‘I watched my mother go through so much, she had doors shut right in front of her. My sisters went through the same just because they were women. That’s why I chose to empower women because they deserve better.’ – A scam artist.
You have just read the words of a cruel and evil man. A man who employed me and then pulled the rug from right under my feet. Not just me, 8 other women too. If you have been watching my timeline closely, there is a brand I have been talking about a lot, one that I was proud to be a part of. I feel stupid but how was I ever to know that this was the mess I was walking into?
I spoke to this man for the first time when I had to collect my cash, I had won a competition that he was funding. From then we spoke more on work he wanted done until we got to a point where he employed me to be a social media and blog manager for his company.
I liked the entire concept the company was running with. Funding women projects, pad donations, and scholarships for female primary scholars. It all made sense and it was being led by man, what a wow.
I started the blog from scratch, outsourced writers that would be paid as well. I did research, design and posting for the brand. As time went the engagement improved on the social sites, the numbers picked up and the blog views ranged at 750 per month for something that had just started it was pretty good.
I worked for this man for 3 months in total, it was in the 3rd month that everything went to shit. Payday was the first Friday of the month for everyone. I spoke to him that Friday and he guaranteed that by end day he would have paid. Perfect. On Saturday morning I sent him a message, and he confirmed that he paid.
My pay came through Western Union, therefore, it can not be collected without the reference number. I asked for it and that’s when the lying began, well, when I started to pick up on the lies. He said he was waiting for the mail that would have the reference number. It didn’t click in my mind then that emails were only for world remit, not western union. The receipt always comes with the reference number.
I gave him no pressure then cause I would only need the money urgently on Monday. On the Sunday I sent him a message asking for the reference number he ignored. My rent was due Monday by the way. On Monday, I kept seeing him come online but he ignored my messages, he didn’t pick up my calls. I knew right there and then something was wrong.
I had this pit in my stomach, my landlord was on my neck for his money. This is at the same time as the xenophobic attacks, a time one should not get on a South Africans bad side and this man decided to play these games. He was aware of what was happening but he did not care. I wanted to hold on to some hope but I knew that was it. The fact that I could become homeless in a foreign land meant nothing to him. I was afraid, I was stressed and I wished for death. A dark cloud had covered me, just like that. I never imagined I would find myself in such a position.
Then I decided to talk to a young lady that seemed to have been in good books with him. She called me only to confirm my biggest fear, this was who this man was. He was an entire scam, she too had worked for him and was left unpaid yet she had bills to pay. I felt anger fill me up.
I remember this one time when I asked him his name. He lied, I found the name that was given to me very odd but thought nothing of it because our Zimbabwean parents can be adventurous. But then I learnt his real name. He had told the only male who was part of his company his real name. He only lied to the women.
When he was ignoring me, he was talking to the male employee daily. He had paid him a week in advance for his work too. At this point in my head, I see a man who enjoys using women and ditching them. He enjoys the idea of having that sort of power over them. That he has their livelihood in his hands and can take it away just like that.
A few days later I was locked out of the website, there was still work I needed to delete I guess he knew I would do that. I let it go, then I realized he had taken the pages on the website down too. All of a sudden the site was under construction. Then he deleted the Facebook page and got rid of all the tweets on the Twitter account. All this to erase the evidence of the work put in by 8 women.
He seems to target young talented women, uses them and deserts them. He doesn’t even block you, it almost feels like a part of him enjoys it when you beg and cry for money that you worked for. He lies about his name so you don’t find him. He seems to work with a 3-month cycle and right now, he could be scouting for his next victims.
I wish I could give you full details and full information so that nobody falls victim again. However, I was warned that it could land me in trouble so the most I can do is give this story with enough the details, hopefully, you join the dots and warn more women against this man. He is evil in his ways.
Today he is out there in the UK, parading as a man who loves empowering women. Selling beauty products and claiming that all profit goes towards school fees and uniforms for girls in Zimbabwe. There are people attending his events with the mindset that he is out to help women. I wish they knew, I wish I could tell them they are being conned. I sound like an angry black woman? Great, because I am!