If you’re wondering why this is titled the “Auda City” of 2020, look no further than the inspiration below by Twitter user @Amegaxi.
Zylofon Hills is envisioned as a “modern smart city” somewhere in Ghana, most likely Accra that will sit on 4,000 plots of land. It’ll boast a sports complex, business complex, a golf course, water park, sports stadium, solar plant, shopping arcade, music museum, film village, recording studio, cinema, a gym, a pool, a metro station ?, and a walk of fame.
Based on the amenities promised and from the unoriginal promo video posted by Menzgold CEO Nana Appiah Mensah, Zylofon Hills is styled after Hollywood. It even goes as far as copying the famous Hollywood sign except this time – don’t laugh – as Zallywood.
Why am I calling the video unoriginal? It simply pieces together footage from different places. It’s almost like a mood board of ideas. Nothing concrete that actually shows what Zylofon City will look like. Heck, no hints of where it will be located. Does it stink? It’s worse than rotten momoni (go here if you don’t know what that is).
In all fairness, Zylofon Hills is an attractive real estate proposition if you can get past three things. These are the name, the likelihood of this being another white elephant like the abandoned Hope City project and the biggest obstacle of all, the credibility of the company and the person proposing this development.
Investing in real estate hinges on trust and guaranteed returns on investment. Menzgold and its CEO, Nana Appiah Mensah (aka NAM 1) however have proven to be anything but trustworthy. The whole Ponzi scheme that was crushed a few years ago is why. People’s monies have not been returned and no real moves have been made to ensure this.
And yet, somehow, this exposed company has the galls to propose a new scheme. And here comes the audacity of it all.
NAM 1 is reserving 500 residential plots for Menzgold customers as a – wait for it – goodwill gesture!
Goodwill gesture? Goodwill gesture? I’m fuming on behalf of all my friends and the people I don’t even know who’ve had their lives ruined by this too-good-to-be-true-but-so-enticing scam.
Thank goodness I’m not the only one fuming.
The Coalition of Aggrieved Customers of MenzGold is too (yes, it’s a thing). Here’s what their spokesperson, Francis Owusu told GhanaWeb about Zylofon Hills.
You don’t keep my money for two years and then you come and tell me I’m offering you 500 plots. Over 60,000 MenzGold customers who are those you are going to give the 500 plots you are talking about? Those 71 customers who are dead and gone what are they going to use that plot of land for? And even who told him if I want to build a house, I want to build at that area that he’s talking about? If you give me my money, I will decide where I want to build or where I want to live with my familyFrancis Owusu
But what if it isn’t a scam and it’s actually legit? What if we simply have another Freedom Jacob Ceasar on our hands? What if? ?.
Honestly, I highly doubt it isn’t another scam.
Apparently, NAM 1’s people “have been calling unsuspecting customers to patronise these offers and demanding additional sums of money ranging from GH¢30,000 to GH¢150,000 to purchase the said lands.”
If true…you don’t need me to tell you right?
What Ghanaians Are Saying About Zylofon Hills
There are mixed reactions to this proposed new city. Unlike Akon’s $6 billion Akon City which has been met with generally positive sentiment, Zylofon City is inciting anger and the laughs.
Won’t anyone take NAM 1’s side? Of course some people do. In fact, they go as far as comparing him to Dangote and blaming the government for crippling entrepreneurship and the making of a billionaire. There’s also the very political angle people are taking which is no surprise because a) Ghana we dey and b) it’s election season.
Thoughts on Zylofon Hills
It sounds like an amazing project. It is grand in scale and if realized, would be dope. The focus on the creative sector is mad appealing and could push the sector forward, especially the film industry. A film village and music museum are exciting prospects.
But that’s just my head in the clouds. Back on earth, the ambitiousness of this project is both exciting and terrifying; more terrifying. A metro station in Ghana? That’s a lot of eyebrows raised to the sky. It’s not an impossible thing. It’s just, it’s unlikely the government will back NAM 1 on this new adventure.
This leads me to conclude that this is a joke. It has to be. If it’s not, then this is another scam. And if it isn’t? Well, then NAM 1 would be a bigger phoenix rising out of the ashes story than the dancehall king Shatta Wale.
YouTuber Sweetie Baiden however suspects this is just NAM 1 seeking attention and that this is an old video made when NAM 1 and his Menzgold business were thriving. We won’t know for sure if this is true until more details emerge on Zylofon Hills.
Stick with credible and better-established developers with actual experience. Think Appolonia City of Light by Rendeavour (Oyibi), Cantonments City by Goldkey Properties, Silicon Accra City at East Legon Hills, or Ayi Mensah Park by Indigo Homes (Ayi Mensah, Oyarifa). Heck, even consider Nana Kwame Bediako’s Petronia City.
Much as I love to see my fellow Ghanaians win, NAM 1 and Zylofon Hills look like another disaster waiting to happen. If you absolutely must get into it, however, hold on to your cash until the first building is completed then maybe make a move.
Not gonna lie, you have to give it up to Nana Appiah Mensah, the man knows what the people want and knows just how to rile them up. Reminds me of this gif.
Here’s a small prayer to the universe that this isn’t another elaborate ruse (which it most likely is). ??
Only time will tell.
Update (Sunday, September 20, 2020): Included a quote from Francis Owusu, spokesperson of the Coalition of Aggrieved Customers of MenzGold.