow we feel
How he beat us again
After collecting our money again
How we are miserable again
Because no man looked our way or complimented us again
We would come out of the corner with smiles plastered on our face
After our pastor has dried our tears with his expensive suit
He doesn’t mind that we ruined it with our tears
It sure looks like the one we bought him from Selfridges on our last vacation
Similar to the one we would buy him from harrods on our next vacation
We run home, flip open our laptops
We will write one more blog post

But for now, we would hold our head high
We would tweet
We would act like our lives are perfect
We will not give in to the depression
We will write one more blog post

… A blog post about depression
How it is a cancerous disease that affects other people
Especially pretentiously happy celebrities
Robbin’ Williams of his last comic act
But would never touch ordinary people like us with a bargepole

We would post joyful-sounding status on facebook
Our best friend will ‘like’ our status
We would smile a knowing smile
Knowing she was the one who stayed awake all night to counsel us after he broke our heart once again
Her ‘likes’ really meaning “I know your secret, but I’ll just pretend with you on social media
And if that’s what you want
I will even comment when you write…
One more blog post”

We would go on Instagram
We would check out pictures
We would like pictures
We would post pictures
Pictures of us standing side by side with the source of our pain, swollen faces and bleeding hearts
People will check out our pictures
They would like our pictures
Each click of like generating a smile
Like a directly proportional equation
Till our smiles previously fake are forced into being real
We would lie on our beds once again
Heads on pillow, edges of our lips gradually curving concavely
Smiles turned to frowns turned to tears turned to regrets
Till our eyes close, and our hearts pray they never open again

The blessings of God disappoint us and the morning sunshine wakes us up
We have come to hate our lives
The cycles of pretence eroding the sanity of our moral uprightness
But for now
We must facebook, we must tweet, we must post pictures on Instagram.
We must open our laptops
We must write one more blog post

Inner Court of Relationships

Don’t be deceived by the first two paragraphs, this is not a religious post. Just stay with me, I am going somewhere.

Remember in the Old Testament, the temple had the outer court, inner court and holy of holies. Your level with God basically determined the areas you had access to. Almost everyone was limited to the outer court, which is where people offered sacrifices, and most of the general activities happened.

Some of the people who served at the temple were in the inner court, and they were all Levites, the tribe God specifically chose to serve Him. Then only one person was allowed into the holy of holies, and that was the high priest. Before he can enter, he must be clean and have made some atonement. He must be deemed blameless and sinless in the sight of God. Anything short of this, and he will be struck dead if he enters the presence of God. That is why they always tie a rope to the leg of the high priest so that if he is struck down, the Levites in the outer court can pull him out since they cannot enter the holy of holies.

As human beings, we also have different levels of access in our lives. We have our outer court, inner court, and holy of holies. When we meet people, it is just natural that they be in our outer court for a while, and depending on the level of the friendship that evolves, they graduate to the inner court, and very few people get to the holy of holies. Some people will forever remain in the outer court, and some will graduate to the inner court faster than others.

Pains and betrayals that occur in our lives basically happen when people in our lives have access to courts they have no business having access to. Imagine someone who is supposed to be in our outer court being in our holy of holies. It is madness for someone to meet us yesterday and call him our best friend tomorrow.

We are most guilty of this in relationships. We meet a guy today, start tripping and even when the guy hasn't worked hard to gain our trust, we give our whole heart to the guy. When the guy walks out of our lives, or doesn't give us what we expect, and we become so heartbroken. This happened because we let people into spaces in our hearts they have no business being. And I am not even talking about sex here. I am talking about our vulnerabilities, our care, our passion, love, deep-seated feelings, etc. We need to reserve them for guys and ladies that have at least made it to the inner court. At least, we can hold them accountable in case of any mess ups.

We need to let people prove themselves. Failure to guard our hearts will lead to continual disappointment and eventually, bitterness.

This does not give us the license to be cold to people. We need to be warm and friendly, but be wise to watch how we let people into intimate areas of our lives. Don't just hand the keys to every tom, dick and harry you see in the outer court.

I once heard of a woman who went to her fiance’s house, and got talking to his parents. She came from a very dysfunctional family. She started telling them negative realities about her family, parents, siblings, etc. Basically, she downloaded her family history for them. The intended in-laws were just looking and smiling. Immediately she left, they told their son “you cannot marry her!”

Did she lie? No! What did she do wrong? She gave information meant for people in the holy of holies to people in the outer court. And the in-laws, either out of disgust for the dysfunction or fear that she would be divulging their own family secrets to outer court people when she marries into their family, gave her the boot.

Let us assess our relationships today, and properly determine what court each of them belong to, and then give away information accordingly. Only by this would we be able to save ourselves from serious trouble in relationships.

So what do you guys think?