An Australian man of South Sudanese origins is causing ripples in Australia after making big unsubstantiated claims. Last week Australian media went into a racist-toned frenzy about apparent South Sudanese gang violence in Melbourne. A senior federal government minister went as far as to claim that people in Melbourne were “afraid to go to restaurants” and walk at night purportedly because of violent South Sudanese gangs.

These allegations were given weight by Nelly Yoa through a controversial opinion piece he co-authored for an Australian newspaper (which seemingly was plagiarised from the internet). Nelly claimed to be a community leader and mentor something the South Sudanese community leadership in Melbourne disputes.

In a round of media blitz Nelly laid out his biography and made big claims that are now under scrutiny. He wrote: “In 2011, I became the victim of a high-profile machete attack in Melbourne after coming to the aid of a stranger.” News from the time confirm that he was indeed attacked. He adds as a consequent of the attack an opportunity was derailed while on the verge of a “multi-million dollar” contract with one of the biggest football clubs in Australia, the Melbourne Victory FC.

“It didn’t stop me. After my unsuccessful trial in England with Chelsea Football Club and Queens Park Rangers Football, earlier this year I switched codes to pursue an AFL career. I’m currently training with an AFL team,” he wrote. His Facebook page claims he plays for Collingwood (Australian Rules) Football Club.

While in England he claims to have been roommates with Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard. He also claims on his Facebook page to have been the player of season in Indonesia football league in 2012. News articles from that time name different person, a Brazilian, as the player of the season.

He also claims to be Luol Deng’s cousin, best friends with Usain Bolt, John Terry, Wayne Rooney and a host of other sport superstars. In fact, it is alleged in one story that he and Usain Bolt rushed to be by his wife’s bedside when his daughter was born.

He also claims to be brand ambassador for Mercedes Benz and American Express.

All of these and other bizarre claims have been ridiculed on Facebook and Twitter. An article by Fox Sports outlined the bizarre claims with Nelly responding that he is going to sue that media company and the author.

Few prominent South Sudanese in diaspora are known for particularly great biographies going as far as claiming to have fought at the frontlines at the ages of six years (during the war of liberation), and others saying they ate dead corpses and drank urine to survive. The stories are usually unchallenged, hard to dismiss or verify until now.

Via The National Courier