I had just completed my High School. I felt free.
After a few months of chilling at home, I begged my mom to get me a phone. Many of my friends also owned phones and were posting their not-so-fancy content on Instagram (IG).
Still, the fear of missing was creeping up and I was losing my mind.
When I finally acquired my phone, a Samsung J 1, my first instinct was to hop onto IG. A few weeks later, I was scrolling through my news feed, and behold I get a direct message (DM) from a man who called himself Ivan.
He was very good looking and instantly we hit it off. He told me he was a successful businessman from Uganda. Every time we were supposed to meet he would come up with excuses not to show up but love, or is it my naivety, that had blinded me.
Like musician Ruger would sing ‘I saw the red flags but I ignored them’.
1. He is relocating to Nairobi to be close to me
During the time that I ‘knew’ Ivan, he said a lot of wild things. He even promised to relocate from Kampala to Nairobi because of me.
Months into our ‘relationship’, Ivan told me he was finally moving to Nairobi, and I should go meet him at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA). Believe it or not folks, I did. I asked my mother to lend me some Sh 2000. In the company of my friend, we bought a dress and my first pair of high heels.
On the D-day the two of us boarded a KBS bus straight to the airport. And boy did we wait. When I finally got hold of Ivan, he said that his boss came earlier and they had both just left for the Laico Regency Hotel. Since he was tired, he asked that I instead meet him the next day at the same venue.
Trust a girl to show up and take some pictures for the Gram. Anyways, my man was nowhere to be found.
He said he had contracted high blood pressure and diabetes
2. He had high blood pressure and diabetes
After I confronted him about his lies, he plainly blurted out that he had high blood pressure and diabetes. And not only that, he also claimed my raising these issues was aggravating his medical conditions. He would even send voice notes making weird sounds that mimicked him being in a lot of pain.
3. He lives in Karen and drives a Range Rover
Later on, my precious Ivan decided to ghost me for a while. And when he showed up, he said he had gotten a house in Karen for the two of us and a range rover. He was certain to download several photos and send them to me as proof. He then invited me to our new home. After hours of walking, I ask around and I was told there was definitely no such house number in the area.
4. He was admitted to hospital
Whenever I would decide I was done, Ivan would introduce new people to stir the drama. And I could legit hear that the voices were different. He said they were either his sisters or his mother. One Wednesday his ‘mother’ called me and said that he was admitted at Karen Hospital. By this time, I had gotten a job somewhere in town. I quickly took a bus all the way and when I got there I was blankly told: “We have no such patient here.” As I sat at the bus stop at around 8 pm, I wept.
5. He is dead
The lies kept coming. Weeks later I received a text message around 2 am from Ivan’s ‘mother’ saying her son was dead. Tell me why she said: “Your boyfriend has died but don’t worry my daughter, I don’t blame you for his death.”
6. His identity
If you have read this story up to this point, then you may have already figured it out. I was dealing with a catfish. The death story was the one that finally broke the camel’s back. Amid tears, I decided to candidly speak to my mother about my ‘boyfriend’. After hours of consoling me, she decided I needed therapy because the situation was beyond her. By that time, I had stopped eating and was barely leaving my room. Well, the sessions with my therapist were something else (story for another day). Two years later, Ivan reappeared on IG. He confessed that he was indeed a catfish and begged for forgiveness. He shared what I assumed were his real photos and promised that he would show up to Nairobi this time for sure. But guess what happened when the actual day came? Yup. His phone was switched off. Never heard from him again. To date, I don’t know why I was targeted but I went through it.
Whenever I think about him, I just hope a bird poops on his head and he knocks his little toe on a rock.