Just before we move to a new server, I received a letter (pasted below) from a fan of our telenovela blog here. I first thought that it was an April Fool's scam, until I scrutinized it closely. please, read on:
Pius D.S.P Akor firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Dear Philomena Ojikutu,
Application For A Permission Letter.
My name is Pius D.S.P Akor.
I am from Kaduna stete(sic). I got the summary of
El Cuerpo Del Deseo ( Second Chance ) from story-story.com
I have printed it out for sale.
I am writing to you ma, to permitt me to sell it. I am just a
young boy of (20) years old who is trying to make things well for himself.
I shall be gratefull if my permission is granted.
Pls. ma, do send me the permission letter with your letterhead, for
Pius D.S.P Akor
Pls. ma, I rely on you now, do help me for the sake of GOD below is my no 08029087976
Thank you Ma.
This is how I celebrate my own April Fool's Day- Bombarded with pleas by a disingenuous fan to legitimize his crave to monetize my telenovela labor.
If you were in my position, what would you do? Grant him express permission?
The permission was not really the big thing in that letter above from Mr. Akor. If you, like me, could read between the lines, It is clear that with or without the so-called 'permission', Akor is bent on making money off-line with my works (telenovela narative as watched on TV), and that of our dear friend, Tessie Karuiki from Kenya.
He has already "... printed it out for sale"! He justified his action on the platter of age and necessity.
I am not going to stop him, first because, copyright/anti-piracy laws are very loose in this part of the world.
Secondly, I have seen many of my telenovela works (like Second Chance, (El Cuerpo del Deseo), The Gardener’s Daughter (La Hija de Jardinero), Esmeralda, and Catalina y Sebastian) printed and sold without my 'permission' at so many places in Lagos Megacity, Oshodi, Ikeja et al. If I couldn't stop them in Lagos, where I live, far less would I be able to stop them in Kaduna or Kano.
Thirdly, it is not really my work alone, what of Tessie? You would need her permission too.
Fourthly, The original work belongs to Telemundo and Televisa. All I did was to narrate the daily episodes "as I watched or read them" elsewhere with my own passion, and in my own personal and unique style. I cannot lay claim to the original story.
Fifthly, I have earned tens of thousands of Dollars from telenovela blogging over the past three years, (by God's grace, I am a 5-figure blogger). Struggling to prevent a youngster from a Naira spin-off at local level would be ridiculous (like chasing a mosquito with a sledge hammer).
Sixthly, I along with my husband, have begun to train a new army of student youths and teachers in monetized blogging and optimization skills (in collaboration with some high-profile international secondary schools), beginning from this 2nd term holiday (April 2008).
We are doing this to checkmate and liberate the unemployed youth (like Akor), from the scourge of scam emails a.k.a "Yahoo-Yahoo Boys", and also lift Nigeria's internet profile up, from the shameful label of an internet scammers haven.
We are redirecting the negative youth energies and exuberance from these web vices. We believe that once the Nigerian youth rediscovers the value of positive intellect in a global economy, our country's future is secured.
We are starting a Google crusade to create a large army of trained, motivated and remunerated Search Engine students, through this Monetized Blogging and Optimization program. Instead of email scams and internet fraud being perpetrated by our unemployed youths, we are raising a passionate army of “Google Boys and Girls” that would bring sanity and glory to the internet profile of Nigeria.
Instead of tango with the Akors of this world, we are redoubling our zeal to show the youth that: because the world is shrinking and global borders are disappearing, the internet is the only medium where someone without a lot of money but savvy writing and optimization skills can leverage huge incomes to live a dream lifestyle.
. A quarter of the world population of 6 Billion people are already online seeking for unique services and ready to pay a global price at a global currency for those services.
We are showing them that 1.5 Billion internet users are searching for information, 80 billion times monthly, for services and products that meet their dire needs, and in the process paying $25 Billion Dollars monthly, for those services and products!
We are training them to acquire internet entrepreneurial skills honed to provide a part of those numerous services through, showcasing their talents and acquired blogging and optimization skills.
We are empowering them to contribute their quota to the growth of the global economy, which has unbelievably grown by the momentum of the internet, particularly in the last 15 years, creating awesome opportunities for the average person to showcase their skills and legitimately earn great incomes.
Finally, we are encouraging them that in the global market for positive intellect, Nigerian youths have an indelible place, and there is still a huge and noble vacuum for them to fill up.
This is why I am neither infuriated nor enraged by the blatant requests of Akor. I only felt compassion for the 'lost generation', (mind you, not 'wasted' as Prof. Soyinka imputes), which Akor symbolizes in Nigeria. We must find this generation from the wilderness of intellectual craftiness and liberate to bring them home from mental prodigality, to rebuild Nigeria and Africa, after the order of the lofty dreams of our forbears.
If you want to reply to this piece. please visit the: Telenovela Forum to do so, as this blog is being moved from this server, any moment from now. Share your opinion and advise for Akor.