Writing for Associated Content and not getting my money

Posted by raselahmed on May 18th, 2018

This writing is prompted by that other one that had to do with writers writing and being expected to write for the pleasure of humanity, that is, for free. That article made interesting reading especially as it tended to highlight the ordinary frustration associated with writing and making a living there from. The perception people from the other side have of us as far as I'm concerned is no different from the perception everyone has of a teacher. It is even worse in the clime I come from, where people live below the poverty line and have to resort to all kinds of scam to get by. There is hardly a reading culture, whether you write poetry that is equivalent in status to Shakespeare's Sonnets or have the density of a Hardy or are existentialist in dramatic presentation as a Pinter. Not many people would see you as serious-minded and give a damn about you. Some newspapers you write for think they do you a favour if they publish your article (some of this happens everywhere too) and you may get paid if you are lucky to be seen as one deserving of pay.

You guys in America and Europe, you guys are better of than us in the Dark Continent, aptly so. You are respected at least as a writer even though you may not get the impressive pecuniary gain from your writing that you expect. You do expect to get paid at least and it was because the writer of that article was taken for granted that the issue became as hot as it became. If you tell anyone in Nigeria that you are a writer, in this country exceedingly rich but awash with grinding poverty, official corruption and scams, people look at you like an unserious person who has a hump like Quasimodo's. Once, I worked with a newspaper as editorial assistant. It was not a part of my job to write weekly columns but I did and I must confess I just enjoyed doing it and was 'appreciated' somewhat. Now that I no longer work with the paper, I still write weekly columns, have asked to be paid but turned down rather flatly.

I stumbled on Associated Content. They agreed to pay but on condition that I must have an American address and that my articles are of good quality. This was a simple condition, or so I thought. It didn't occur to me though that having an American address meant that I was supposed to be living in the US. But that was not their problem but mine actually. I'd agreed to their terms and conditions which I agreed were fair enough. My cousin lives in the US and I assumed giving his address could guarantee at least some five or ten dollar reward for what is hardly compensated here. My cousin refused to be a part of this, and his reason being that the American system would frown at this source of unexplainable income. Oops!

Not wanting to be indefatigable, I went on ahead anyways to send in my articles. I was relying mostly on the fact that in today's world, you didn't need to be physically present in a geographical location to work and earn some quid. And Associated Content actually went ahead and published my articles. That's not all. I got paid! But the problem is I cannot cash my money. By my very frugal calculations, from the point where the payment stopped I had about .00, a hell of a lot of money if you consider that I never got paid for my writings and I live in an Africa, the home of blessed poverty. But why can't I cash my money? Oh dear, I live in Nigeria and I'm a Nigerian. Paypal and all other methods of cashless transactions aren't tenable here I guess because this is one country treated as a guilty as charged on account of scams involving credit cards and others. But this is really a shame because a lot of the dudes out there in Europe and America who respond to those silly scam letters don't help my case if they still think that Nigeria is still the Old Ghana Empire where gold can be picked up on the streets at sunset. It is actually because of this unsavory situation that Paypal has had to return my cash to Miguel@associated content. By my calculations once again, judging by the volume on my content page, I should be close to earning something near 0.00. And boy, that is some cash!

So, consider how it is that some think you should write and must not expect pecuniary rewards for your writing, and consider that Associated Content has agreed to pay and have paid but I cannot pick up my cash because of the conditions triggered off from my geographical location. I guess you would say this is different strokes for different folk?

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