Mathew Mackie

Who the hell is Nelly Yoa? He’s our Jay Gatsby

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Today, “serial pest” Nelly Yoa fronted court in a Rolls Royce, flanked by actors posing as bodyguards. So who is he? He’s no-one. He’s everyone.

 

 

The sight of a smile emerging from a Rolls Royce, wrapped in salmon, flanked by eight identical cronies covered in the same black suit brings to mind the words of F. Scott Fitzgerald.

“Who is he anyhow, an actor?”
“No.”
“A dentist?”
“…No, he’s a storeman from Ballarat.” Gatsby hesitated, then added cooly: “He’s the man who told everyone that he had a deal for the Melbourne Victory before the negotiations broke down. He said he was a brand ambassador for American Express, sponsored by Nike, Usain Bolt was present at the birth of his child while he played for Collingwood.

 

 

On the surface, it seems that Nelly Yoa is full of the same matter that oft-spools from his mouth. According to an investigation by the Huffington Post, Yoa has been “a brand ambassador for American Express, a Nike-sponsored athlete, a leading mentoring figure for Sudanese youth in Melbourne and a former hopeful for English soccer giants Chelsea, despite days of denials from the organisations he claims strong links to.”

In 2018, he wrote a front-page op-ed for Fairfax, claiming that police ought to crack down on the African gang problem, because, in part, as he had trained some for the Apex gang movement and/or he was attacked with a machete, leaving him in a coma.

He was due in court today to fight dishonesty charges, swirling around his purported false statements to the police.

Clearly, the limits of Yoa’s talents is subject to the expanse of his imagination, as he “slid into the DMs” of journalist Josh Butler and railed against the media via a statement, decrying his treatment after the publication of the aforesaid op-ed (one that many believe was plagiarised from another’s blog post), hoping that the AFP would conduct more raids in order “to teach the media to report facts”, before noting that his court appearance was “spectacular” befitting a person “rightly admired by all Australians”.

 

 

If Jay Gatsby has a library full of books he hasn’t read, Nelly Yoa probably has a thousand  clickbait pieces neatly tiled on his desktop. In Fitzgerald’s novel, Gatsby is a figure of constant renewal, one that is forever editing his own narrative. This man of self-presentation is eventually revealed to the reader as an innocent, hopeful young man who stakes everything on his dreams, unaware that his dreams are unworthy of him.

 

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