Close-Up | A kindly gentleman writes to me

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Fred Khumalo had the devil in him when he wrote a scathing reply to someone who tried to scam him. Photo: iStock
Fred Khumalo had the devil in him when he wrote a scathing reply to someone who tried to scam him. Photo: iStock


I don’t care what you say about the world we are living in – global warming, collapsing economies, thieving politicians – planet Earth is still awash with generous, kind-hearted people.

As if sensing that I have for the past year been struggling to silence the howls of the wolf darkening my doorway, a kindly gentleman writes to me, communicating tidings that immediately warmed the cockles of my heart.

Yes, it was yesterday that I received this letter from a Barrister Thomas Williams, presumably from the UK, because that is where lawyers call themselves barristers.

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But of course, on gathering that the missive was from a lawyer, I got immediately apprehensive. It’s not every day that one receives a letter from a lawyer from the UK. What have I done? What have I done?

Perhaps the barrister is writing to inform me of a summons to appear in a British court after the ubiquitous cameras that are strategically installed at almost all corners of London and the surrounding metropolis caught me doing something wrong the last time I was on that miserably cold island.

Perhaps I was caught urinating behind a parked car, or throwing an empty beer can in the street or drawing a graffito on a building not far from Buckingham Palace?

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But no, my friends, the good barrister only had good news. I know you’re going to turn green with envy when you hear what the good-hearted lawyer had to say to me.

It’s a letter that had my ego swelling and swelling, like a vetkoek made of self-raising flower. So I shall reprint his letter as is, without any editorial interference whatsoever.

Hi, I am Barrister Williams Thomas, a lawyer, I have a client who have the same surname with you, Meanwhile I have business transaction worth of (Nine million six hundred thousand dollars) to transfer in your bank account to help the people of God?

I wish to establish a charity foundation to help the poor in your country under your care in the name of my late client, who met his untimely death with all members of his family here in Lome Togo West Africa, Can you help to build this project in your country? Your share will be thirty percent, contact me through my email ( for more explanation

My regards,

Barrister Williams Thomas

I don’t know what possessed me, but I started shouting at my computer screen. Then I sat down and wrote a response which, I must say, must have come straight from the pen of the ungrateful devil himself.

The devil who took possession of my faculties wrote, ungratefully: “This is so lame, ‘Barrister’ Thomas. Not only lame, but unimaginative and outdated. If you want to pounce on unsuspecting sheep, try something more creative, man. Come on, this is 2021. Try harder, man. This is infuriatingly outdated. Go back to the drawing board and think. I mean really THINK on how you can scam people.

READ: Fred Khumalo | An ode to my long johns

“Perhaps start a church, you know. Or even a political party. Or a combination of both – something like Democratic Party Church in Africa for Heavenly Joys, Riches and Charms On a Silver Platter On Earth. You know, Barrister, go wild. The wilder you get the more likely you are to be believed by the punters out there. People are tired of predictability. They want to be truly shocked and shaken from the norm.

“Come on, barrister, you can do it. And, while you are at it, Barrister, fix your bloody punctuation and syntax!”

I have already sent this devilish response to the kindly barrister. Can’t withdraw it. That’s why I always tell my friends: do not write emails and other electronic correspondence while you are still angry.

You see now, I have lost out on those millions from the kindly barrister! I know he won’t be coming back to me anytime soon.


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