4 money lessons from Nigeria’s hit movie “Gangs of Lagos”

Are you geng “I don’t watch Nigeria movies”, or “I am a big fan of everything Nollywood?” Read on either way because we have some money deets for you.

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I spent this Ramadan break relaxing, watching movies and lifestyle shows, and hanging out with some friends. The highlight of my holiday was the latest hit movie out of Nollywood, Gangs of Lagos. This is the first Nigeria-exclusive Amazon Prime streaming movie produced by the talented writer and director Jade Osiberu, and it hits all sensational nerves.

The movie captures certain realities of life in Lagos, specifically Isale Eko. From the risk of leaving your car window down in Isale Eko to the street fights- every scene attempts to mirror daily funny occurrences in Lagos. After watching it, I noticed some smart money moves hidden in all the drama, fun, and Lagos Street action. And because I love to share good things, I will point out some of these money lessons below; stay with me.

P.S. Spoiler alert!

Backup plans are important.

Throughout the movie, you can see that every character has a vision for the future, no matter how unrealistic, ambitious, or even impossible it was.

The scene where the main character, Obalola talked about learning coding to quit the criminal life was surprising and unexpected; a thug learning Python and Javascript? Unexpected but welcome, it reminds me of finishing the last project before the holidays, knowing I’ll be free after this sleepless night.

The villain, Kazeem, besides using politics as his strategy, was buying properties in his daughter’s name. He was greedy, but he also thought ahead and tried to prepare for the unknown future.

Having a plan for the future is very important and should never be overlooked.

There’s no sustainability for quick cash.

Quick cash is a mirage that fades away; money from unstable sources can disappear at any moment. Look at what happened to the gang leader, Ninolowo, and how it affected his foster kids — Obalola, Ify, and Gift. Because Ninolowo lived a risky life that was the main source of income for them, they went back to square one after he died.

Understand that a sustainable means of income and working towards achieving one is one of the best gifts you can give yourself.

Knowledge is power or, in your case, money.

Knowledge is expensive, but ignorance is costlier. Using the protagonist’s blind rage as an example, when he thought Ify was murdered by the rival camp while ‘na im own person dey am’ is real. When you check some of your money problems, you blame inconsequential things on what is happening.

A proper and adequate understanding of how to handle finance will help you faster than a blind guide toward savings and investing.

You will make better and smarter choices when you have the right knowledge.

Don’t ignore your Have-to! Understand how the environment works.

You might have missed this, but I want you to know that in whatever world you are in, there are things that are essential to succeed in that area.

Nino talks about paying respect to Alaye Bam Bam because he was the boss and the king of the crime ring in Isale Eko; this made me realize that you really need to understand a system and how it works for you to thrive within that space, this could be informal education or what some call “Street OTS.”



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