The marriage swindler, the African woman and the illusion of the American dream
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“I’m going to America! My internet prince, the rich man from New York is coming!” shouted Anzehma euphorically. At this time she didn’t have the slightest idea that the man was not an Afro-American but a con artist who had never even left Cameroon once in his life and that her family would be confronted with a huge pile of debt very soon. But how could she have resisted a man like Johnny: “Tell him that I'm Johnny Fuck Me Walker. Tell him that I have breakfast with Beyonce C. Tell him that Jay Z is praying for me. Tell him that at the funeral of Michael Jackson, I sat next to Barack Obama. Tell him that I only need to call Washington, and they pick me up with helicopters here.”
based on a true story
Every day more and more people reach Europe just to be stranded in refugee camps. They take on unbelievable strains, invest all of their possessions, leave their families and don't stop even in the face of danger and death. It is widely recognized that some African men and women use Europeans to get to safety. But there are also Africans who betray their fellow countrymen for the same purpose, as it is told in this novel. This story is based on true events that have taken place in an African country as told.
Finally, an opportunity for Johnny Walker to get out of this country: Away from Cameroon, with its poverty and lack of perspectives, and straight to the West. Countries full of possibilities that you can easily take your pick from: Because for many Africans this is a fact: Here money lies around on the street, you can't walk down to the shops without being offered a career and nothing blocks the road to happiness and wealth. Johnny can't wait to be able to provide himself and his family with this sort of life. There's just a minor catch: Johnny has to get hold of the money for flight and visa within a few weeks, the mediator is requesting 15 000€! Without a cent on his account, without family or rich friends that's a demanding task – so Johnny and his best friend Roger set up a plan that has quite an impact.
Using the name Johnny Fuck Me Walker he pretends to be a rich Afro-American from New York, who has met Obama and Beyoncé personally and who used to go out to dinner with Michael Jackson. He only speaks English, with a full American accent of course, to make his story believable. His best friend Roger is by his side as an interpreter and usually doesn't stick too closely to translating word-for-word, which makes for some interesting turns. Johnny tries his hand at being a marriage swindler and fools Anzehma, a young girl he's met on the internet, into believing he is the love of her life. With borrowed money he presents her and her whole village the luxurious lifestyle of the rich, which convinces everyone he really is a rich Afro-American who has come to save them all from poverty. Johnny and Anzehma stay in the fanciest hotels in town, they go out for dinner to the finest restaurants and he generously provides her with lots of cash. He promises to marry her and to take her to America.
Additionally, being one of Obama's good friends, he wants to help all of the villagers to an entry visa to America. All they have to do is pay a small amount for their own ticket.
The wedding is all planned when Johnny's money is “stolen” all of the sudden – so Anzehma and everyone else scrambles to pool the money to help Johnny out: All in all about 350 000€ that Johnny uses to keep playing the rich guy and throw a huge party for the whole village.
Johnny Fuck Me Walker and Roger's plan seems to play out perfectly. They're about to disappear with the rest of the money – when a minor police officer gets suspicious and starts to investigate Johnny and Roger. Will he be able to cross their plan before it is too late?
A love story full of surprises, hope and devastation, that pictures the human character realistically and brings out unlikely relationships.
A dark story about the European dream, the dream of wealth and happiness and the myth of a perfect world.
And a funny story about two best friends who set a ridiculous plan in motion and try to cope with a lot of humour and spontaneity.
[please note: Johnny speaks only English, Anzehma only French, which is why Roger is translating for them]
October 8, 2013: Dinner and the ATM trick.
“Hey beautiful women, you are too hot, you are so sexy”, said Johnny when they met again at night in a trendy restaurant at the beach. “He says you’re so beautiful and he’s attracted to you so much”, translated Roger in his own way. They were driving in a rental car past the harbor to the restaurant at a beach near Douala. Roger wasn’t only the interpreter, but the driver as well. They had rented a Mercedes ML 400 this morning. It cost 250 Euros a day; they had just rented it for a week. “We’ll be a lot further by then, if everything goes as planned”, Roger had reckoned. They wanted to give Anzehma the perfect impression. She had to be really convinced that Johnny was a rich man, because you’d rather give your money to a rich man than to a poor man.