If the cockroach wants to rule over the chicken, then it must hire the fox as a body-guard – Sierra Leone proverb

Before Alie travelled to the big city these were the words from his poor mother to him in a form of advice  “know that this is a new environment that you are going to live in, please, be law abiding and vigilant”.

On the bus to the city, Alie ‘erased’ all the memories of his small town and filled his thoughts with ‘going to capture an unknown town and make his fame there “.

He got to the city after few days and when he alighted, he was welcomed by an elderly woman who sold bread. Her words became Alie’s mantra thereafter, she said “my son welcome to the city where you can be anything”.

Soon, he attached himself to a group of boys from his hometown who had invited him from the village. They were petty traders at the biggest market in the city.

He was taught the rudiments of trading in fruits. Unfortunately after few months, the profession of trade did not last longer, so he quickly identified himself with some fraudsters in the city and worked with them.

Alie was warned by his friends but it fell on deaf ears, as he was focused on doing “anything” just to make fame.

He became ‘experienced’ early enough to go on “fraudulent assignments” alone. One rule was supposed to be adhered to, that was to give 20 per cent of the outcome of the operation to a certain “Alhaji” who according to the gang, protected them.

But Alie did not do that, he was cautioned by his fellow fraudsters who have been in the business longer than him but he wanted to be smart.

“Alhaji” also never requested from Alie his ‘share’, so he thought he was free. On one of such usual successful operations, Alie came home counting his money when suddenly  there was a knock on the door and when he opened after hiding his money ‘safely’ he was greeted by a man who introduced himself as “Alhaji” accompanied by three police officers.

In less than two weeks Alie was arraigned at the court and sentenced to 10 years in prison for fraud. This was after about 25 people testified in court of fraud against him.

When he was leaving the court room to begin his sentence, this Alhaji told him that “If the cockroach wants to rule over the chicken, then it must hire the fox as a body-guard”.

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