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Only crime and the criminal, it is true, confront us with the perplexity of radical evil; but only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core.”

Why you would call somebody a YELLOW CHAMELEON  beats my wildest imagination.

We all know that 'yellow ' is a color figuratively used to qualify cowardice, while a chameleon is an animal which imitates or assumes colors of things around it.

Is it therefore not an overkill calling someone a 'cowardly chameleon' ?

But that's what the man was popularly called - Yellow Chameleon - derisively. 

I was new in town and I became curious to know why.

I inquired from my friend, James Uche, who in fact was my host for the week I was visiting the town.

"That's because he is a coward and a chameleon", he answered. "Look, don't be fooled by his posture - it's all contrived, fake, play-acting if I do say so."

We were in an eatery in the company of two other friends - Damilola and Shehu. 

I looked across at a well-dressed gentleman sitting quietly at another table. He appeared okay and harmless to me, so I asked:

"How do you mean?"

"You are in doubt?" This was from Damilola. "Look, that guy's just a chameleon changing from one character to another. Everyone in town knows him as a jobless pauper, but I bet you would receive the shock of your life if you ever have dealings with him."

"You know what they say about hypocrites, don't you?" Shehu chimed in. "A wolf in sheep's clothing, pretentious, untrustworthy, deceptive, highly manipulative and always hiding the truth about themselves".


"Maybe you want proof ?". James laughed. "Tell you what. He can never resist pulling his act on strangers. Just go and sit alone over there and let's see what happens."

And that is what we did.

I had hardly been alone for two minutes than the man approached my seat, smiling like sunlight and saying:

"It's obvious you are new in town. My name is Shuaibu Bello and I am a businessman, estate agent etc. Is there any way I can be of assistance to you? Here's my card."

I had to forcefully suppress the urge to look towards my friends. We shook hands and I accepted the card. 

"I am at your service. You need to rent a flat, supply services, whatever it is,  Just call me up, okay? "

He was all talk, puffing his importance for  me to see.

He could handle whatever I needed done though he stopped short of claiming to be a Superman. I deduced a strong aura of ego in him.  

I mumbled something about checking him up and after sometime he left.

That was the first time I met him.


Unknown to the man, he had suddenly become a very interesting subject to me: a personification of a global phenomenon called hypocrisy, which I am tasked to deconstruct.

I paid him a visit at the address printed on his card. 

And as you may well imagine, he acted true to type and that visit served to enlighten me the more about his true character, which are indeed the common characteristics of a hypocrite, as described  below:

  • He turned out not to be who he said he was, though he tried to cover it up with lies. He was full of deceptive posturing and ascribed to himself abilities and status he did not possess.
  • One clear fact about him was exposed: the yellow streak of a coward and the inconsistency of a die-hard hypocrite.
  • My further study of the man revealed the following character traits:
  • He had no confidence in himself
  • He operated instinctively from a platform of addictive psychological and moral weaknesses
  • He was an adroit manipulator, opportunist and bully.
  • He was greedy, lazy, over-ambitious, untruthful, impatient to succeed by all means, unethical, judgemental, and discriminatory to a fault.
  • He was a master of double standards, presenting one deceptive character to superiors and potential benefactors to secure profit or advancement, while chameleonically assuming another posture when dealing with colleagues and subordinates.
  • He was unreliable, immoral, pretentive, and the clone of a sheep in wolf's clothing.
  • If you have read George Orwell's !984, you would be correct to score him very high on Doublespeak: he says one thing and means another.
  • If you were to wax pastoral you would describe him as a snare and a trap fixated on gaining at all cost - even by ungodly (illicit) means and at your own expense.
  • He was unscrupulous, had next-to-nothing conscience, and acted contrary to what he preached
  • He was an exploitative self-serving slanderer, misleader, a fraud and skilled perverter of truth trying to convince the world and self that he was exactly what he was definitely not.
  • He believed that the world is a gigantic stage where  people are mere pieces on a psychological game-board, on which you play your way through to achieve aggrandizement and rewards


There is an African saying: "There is no smoke without fire"

Every activity is caused by something. 

 So, by digging deeper in my exploration of the character of the man nicknamed Yellow Chameleon, I sought to discover the root-causes of his anti-social behaviour, and discovered as follow:

1.  Fear of the truth concerning self

2.  Selfishness

3.  Laziness

4.  Greed

5.  Avarice

6.  Inordinate ambition

7.  Exploitative tendenciez or habit

8.  Ego

9.  Unbridled Lust for power or gains

10.  Love of a free meal or ticket

11.  Preference for shortcuts to wealth or success

12.  Impatience with existing order and own status

13.  Desperation to gain better status and material wealth

14.  Dissatisfaction with his / her social and economic lot in life

15.  Illicit and corrupt mentality

16. A Corrupt psychological orientation or mindset


What is the natural colour of a chameleon? 

If it stops switching to colours around it, can it still be called a chameleon?

To reform her you must take away the permanent colour (yellow) derisively painted on it and ensure that it conforms with its natural mode of behaviour.( i. e. constant imitation of colours around her).

Likewise,  in order to be reformed, a hypocrite has to lose his / her yellow streak and:

1. Be truthful

2. Be diligent

3. Be ethical

4. Be consistent, authentic and original in nature and character.

5. Obey natural rules of engagement at all times

6. Avoid greed and avarice

7. Don't damage another person's character for any reason whatsoever

8. Show personal dignity and integrity: don't pretend to be who or what you are not

9. Do not be a sycophant

10. Avoid self-delusion and fake or false posturing

11. Believe in hard work and its merits and rewards 

12. Always try to convince yourself that you can succeed without using deceptive, pretentive, impersonative and exploitative means or tactics.

13. Stop jumping the gun and allow the means to justify the end, instead of the other way round.

14. Force yourself to always follow established and acceptable procedures 

15. Always portray your true character and stop assuming someone else's role 

16. If you are not proud of what you have become then try honestly to reform yourself, instead of self-deluding yourself and presenting a make-believe front which will never survive the test of time

17. Know that hypocrisy is like a house built of cards and it must surely collapse and scatter when the wind blows on it

18. Be satisfied with your achievements and don't allow yourself to fall into jealous activism which makes you strive to succeed by all means including hypocrisy

19. Believe in self-worth,  have confidence in your abilities and avoid comparing yourself with other people negatively 

20. Emulate good people, cherish positive icons and achievers and values, challenge yourself to achieve your goals in a  positive, practical and unreceptive manner5

21. Always try to be pragmatic, realistic, forthright, unassuming, and patient. 

22. Believe in and practice acceptable ethical values. Walk the talk - practice what you preach. He believable and real.

23. Go for spiritual counselling 

24.  Seek psychiatric consultation from a competent protessional for mental reorientation, believe me it works.

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