How MMM ‘froze’ this man’s dream of becoming the next Wizkid

“Boss, I can’t drop that my single o, I don’t have money.”

Those were the first words I received from one of the numerous young artistes that I contribute to their careers. His name is Sparko X (not real name of course), and in December 2012, he won money from gambling, which equaled 2 million Naira.

He was ecstatic and blew N500,000 first on drinking and celebrating with friends and other artistes who all came to congratulate Sparko for his new windfall. Sparko was generous as the drinks flowed, the weed was burnt, and the women twerked the night away.

I got invited but I never showed up. Such buffoonery isn’t my style. But I understood. This was the richest Sparko has been in his life of chasing music, and surprisingly the money did not come from his exertions in the studio.

A young man who has had tough luck in life, Sparko came from a poor home, and had to drop out of school. He began music when he was 13 years, rapping in street competitions, and trying to get ahead. He did odd jobs when they came, and survived from hand to mouth.  He is 20 years now, and all that mattered was to get the music break.

“Boss look at Wizkid and Davido. See how much they are making from music. See Olamide, he is enjoying life because of the same I do.” He told me on the day he met me.

I accepted to be help Sparko because his story was touching, and he had raw talent. A little more polishing, and work with more experienced and skilled producers, and he will be good. But he has never had funding, and this has made his work hard. Between running through the dingy poorly-equipped studios, and chasing after wannabe producers, what came out was an ear-sore to listen.

Don Jazzy, having a ball with DJ Coublon.
Don Jazzy, having a ball with DJ Coublon.

 “Sparko, you need more money to get better producers, better beats, and then we can promote harder for you.” I told him during one of our many phone conversations.

But he had no money. And the little he could find was for feeding and keeping body and soul together. Sometimes we prayed together, asking God for some breakthrough, and the will to go on in music.

Perhaps God answered. Or his stars aligned, but in November 2016, something happened.

One of Sparko’s hobbies was sports gambling, and he tried his luck every week with Nairabet, Bet9ja, Merrybet and many others. One clicked, and he hit the jackpot.

“Boss, I don hammer. Tu poin faive million, na wetin I pick.” He boomed from the phone, announcing the good news. For one who has tasted poverty, that cash is a big deal. But in reality, it isn’t. It wont change your life, neither will it get you out of poverty forever.

After the mandatory celebration, Sparko sought my advice and expressed how he will over to invest the remaining N1.5 million cash into the music. I wanted him to find some other business, invest and use the gains to chase the music.

Sparko listened and took my advice. But I failed. I didn’t tell him the businesses to chase. I had assumed that he already already had plans and the money was right where it should be.

November became December, and December became January. On the first week, I went looking for Sparko, filled with fire in my belly for him to begin work. I had found him a good producer, and agreed the fee. All that was needed was for cash to transfer hands.

Mr Eazi is a unique artiste, a Nigerian singer who first got recognition in Ghana
Mr Eazi is a unique artiste, a Nigerian singer who first got recognition in Ghana
(Instagram/mreazi )

I found Sparko lying supine on the floor. He turned slowly when I approached. There was no happiness, no fire, no joy in his eyes. There was no hope.

“Sparko, how far, we have to start working now.” I declared.

But the next words hit right through me, and shook the very center of my core.

“Boss, I can’t drop that my single o, I don’t have money.”

I was shocked. All along Sparko had told me he had invested, and the returns will start coming in by January. This was January. We need that money to get his career moving at a faster pace.

“Boss I did MMM oh, and it has frozen my money,”

I froze too. Sparko, with all of his street smarts had thrown his dough into the popular Ponzi scheme MMM, which froze payments in December for a month, and recently came back. Participants with huge sums in the system have been promised a cash out that has never come.

MMM Nigeria
MMM Nigeria

Up until the time of this story, Sparko’s cash is still in the system, at the mercy of faceless operators who created a Ponzi scheme, played on the greed and desperation of Nigerians, and have all but crashed.

“Oga, when they release my money, I will call you and we can record”, Sparko offered. Although it was minute, I could still feel his hope. But that hope was covered in despair.

But deep down I suspected he knew. When MMM froze payments, they froze his career. And until he gets a fresh injection of cash, Sparko and all his dreams of being the next Wizkid will remain frozen in a Ponzi scheme.

Source: Pulse.NG Music Buzz

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