Kayode Kasum, Nigerian movie director, says the experience of people with MMM and other fraudulent schemes in the past inspired ‘Ponzi’, an upcoming film.

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MMM — an online investment scheme that gives 30% interest — was popular in 2016 among Nigerians. Many had invested their hard-earned money with the hope of making high returns.

The scheme, however, eventually crashed, causing many investors endless nightmares.

Speaking during the movie’s screening in Lagos on Sunday, Kasum said such experience and other similar schemes birthed the project.

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Kayode Kasum

“‘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 said.

Also speaking, Vincent Okonkwo, the movie’s producer, said the project is aimed 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,” he said.

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“Both the rich and the poor can identify to 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.”

Vincent Okonkwo

On his part, Timini Egbuson, Nigerian actor, who starred in the movie, said his experience with similar fraudulent schemes in the past piqued his interest in the project.

‘I have also been a victim of Ponzi schemes. I feel like crying anything I think about it but at the end of the day, what we need to understand is that the fastest to wealth is not always the best way. Sometimes you really need to work hard and at the end of the day, what is yours will come to you,” he said.

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“I was looking for quick money about four years ago so l met someone who told me to bring one million naira and get four million in return. I haven’t gotten anything since then.”

The movie is expected to hit cinemas on March 12.



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