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3 reasons why you must watch 'Secrets'

This is more than just a movie, it is one of those that leave you with a purpose to go home and introspect.

Poster for the movie 'Secrets'. Picture: @tevinmusara/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG – Did you know it’s estimated that 1 in 3 South Africans have lost money through investing in pyramid schemes?

“It’s time to talk about the hardest thing there is to talk about. Money.” And that is exactly what the movie Secrets is about.

Launched on Thursday night in Hyde Park, Johannesburg, Secrets is a new short-form movie that tells the stories of three South Africans. The stories chronicle the devastating impact on them and those around them caused by their secret, unquestioned money habits.

As South Africa observed July as savings month, Khensani Nobanda, group executive marketing & corporate affairs at Nedbank said: “Money is something nobody likes talking about, and this movie shows graphically how toxic these secrets can be."

She said as a corporate, they were excited to be the first in the financial sector to back a project of this nature.

"Given the extent of the problem, we felt it was imperative that as a responsible corporate citizen, we initiate a national conversation about the secret mainsprings of our money behaviour, and how to cultivate a more positive attitude towards it.”

For the sake of not giving away too much, let’s zoom in on one character, Sizwe, played by Peter Mashego, a family man who would do anything to get his son through university. And when the acceptance letter arrived, the father of one continued with his pyramid scheme ways, hoping to eventually cash in big.

Here are three reasons why you NEED to watch it.

You’re going to learn more about money:

This is more than just a movie, it is one of those that leave you with a purpose to go home and introspect. Did you feel good when you bought that pair of shoes? Did you feel good when you ordered that expensive bottle of wine at your favourite restaurant? Did you feel good when you gifted your family and friends? Of course, you did.

Because as psychologist and life coach Dr Tshepiso Matentjie puts it: “A lot of what you do is informed by emotions. When you don't unpack those emotions, you go into auto pilot.”

And in the case of Sizwe, he felt the need to make sure that his son’s fees were covered. So, when a pyramid scheme promising quick and big returns presented itself, he didn't flinch. He saw an opportunity to give his son, Kagiso, the education that he deserved.

But at what cost? He washes his bloody hands in the bathtub and fights with his wife as he struggled to get out of the scheme. “But I got in so deep, there was no turning back,” Sizwe said.

After all that, the people behind the scheme disappeared and Sizwe's money never made it back to him.

This could've easily been you, your parent or someone you know. Secrets presents situations so that you could learn from them and hopefully be able to avoid making the same mistakes as the characters.

Everyone can relate to it:

This movie has at least one scene that's likely to resonate with you. It could've been that one where Sizwe's wife was asking him to get out of the scheme, and he said he couldn't, or that one where his son's university acceptance letter arrived and the whole family is ecstatic.

It's for everyone. The stories unfolding in each character's life were inspired by real-life situations.

In December 2018, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) said it had received over 400,000 applications for funding for the 2019 academic year. Sizwe's son is a true representation of many matriculants in this country who are need of financial aid for higher education.

This goes to show that in each of the main characters in the movie, hundreds of thousands of South Africans could relate, and their immediate families and close friends.

So, trust me, something in the movie would touch you and you would find yourself nodding in agreement.

The cast is more than amazing:

It's no secret (excuse the pun) that South Africans are rich in talent and so when a movie casts the right people, it just made it so much easier for you to be educated and entertained at the same time.

It stars Brett Williams, Hlubi Mboya and Lindiwe Dim, Faniswa Yisa, Tevin Musara and Rolanda Marias, among others.

Mboya is a Safta winner, and has starred in local hits such as Dora's Peace and TV series/soapies including Isidingo and Mfolozi Steet.

From sitcom Ga Re Dumele to Ke Nako, Mponeng, Heartlines and Justice for All, there's no denying that Mashego is an actor to be reckoned with.

There's decades of experience between all the actors and it really came out during the film. So go and support local. It is lekker, after all.

You can still catch the movie in cinemas or watch parts of it on nedbankmoneysecrets.co.za

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