A marriage counsellor in Kano has stirred controversy for charging N3,000 as subscription fee for one to be a member of a WhatsApp group she operates.
The counsellor, Fatima Fouad Hashim, who is also the founder of Open Diaries Platform, said the group was for members to share their secrets, discuss relationship and marital issues, explaining that the N3,000 was subscription fee for one year.
Open Diaries is a renown social media platform on Instagram and Facebook that provides avenue for people, mostly from the North, to openly and anonymously share their deepest secrets, true life stories, especially on relationship issues and marital crises for other members to discuss on and offer suggestions, counselling and support.
Reacting to the post announcing the payment plan, Mariya Salis Ibrahim, said she could not pay N3,000 to join a WhatsApp group while there were other groups that were free and more beneficial. “Even when you were operating a free WhatsApp group, there was nothing to take home with. In fact, you were not contributing in anyway in the group because it was the members that posted by themselves and discussed among themselves, nothing more than that. So why should people pay you N3,000 every year like a tax payment?” Mariya posted in the reply section of Hashim’s post.
Another follower of the page, Hafsat Muhammad, said with the subscription fee, the founder of the page did not need to do anything again to be rich as she had earned almost N4m with the five WhatsApp groups that were already filled.
However, an Istagram user with the handle: “Fantasiescollections”, said it was surprising seeing people ranting because of N250 per month, noting that: “Having read the comments, I had to use a calculator to understand that it is just N250 per month that people are ranting and making fuss about.”
In her response to all the comments, Hashim (Oum Malak) said five WhatsApp groups had already been filled up and that nothing would stop her from going ahead with the subscription.