[Op-Ed] Sheriff Shagaya: A Plaudit To The Courageous Philanthropist - 9japarrot


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Thursday 6 July 2023

[Op-Ed] Sheriff Shagaya: A Plaudit To The Courageous Philanthropist

By Basheer Luqman Olarewaju .

“Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.” ~ Billy Graham

Courage is contagious. When fused with compassion, empathy and selfless love, courage is a powerful contagion that distinguishes the authentic philanthropist whose generosity is based on the gravity of societal privation, or social media validation from those who seek to support the most attractive causes du’ jour. 

Alhaji Sheriff Shagaya is not an accidental philanthropist, he has been involved in numerous community projects and humanitarian works even before his ascension to height of fame and opulent fortune. He sees himself as privileged human being who got the grace by divine intervention. In his charitable works, he would not see himself as a lord but a fortunate servant of the most High Lord. He would say, “A beggar must always give to another beggar that’s worse off than he is”.

Throughout the years, he had adhered to the tenets of his faith on acts of kindness and compassion and become stout philanthropist. Whether politically-incorrect or controversial a cause might have appeared, he always focus on how he could be of immediate service to the less fortunate. In fact, among other charitable interests, Shagaya championed a cause that was not chic to do so at the time. He rock-ribbed stepped forward and donated the necessary funds to establish strongholds to help hapless youths and women in the state. As a result, he has received the local and continental applause for his global benevolent leadership.

Apart from his unassuming philanthropic accomplishments, he is loved for being responsible and acceptive of everyone. Apart from being an archetype of compassion, sacrifice, and comradeship, Alhaji Sheriff Shagaya embodies the ideals of intrepid and courageous philanthropy. Like a valiant gladiator who is willing to ransom himself for his fellow companions, the deeds of the courageous philanthropist are contagious in that they are based on seeing himself in the “face” of the “other.”

This is the kind of philanthropic leadership that the nation requires today. Society thirsts for selfless individuals like Alhaji Sheriff (The Seven Star General) – who are not playing a role – but authentically expressing the qualities of love and service for their fellow human beings. Humanity needs philanthropists who are not driven by self-promotion, but by anyone knocking in need at their door.

The homeless, the sick, the indigent students, the unemployed youths, the widows are among those who are knocking. Unfortunately, their knock at the door is not always heard or responded to in an appropriate and effective philanthropic fashion. Another big applause to the empathetic spirit of Alhaji Sheriff for not fencing the needy outside his magnanimity and God-given wealth.

Coined by the Greek playwright Aeschylus (5th century BCE), the word “philanthropia,” literally means “love of humanity.” Today’s philanthropists should emulate ‘Seven Star’ and, therefore, be individuals who donate time, money, experience, skills and/or talent to help create a better world.

On his 43rd birthday, I pray that he forever remain blessed and prosperous.

Basheer is the Chief Press Secretary, Salman Shagaya Foundation.

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