Based on Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani’s 2009 novel of the same name, I Do Not Come To You By Chance is a comedy-drama directed by Ishaya Bako that looks at the inner-workings of one of the infamous ‘Nigerian Prince’ email scams. Kingsley, played by Paul Nnadiekwe, is a lovable college graduate who seemingly cannot find work anywhere in his town, and after his father suffers a stroke and hospital bills rack up, Kingsley realizes his only chance of financial security is to ask his estranged, scamming uncle Boniface for support.
Boniface, known to his fans and colleagues as ‘Cash Daddy,’ has been scamming people for years, which is what originally got him kicked out of Kingsley’s home. The film goes from a heartfelt drama to a crime-comedy once Kingsley stops taking handouts and decides to start working for his uncle. I Do Not Come To You By Chance is instantly brought to life when we are introduced to Blossom Chukwujekwu, who plays Cash Daddy. If I remember correctly, almost any time he spoke, the film was elevated by the raucous laughter from the audience.
Though it is mainly a comedy, the film does dip into some darker themes. The destructive nature of money and the difficulties of living in a place that does not seem to value its citizens enough to provide sufficient support with necessities like housing or healthcare are often highlighted in the film. It is not surprising that a lot of people resort to money-making scams like the one Uncle Boniface runs, as it seemed to be one of the only lucrative options to make a living in Kingsley’s town.
Though I found multiple moments of the film to be a little drawn-out and drab, the comedic aspect of the film was able to (most of the time), bring my attention back- I even remember one scene that was reminiscent of an early 2000s rom-com makeover scene which sort of came out of nowhere but was enjoyable all the same. I Do Not Come To You By Chance is an entertaining and unique perspective on what it is like to be on the other side of a deceptive scam, that will likely have you cracking up and wishing you had a wardrobe or nickname as cool as Cash Daddy.