Lessons From Ramadan: Philanthropy And The Hakeem Lawal's Way - 9japarrot


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Thursday 13 May 2021

Lessons From Ramadan: Philanthropy And The Hakeem Lawal's Way

Philanthropy transcends the giving out of money, food, or materials to the needy, being good to them (particularly the old folks, orphans, and widows), listening to their worries and assuring them, helping in community developmental works, relieving people of debts, even things as simple as Salam (greetings), smiling to others, and removing dangerous objects on pathways is also considered as philanthropy, hence, you don't have to be rich before you can carry out acts of philanthropy, may Allah make it easy on us all.

Today is surely Eid, for Ramadan is surely gone, and may the lessons learnt therein abide with us till the next Ramadan. One of the lessons I've always learnt from Hakeem Oladimeji Lawal (Omo Laderin), regardless of whether the month is Ramadan or not, is the philanthropic ways of Hakeem, a financial expert of substance, a real estate mogul, one of the top players in the international maritime industry, and the Chairman of Awliya Foundation (In Memory of Mohammed Alabi Lawal).

My relationship with Hakeem over the years has always been lessons after lessons, from business mentoring to philanthropy mentorship (teaching it by showing good examples), the political lessons from his experience in the muddy terrain of politics is handy too, what I've learnt from Omo Laderin over these few years has personally developed me, that he is one who don't pay lip service to mentorship but also supports one's growth with available resources makes him even a better mentor.

His philanthropic acts extended to various tendencies of people during the holy month of Ramadan, more than 3500 people benefited directly from his kind gestures, people received food stuff without subjecting them to any form of denigration or posting of pictures of beneficiaries holding items across social media to score points, at his instance, as we've always done every year, many family houses in the heart of Ilorin benefitted from his cash transfers, with widows, elderly, et al getting funds ranging from 5k, 10k, and some getting up to 20k, these has been done silently without attracting the least of noises. What of the traders his foundation empowered through Alasa Traders' Forum during his Ramadan lecture?

As it has been his yearly practice, those at the helm of distribution will be the set to receive their Ramadan package last, a distribution cycle that lasts at least a week, and sometimes more, from Gambari to Fagba, from Agbaji to Ode Sarumi, from Oke ebo to Oju ekun, from Alore to Oloje, from Idi ape to Alanamu, et al, the team reached out to clerics, royal stool occupiers, indigents, elderly persons, widows, community leaders and associations, political associates, media practitioners, et al.

In truth, Hakeem inherited a list that contained a host of people who his late dad reaches out to every Ramadan, since the death of his dad, he made sure it never stopped, some of these people used to reiterate that they wish to meet Hakeem even for once, not for anything, but just to thank the person who have never met them, but reaches out to them every Ramadan, this year wasn't an exception too, but for Hakeem, it isn't about the "thank you" to his face, just knowing that he makes them happy is enough, what a man!

Lest I forget, for twenty eight (28) days out of the thirty (30) days of this year's Ramadan, there was daily iftar at Alabi Alasa Centre, and the feeding of Iti'kaf goers at the Admiralty Mosque (In memory of his loving mother - Ruqayyah), built by Late Mohammed Alabi Lawal, the brain behind these is none but Hakeem and his two (2) junior brothers, Lukman and Mohammed, with the support of their lovely mum - Hajia Nusirat Lawal Nee Elelu, a true "abiyamo" that has hundreds of children that calls her mum, may Allah grant her long life and good health to continue mothering them all.

Hakeem is such a man that would tell anyone who asks him to up his media presence on his philanthropic acts thus: "Whenever we pray to Allah, we do pray for "Rufa Asiri" (Yoruba: Asiri bibo), then when Allah answers such a person's prayers through any of us, we again want the whole world to know what we've done for them, my own mode of philanthropy is for lada (heavenly rewards) and not la'ada (Ilorin terminology of worldly benefits), if we do something massive worthy of media attention, we will surely do so, but all these little things that we do and still expose the beneficiaries to the media isn't my thing".

I remember when a certain friend needed help for one of his family members, and asked that it be discreet, when Hakeem heard about it, he was ecstatic in saying "this is the type of help I always want to render, not one that will be everywhere, by the way". Who would know that some are already smiling as a result of the benevolence of Hakeem this Eid? Many more will definitely smile beyond this Eid festivities, it's my prayers that Allah grants Hakeem the opportunity for the entirety of Kwarans to feel his uncommon randour.

Issa Mutolib Ayobami popularly known as Megabyte writes from Ilorin. He is an alumnus of Ahmadu Bello University Zaria and the Accra Business School in Ghana, he is a community development practitioner, an entrepreneur, and a revenue consultant.

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