By Benjamin Njoku
Memories of the infamous 2016 MMM scheme, where Nigerians lost billions of naira which they invested in that scam, re-echoed last Sunday night, when a new movie,”Ponzi” premiered in Lagos.
The classic tragicomedy, produced by Vincent Okonkwo and directed by award-winning Kayode Kasum recaptures the unforgettable experience of the scheme.
Starring notable actors including Timini Egbuson (Elevator Baby), Broda Shaggi (Fate of Alakada), Uzoamaka Aniunoh, Jide Kosoko (King of Boys), Mawuli Gavor (Kambili: The Whole 30 Yards), Tope Tedela (A Soldier’s Story), Mr Macaroni, Amanda Dara Afolabi, Zubby Michael, Immaculata Oko-Kasum, Gold Ikponmwosa, Eso Dike (Jenifa’s Diary), and Chinyere Wilfred,’Ponzi’ took the audience in a trip into the past, recalling how the online investment scheme that gave 30% interest was popularized in 2016 among Nigerians. The audience , however, held their breath from beginning to the end of the one and half-hour movie.
Speaking with NollyNow, Kayode Kasum whose directorial credits include “This Lady Called Life“, “Love Is Yellow” and “Sugar Rush” said that the experience of people with MMM and other fraudulent schemes in the past inspired “Ponzi.”
“‘Ponzi’ is a movie inspired by true events such as the MMM. The situation we are in the country has made so many people to take drastic decisions without considering the consequences.” he added.
The producer, Vincent Okonkwo, said the project aims at sensitising Nigerians to steer clear of get-rich-quick schemes.
“When the story was pitched to me, it caught my attention because, for some reasons, a lot of us have been scammed in one way or the other either by investing in MMM or other get-rich-quick schemes. Also, Ponzi connects to vulnerable individuals who are desperate to make it big.”
“Both the rich and the poor can identify with it so we have been able to tell a story that connects to everyone. In Nigeria, the government is not on our side, we are on our own. So, you’re aware that you don’t have a fallback plan and someone sells something to you and you assume that’s the best way to step up from your standard.” “Along the line, you discovered that you’ve been swindled at the last minute. That’s the reality with most Nigerians. We have been victims of such situations. It’s a problem and government is not controlling it. So basically, the movie is a warning and also an experience,” he said.