Tribute to wonderful Shagaya@40

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By Yusuf Mutiu Olaitan

The 7th of July should be a normal day like all other days of the year, but because it’s the birthday of an enigmatic and a simple person, we should rather declare it the MESSIAH OF THE MASSES’ day!

It is a general belief that humans are created equally. The assertion to me, I think shouldn’t be contended. We’re equally created, we came to this world through the same channel, maybe with the exception of the first human who was Adam and Issa(Jesus). Other than those two, every human was/is born in the same way. But being created in the same way doesn’t translate to enjoying the same grace in life.

It’s natural that while some people will be affluent, some will be less well off, as some will hang between the two sides. Oftentimes those in poverty shouldered the burden of inferiority. In most cases, they see the affluents as their enemies, especially when the affluents are seen to be inconsiderate.

It follows that the majority of the well to- do in the society also see the situation of the masses as a means to explore in vying for political positions. Many are well aware of what the masses want, but they won’t dare give it out for nothing which explains the wide assumption in this part of the world that “Nothing goes for nothing.”

Unbeknown to them that God has promised those that impact the life of the masses positively a special reward, no matter the religion, no matter the tribe. “Before you call yourself a Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, or any other theology, learn to be human first.” Those were the words of the legendary Shannon L. Alder.

Even as a normal person, one’s humanitarian service shouldn’t be premised on the public status attained. The impact can be made by any means positive at any time or place. Although it is not easy to focus on giving out the hard-earned money considering the stress one goes through before accruing the wealth, It’s not impossible when there is a will.

This is why having an individual doing the splashing of “dough, ” permit me to use the street parlance, is iconic. Be that as it may, if, at the expense of all of the risks in acquiring wealth, we see someone else doing so, shouldn’t we give him an accolade?

May I remind us about the maxim “it is not how well you live, it is how much impact you make on humanity.”

Late last year, I got an invitation from Ibraheem Abdullateef on a Friday night to attend a program in Oke Apomu the Saturday morning. He is a very good friend that I couldn’t decline the invitation despite coming in late.

“Omo ale ni Abdullateef, oun o si ma ki eyan girl, ” I murmured.

But I trusted Lati will never invite me to a programme without a special treat. I was already thinking about the edibles I would take. Of course, to ‘eat and take home.’ Lo and behold, I was wrong, very wrong but I left the place elated. It was not a place for food, but I saw what filled me with joy.

I witnessed FIVE HUNDRED people selected across the state collecting support funds for their businesses, not in the form of loans but absolutely non- refundable. I was wowed. I couldn’t believe it. I asked my friend whether an election was approaching to have warranted such a gesture. To my surprise, he said that is the practice, not politically induced.

Then, I began the questioning in my mind: “What would he gain doing all these? I was told he’s a businessman.” At that point, Abdullateef tapped me to look at something. “Look at his face, ” he said.

I looked at Sheriff Shagaya immediately, what did I see? I saw a man so lively, so fulfilled; with a passing but cute smile written on his face as he doled out the envelopes. I walked to him, shook his hand, and left the place.

I engaged myself in a brief search on Sheriff Shagaya, and I garnered that Salman Shagaya foundation was founded in 2014 by him. Ever since then, the foundation has begun supporting many youths to achieve their dreams by paying school fees, buying tools and equipment for artisans, catering for widows among other vulnerable persons.

The cash relief funds are one that must be acknowledged even by the Sheriff’s enemies. Salman Shagaya foundation gives at least five hundred citizens the token of #10,000 to establish petty business every three months without recourse to their tribe, religion, or political party. How else does one care?

Should we talk about the special intervention program designed for the physically challenged people in the society, what about the widows that at the sight of Sheriff Shagaya knows ‘ dia own don better.’

Sheriff, the chairman of the foundation, is one joy too many!

For a man so magnanimous that he feels to reduce hardship the less privileged suffers from lack of or unstable electricity, the foundation recently embarked on 4,000 homes solar project to provide alternative power and ease problems of electricity in Kwara communities.

It’s not a thing of surprise that all these gigantic projects are successful for the intents are clear and defined. The Coordinator of the foundation is a man of integrity too, Alhaji Muftau Akanbi Oke. Sir, I say congratulations to you too for doing wonders with the foundation!

What we should take note is that to care for others isn’t in any way an obligation for Sheriff Shagaya, but he deemed it fit that the society must grow and be on the same path with him. Shouldn’t we give credit to his awesomeness? We should; he’s deserving.

The prayers of the Kwara populace is enough for him on his birthday. The smiles and the happiness you put on the masses’ faces are enough a prayer for your family until the end of time.

I wish you a life devoid of somber, a life full of Allah’s blessing. You’re a great man today, may you be greater as at the time of your next birthday.

Cheers to SS @40!

Yusuf Mutiu Olaitan writes from Adewole ward, Ilorin west local government.

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