PremiumTrust Bank, Nigeria’s fastest growing financial institution, is set to celebrate His Excellency Mr Biodun Abayomi Oyebanji’s one-year anniversary in office with the captivating stage play, Fajuyi- for country. This play, brought to you by the Duke of Shomolu Foundation, chronicles the emotional last hours of heroic Col Adekunle Fajuyi, who gave his life for loyalty and country. Following the highly successful showing of Zik, which attracted high-profile guests such as the respected Obi of Onitsha and Prof Azikiwe, widow of late Owelle of Onitsha and Nigeria’s first President, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, the Duke of Shomolu Foundation presents the story of Fajuyi through brilliant dance and super storytelling motives. As Governor of the South West, Adekunle Fajuyi sacrificed his life during the counter coup to protect then Head of State, Gen Aguiyi Ironsi, and ensure the unity of the country. This heroic action is showcased in the play, written and directed by famed Prof Rasaki Ojo Bakare, current Ekiti State Commissioner for Arts and Culture. Featuring 70 thespians and iconic actors Yemi Shodimu and Barbara Soky in the lead roles, Fajuyi will be staged in both Ekiti and at the Agip Recital Hall of the Muson Centre in Lagos. Mr Dele Oye, the National President of NACCIMA and a respected supporter of the arts, will give an opening remark. As a way of support, PremiumTrust Bank, expresses its commitment to supporting the arts, as it has the capacity to not only impact the economy but also build cohesion and unity in society. The Duke of Shomolu Foundation, over the last seven years, has provided Nigerians with strong productions that have chronicled the country’s history through superbly told stories. According to Mrs Mofoluwake Edgar, Managing Director of Duke of Shomolu Foundation, our stories have attracted over 300,000 attendees and told stories of notable personalities such as Awo, Jakande, Ogiame Erejuwa, Chief Obasanjo, Emir Sanusi, Sardaunna amongst others. PremiumTrust Bank remains excited to work closely with Duke of Shomolu Foundation in bringing this notable story to Nigerians at a time of national rebirth. The Ekiti showing would have His Excellency Mr biodun Abayomi Oyebanji as Special Guest of Honour. Fajuyi will play Ekiti on October 14th, 2023, and play the iconic Agip Recital Hall of the Muson Centre on November 5th, 2023. Joseph Edgar Duke of Shomolu
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Lion King…with family, friends…and foes
It is pretty self-evident that Arab culture has had a significant influence on the African continent for centuries, most notably in the form of the religion of Islam. What is not well appreciated is that along with Islam came an intellectual culture, which was a mixture of indigenous Arab intellectual pursuits and classical learning from ancient Greece, Persia (modern day Iran), India and Syria. This culture would do much to shape Muslim scholarship on the African continent. Much of this scholarship would be centered around the great city of Timbuktu in the empire of Mali, but there were other centers of Muslim learning as well, like Mauritania for instance.
The Arab world experienced a golden age of scholarship and intellectual enquiry, as well as economic and cultural flourishing from about the 8th century to the 13th century . At the center of that intellectual splendor was “The House of Wisdom”. The House of Wisdom was a public academy and intellectual center located in Baghdad (In modern Iraq), which was then the world’s largest city,  that attracted the keenest minds from all over the Arab world to carry out scholarship in many areas of intellectual inquiry. The political rulers of the time had a strong love for learning, which led to scholarship being an extremely remunerative profession. The best scholars could command salaries that were comparable to professional athletes today . Imagine what the Lionel Messi of philosophy would be paid…or the Michael Jordan of mathematics. There were other intellectual centers scattered throughout the Arab world but the House of Wisdom in Baghdad was the most influential, with many being modeled after it.
One of the great undertakings of the House of Wisdom, that was to later have a profound effect on the intellectual development of Europe was the translation of ancient classic texts into Arabic. The most important texts came from ancient Greece but they were accompanied by others from Persia, India and Syria .
Among the more notable translation works carried out by the House of Wisdom, were the translations of many of the most important philosophical and scientific texts of the ancient world. The works of the likes of Plato, Aristotle, Pythagoras, Euclid, Archimedes, Hippocrates (medicine), Galen (medicine), Ptolemy (astronomy) and many others were translated. It should be pointed out that this work of translation was not carried out by Muslim scholars only. Many Christian scholars had already been translating ancient works into Syriac (Language of ancient Syria) and as a result, many of them were commissioned by the House of Wisdom to translate those ancient works into Arabic . Many of those Arabic texts, would much later be converted to Latin and would utterly transform the nature of scholarship in Europe (Yeah, the Arabs and the Chinese were once ahead of Europe) leading to periods of intense intellectual flourishing such as the Italian Renaissance .
Translation was not the only work that went on at the House of Wisdom. Two centuries of translation were followed by another two centuries of original thinking and outpourings (both were sometimes simultaneous) in various fields particularly in Astronomy, Mathematics and Medicine but also in Philosophy, Physics, Chemistry, Engineering, Geography, Botany, Agronomy, Ophthalmology, Pharmacology, Zoology etc. . Some of the most notable scholars from the House of Wisdom include:
Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi; widely regarded as the “Father of Algebra”. The word algebra itself is Latin and is derived from the Arabic word al-jabr. His impact doesn’t stop there. He lent his name to the most fundamental concept in computer science. The word “Algorithm”, which refers to a precise, step-by-step procedure for solving a problem, is simply the Latin version of his name . His reputation in Europe became so great that all that was needed to end many a mathematical argument was to say “thus spoke Al-Khwarizmi” . His full name by the way, means Muhammad, son of Musa from Khwarizmi. He was also instrumental in the adoption of the Hindu–Arabic numeral system, which eventually went on to be adopted globally (The way of writing 1,2, 3… that you were taught in primary school and still use up till now is what is being referred to here).
Ibn Sina (aka Avicenna); preeminent physician of the Islamic Golden Age. Famous for writing The Canon of Medicine, the prevailing medical text in the Islamic World and Europe until the 19th century .
Ibn Rushd (aka Averroes); Muslim philosopher who was famous for his commentary on Aristotle .
Al-Jahiz; Polymath famous for describing certain principles related to Natural Selection roughly 1,000 before Charles Darwin .
Omar Khayyam; Poet, mathematician, and astronomer most famous for his solution of cubic equations .
The Banu Musa brothers; Remarkable trio of engineers that may have invented the world’s first programmable device .
Ḥasan Ibn al-Haytham (aka Alhazen); Perhaps the most influential of all. Widely regarded as the “Father of Modern Optics”. He was the first to correctly explain the theory of vision. His work would be later cited by Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, Christian Huygens and Galileo. More importantly, he was also an early proponent of the scientific method, the concept that a hypothesis must be proved by experiments based on confirmable procedures or mathematical evidence, five centuries before Renaissance scientists in Europe .
It wasn’t all serious. The poet Rumi wrote some of the finest poetry in the Persian language and remains one of the best-selling poets in America today. And there is of course, One Thousand and One Nights, that collection of folk tales that had such a huge influence on Middle Eastern and Western literature and popular culture with such classics as Aladdin, Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves and Sinbad the Sailor .
All good things must come to an end they say, and unfortunately that was the case here. After about roughly four centuries of flourishing, a decline began to set in. Reasons given for the decline include, the appearance of rulers not interested in funding scientific research, the appearance of narrow interpretations of the Quran (as opposed to broad interpretations of the Quran that led to the Golden Age in the first place) that arrested the development of science and philosophy (these two reasons are probably related), disruptions as a result of the Mongol Invasion (The Mongols were a group originating from present day Mongolia that built a massive empire under the leadership of the legendary Genghis Khan) in 1258, which led to the destruction of the House of Wisdom . According to the writings of an eyewitness, “So many books were thrown into the Tigris River that they formed a bridge that would support a man on horseback.” Many of the books were also torn apart by pillagers so that the leather covers could be made into sandals . The invasion was led by Hulagu Khan, grandson of Genghis Khan. There are alternative accounts that suggest that the golden age lasted up to the 16th and 17th centuries before experiencing decline.
Much of the ancient Greek texts translated into Arabic would find their way into Timbuktu in the Mali Empire leading up to the city’s golden age between the 13th and 16th centuries. The Mali Empire was founded in the 13th century by Sundiata Keita , who is widely believed to be the inspiration for the Disney Classic, Lion King, though Disney animators claim that they were inspired by Shakespeare’s Hamlet . Well…maybe. My reading of it tells me that the animators only used the analogy of Hamlet because the execs were having problems understanding the plot of Lion King (What you don’t understand, you don’t bankroll). It’s hard to believe now but at the time of its making internally at Disney, Lion King was not rated highly. In fact, Pocahontas, which was being made at the same time was rated higher. Sundiata is derived from “Sogolon”, his mother’s name and “Jata” which means lion. On becoming emperor of Mali, he assumed the title “Mansa” meaning King, thus becoming the “Lion King”. He was also the great-uncle of the Malian ruler Mansa Musa, widely regarded as the wealthiest person of all time. The city of Timbuktu is referenced in another Disney Classic, The Aristocats.
What is it with Mali and cats anyway??
I can’t think of a better mark of greatness than something becoming a staple of popular culture. Timbuktu was rich in gold and salt deposits, with salt being white gold then, the way oil is black gold now. It also had a rich network of easily accessible trading routes, turning it into a cultural mixing pot . It was this wealth that was used to turn Timbuktu into a Mecca of scholarship. This was mainly done by setting up the University of Sankore, which would achieve renown for Islamic studies and other fields like history, rhetoric, law, science, and, most notably, medicine . This would lead to a tidal wave of scholarly works collectively known as the Timbuktu Manuscripts.
While Timbuktu stands out as a center of Islamic learning on the African continent, it was by no means the only one. Another notable center was Mauritania. In 1980, scholars from the University of Tubingen, Germany and the Mauritanian Institute for Scientific Research joined hands to produce a catalogue of Mauritanian manuscripts . It listed 2,239 manuscripts, of which the oldest is by an 11th century author. It covered some hundred libraries and manuscript collections from various regions of Mauritania, as well as a wide range of subjects classified under the following themes: ad ‘iya (invocations), adhkar (litanies), fatawa (legal opinions), fiqh ( jurisprudence), hadith (science of traditions), mawa‘iz (exhortations), nawazil ( juridical affairs), Qur’an, sira (biography of the Prophet), tasawwuf (Sufism), tawhid (theology), usul (sources of law), adab (literature), ‘arud (metrics), bayan (rhetoric), lugha (language), mantiq (logic), nahw (grammar), shi‘r (poetry), political ethics, falak (astronomy / astrology), geography, hisab (mathematics), magic, (tibb) medicine, kimiya (chemistry) and agriculture.
Unfortunately, like it Arab counterpart, the intellectual flowering of Black Muslim Africa would experience decline and it is claimed by some that the reason was the same narrow interpretation of the Quran , in addition to the economic decline of centers such as Timbuktu.
In the next post, we will discuss why all this intellectual ferment did not transform Africa in the way that it transformed Europe.
BEFORE YOU GO: Please share this post with as many people and check out my book Why Africa is not rich like America and Europe on Amazon.
- Wikipedia article on Islamic Golden age https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_Golden_Age
- Wikipedia article on the House of Wisdom https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_Wisdom
- Wikipedia article on Islamic world contributions to Medieval Europe https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_world_contributions_to_Medieval_Europe
- Wikipedia article on Science in the Medieval Islamic World https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science_in_the_medieval_Islamic_world
- Wikipedia article on Khwarizmi https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Khwarizmi
- Stewart, Ian. 2017 Significant Figures: Lives and work of Trailblazing Mathematicians. New York: Basic Books
- Wikipedia article of the House of Wisdom https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_Wisdom
- Wikipedia article on Al-Jahiz https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Jahiz
- Wikipedia article on the House of Wisdom https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_Wisdom
- Wikipedia article on the Banu brothers https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ban%C5%AB_M%C5%ABs%C4%81_brothers
- Wikipedia article on Science in the Medieval Islamic World https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science_in_the_medieval_Islamic_world
- Wikipedia article on Islamic Golden Age https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_Golden_Age
- Wikipedia article on the House of Wisdom https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_Wisdom
- Wikipedia article on Sundiata Keita https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sundiata_Keita
- Grant, Adam Originals. 2016 Originals: How Non-Conformists change the World London: WH Allen
- Wikipedia article on Timbuktu https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timbuktu
- Kane, Ousmane Oumar. 2016 Beyond Timbuktu: An Intellectual History of Muslim West Africa Massachusetts: Harvard University Press
- Diop, Cheik Anta Diop. 1987 Precolonial Black Africa: A Comparative Study of the Political and Social Systems of Europe and Black Africa, from Antiquity to the Formation of Modern States Connecticut: Laurence Hill & Company
Esther Ufot Ubak is from Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. She is a 25-year-old artisan and Audrey’s Unique Craft and Signature founder. She has more than three years of experience in industrial craft and artistic work spanning within, but not limited to, interior and exterior decorations and other multipurpose.
Her unique talent, dedication, and commitment to her art and craft earned her recognition for what she creates from waste through her innovative ideas. Esther aspires to create sustainable job opportunities for the youths so they can utilize their potential. She is trustworthy, creative, patient, dedicated, and committed to her craft.
Esther loves art and is passionate about reducing waste in the community. She tries to manage waste around her by reusing them and turning them into valuable art. Esther asserts, “Reducing waste will not only protect the environment but will also save on costs or reduce expenses for disposal. In the same way, recycling and reusing the waste that is produced benefits the environment by lessening the need to extract resources and lower the potential for contamination”.
Esther’s work tends towards enhancing the reduction of waste to protect the environment from harmful and toxic substances which may pose a threat to human life. Her mission is to help maintain, sustain, and retain a green and clean environment. She believes that by practicing recycling and creating durable items, she contributes her quota to saving the world.
She reveals that her business is very lucrative, and one can make money from it. She affirms that the artwork will also aid in creating employment opportunities for the teaming youths of the country. Esther started her business with seventy-five thousand nairas (N75,000). She used the money to purchase the necessary materials and tools to beautify and amplify the works made from inorganic waste, turning them into valuable art.
The high point of her business is the ability to sell her products to more than 150 clients and still counting. She used the revenue she got from the sales to get a space to display her art and was able to register her business name.
The low point of the business is the job opportunities that elude her because of the lack of industrial and human machinery to handle colossal work.
Esther agrees that she has thought about giving up in the face of challenges. She reveals that last year was very tough for her, but her passion for her business motivated her to stay on track because that put food on her table.
Esther does not work alone, she gets voluntary help from her brother, and her business is registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission.
The visit saw him interacting with the staff and getting really enlightened on the role of the CSCS in the capital market
Really impressive and eye-opening was his summary if the visit
I have known demola forever. He just got appointed SSA to the president, and he is my brother.
You see, networking and relations management is the very key strategy to unlock opportunities in business and in life at these very tough times.
Last night, I got a call from a premier investment banking outfit. They have a huge transaction and want to leverage on my network to sell.
A day earlier, my big brother and one of the biggest real estate players in the land on launching his 24 floor hotel suites reaches out and wants me to pull in people who can invest and be the MC at the event.
I have just come back from Abuja, where I had a meeting with a Director of Jaiz Bank who incidentally is the new chairman of NGX
Networking and relationship management, for me, is key. Today, I am selling Anonymous-nipples to individuals on my database cos I won’t try corporates cos of the mischievous intent of the play
So, Demola’s party was another opportunity to deepen relationships and build new ones.
For me, I was glad I was invited cos this would pull in mainstream players within the Lagos State structure and the ruling APC cos of Demolas stature and that of his wife
Titi Oshodi is a strategic player within the Lagos State structure. She has worked very closely with and within the government circles since the inception of this particular administration.
She is a PR and Comminciations expert and has brought this to bare with her Boseko initiative which saw her arrowheading an independent push of political aides towards throwing out an inclusive but independent communications startegy for the electoral pull.
She is my sister. She is Dare’s younger sister. Dare is married to my sister Ijeoma, and she is sisters to the very popular actress Daramola.
So I walked into the hall, not recognizing a lot of people. You know yoruba people and their Owambe. Everybody was wearing aso ebi or is it aso oke and the place was looking very dandy.
I walked to the front to hug demola, who had just flown in from Abuja. He is happy to see me and quips – you don abuse my oga again this morning, and I replied, “I never start, when fuel reach N1,000. I go release him nude.”
We laughed and hugged again. Then I took my seat and low and behold it was Otunba Morakinyo trying to hide behind his beards.
Still looking very handsome and edible, I hugged him and said,’ otunba, where u day all these while o. Otunba is a major oil and gas player. He is also into real estate and technology.
He is influential but prefers to be quiet. So I won’t talk a lot about him, but know that Otunba with his reach can open doors that heaven may really not want to open for u
Across me, I saw gboye and his beautiful wife. Gboye is an operative. A social one. It was thru him and okupe that I met serial investor and international businessman Femi Tejuoso.
Gboyes wife is a world-class educationist who is showing significant skills with young people at the very influential Supreme Education school in Magodo
Then, to my right was Obuks Ibru of the Ibru dynasty and sister of the massively talented Elvina Ibru.
Olorogun Oscar Ibru, one of the most influential of yhem, all walked in, and I ran to him. Once, I had some time with him when the great Mudi built a round about in Ughelli, and we went to commission it.
I decided to walk the room and came upon the Chairman of Odua Investmnets group the suoer brilliant Bimbo Ashiru. I dodged him cos he had just sent in something for my new play, and we had had a long conversation about Nigeria.
In fact, fmr Minister Aganga had mentioned him in a new book he was launching in Abuja this week.
Then I saw Otunba Femi Pedro, fmr Deputy Governor of Lagos State and my big egbon. His contributions to discussions on our whats app groups remain strategic and very educative.
The First Lady was sitted elegantly, and I decided not to carry my wahala to go and disturb her, so I left and went straight to Dr Gaj, who is the Perm SEC Ministry of Environment.
He is my friend and brother. He looked so handsome and regal in his agbada, and I grabbed it and said,’ What are you guys doing with fuel prices?
The intellectual that he is, he took his time despite the noise of the juju band on stage to explain some things to me. I didn’t agree but hugged him and moved towards Tunde Yusuf
Tunde is one of those underground people who are so well connected within the Lagos circles that you can not believe.
Tunde, I am interested in the Arts and Cuture ministry, I mentioned. He said obviously, but there is no vacancy, and I said ohh noo not for me, but for a theatrical expert who would bring a lot of advancement in the space.
He smiled at me and said I’ll revert, but it’s too late.”” I love him . He was my junior in secondary school and had once paid for radio slots on Radio Lagos for me during one of my plays.
It was time to go, and I made for the door only to stumble on the Efcc guy who arrested me, and we shouted and hugged.
I had turned him from a predator to a friend. He laughed and said I will handcuff you fugitive and I say I will release your nude and we laughed, and he said, “See your fried Ajisafe
Lekan Ajisafe is a top 5 insurance broker in the country. He has helped define the space with his unique outlook to the industry
I shook his hands and hugged him. I was supposed to play a role during his mothers remeberance, but that didn’t pan out, but we remained friends.
Will go eat in his office one of these days
As I walked away, I began to ask myself what I had achieved in this particular party.
I have strengthened my relationship with key people within the Lagos Superstructure. Strengthening
The network and giving me a closer access to His Excellency
To rehash, the best places to build, maintain, and enhance your network are social gatherings. Be deliberate about them and don’t just attend all cos u want to build a network
Also, remember the etiquette at such gatherings . I will discuss that in a later briadcast.
For now, make I go bath go work.
Duke of Shomolu
We are now in a position that we truly deserve. When someone wakes up in the morning and guns for the presidency on a major platform of seeking reward for 30 years of political brinksmanship, this is what we get.
The arrogant cry of emilokan was premised on the fact that it was his turn and really not on any above board vision for robust leadership, hence the bullying we saw to the presidency
Today, the economy is on a free fall, and we are witnessing the worse 90 days of any government in Nigeria.
Fuel is now N617, Dollar now N800- gaining N100 in one week and inflation crossing the 22% mark throwing in unprecedented food inflation, job loss and general economic chaos.
What Baba emilokan has just done was to take a big stick, limp to the honeycomb, and in one swipe, hit it and release the bees who are in anger stinging us
What did we even expect when the electioneering campaign was fought over Chicago, an allegation of drugs, pedigree, ethinc rights to the presidency, and all that instead of major issues.
Releasing very aggressive spokesmen with the mannerisms of diseased bulldogs, main issues were hardly discussed or queried.
The few times we dared to challenge his economic capacity, all we heard was- I manufactured Lagos, gave them agbado, employ 50m youths in the army, and I will not release my plans now and all sort
The removal of fuel subsidy in my minds eye was just a lame attempt to ride on a policy they thought was popular and rife.
I remember writing an article against it when it happened, and I was shouted down. I had said it should be phased. Nobody takes such an action in one fell swoop.
It should have been gradually removed. 20% the first six months, the price goes up, you shock it with meaningful palliative and macroeconomic reforms
After 6 months, you remove it again and continue with that circle.
Now, we have rushed to remove the thing without any concomitant form of defense against raging market forces and see where we are.
The supply side of the economy has not been touched by the agbado enthusiasts in the government.
How do we shore up forex inflow to defend the Naira and stabilize the prices, especially in an import dependent country as this.
Instead, we are seeing a guguru attempt at palliatives- N8k per poor household. Thank fully this is being reviewed. Pls what can N8k buy. In some places, it can not even buy condoms
So a bag of rice is over N40k now. You save Tinubus 8k for how many months to get it, and by the time u are there, the price jumps up again
The price of a bag of millet which used to be used for animal feeds but which Nigerians in the North are eating is now N60,000
I think Mr Tinibu should immediately put on his thinking cap and do the following very quickly.
Bring back 20% subsidy to hold down fuel prices at these current states for at least 6 months. This is to allow for stability and a little bit of planning
Move to shore up our crude revenues. We are now producing about 900,000 barrles down from the 1.3m at the height of the militant problem in that region.
We have an opec quota of about 2m. If we can hit 1.5m, the pressure on the dollar will ease a little bit
The army, Navy, DSS shd be deployed into the Niger delta. This is the new theatre of war. It is not all these Tompolo movies we are watching. We need a space age military engagement complete with satellites and drones to protect the installations and curb oil theft.
If we can not do it, let’s go beg the international community.
Cut very drastically the cost of governance. Akpabio being reported to have said that Civil sevrnats would soon have salary increase is funny.
They shd be rationalized and streamlined. Throw in technology and give them soft landings to go into entrepreneurship instead of sitting down there and pushing dirty files and engaging in all sort of crap
The N70b furniture allowance, as reported, shows the “madness” going on.
The cost of democracy should be cut by over 50% . Drop the aides from 40 to 5 and minsiters by 20%
Cut drastically foreign trips by the president except very strategic. This is a major drain on the economy.
Fiscal federalism shd be entrenched immediately. Let every state start taking care of themselves with the principle of comparative advantage being the vogue
This administration started very strongly in its first weeks and started unraveling very quickly with its reaction to the economy and with the names being bandied to be in the cabinet.
My investigations shows that if we are not careful, we may hit N1,000 per litre by September when existing contracts for fuel importation entered into by PPMC expires and at that time we would be looking at major economic upheavals
What this administration will not want is to have general unrest on the back of these prices during the period the presidential elections tribunal is giving their judgment.
No country allows for total deregulation of these things. You can not float an already weakend Naira and raise your hands in the air and say,’ I am not there.
Did we honestly think that the arrest of Emefiele would suddenly bring sanity to the markets?
Tinubu, I think, just sees this whole thing like one big campaign carnival where u negotiate me, cajole, and entice people into a position.
You can not do this when u have tied your markets to international markets. The templates can not be manipulated. You must come to the table with value.
The question now is , how do we immediately shore up the supply side of the economy, how do we defend the Naira in order to tame galloping inflation and how do we hold down fuel prices which are central to economic growth
The answers to these questions are very easy if only there is enough political will and a clear understanding of the issues at the level of presidential authority.
We need credible and precise engagement and not this hullabaloo that we are seeing o.
Duke of Shomolu
He will now say I shd not have written this o, but Kate Henshaw has blown his cover on her Instagram page where millions have been told by the bewitching beauty that it is his birthday
So I hide under her beautiful blossom to do my own abeg. That is how Asue will be saying, Duke. I don’t want u to be writing about me, and he will be missing an opportunity at immortality.
Me I don’t write about anyhow people o. People have been begging me to write about them, but I don’t use to answer, and now Asue will be vexed if I write about him.
Well, that is how he snuck into the hall during Emir Sanusi with his extremely beautiful wife and nobody noticed.
I started calling on-stage people that gave me N50k to thank them and a whole Chairman of Sterling Bank that was a major sponsor and a man who also gave me personal money was sitting down there and I was there fooling myself.
After the show, I saw him and his sweet wife walking away toward their car, and I ran straight and fell on the ground, begging
You know how you beg when you have been caught on top of a housemaid, that is how I beg o.
Asue laughed and said not to worry and invited me for coffee.
See, I have known Asue long before he knew me. I had made him my friend long before he even knew I existed.
In those heady days at BGL, when the Tinapa transaction was brewing, all the suits will come to our VI office, and they will be doing face like they want to build the great pyramid of Egypt.
People will be greeting them as they go up and down, and they will not be answering us. They will be coming from KPMG, and STB all sort- party to the offer.
Me, I will be saying what is wrong with these ones: a person will be greeting them, and they will be doing faces like monkeys.
It’s only Asue that will come in laughing and playing. He will greet everybody, crack a joke, and speak pidgin.
I used to like him o. I will ask who is this black man. They will say na Asue. Na Itua brother – that time Redeemed Church never drive am and he never popular and I will say abeg who be Itua
Asue will bound down the stairs from Albert’s office, greet us all and yab some people, jump into his car with his nice brown shoes and drive off
The remaining people who can not even speak better English like Asue will come down and put their noses in the air and be doing like – we are investment bankers, we no dey greet omoshe.
So 6 years after, I have become Duke of Shomolu and Asue have become what he is today, and I work in my other brother Chike’s office and say, ‘ I dey find the money for Emotan
And he says y not try Asue. Na, my neighbor na bini man. I say Na Bini, man? No, be Ishan. Chike says all na the same. So he gave me his numbers
I called and booked an appointment.
His office be like that one wey dey for the American TV series- Suits. The place fine die.
As I walked in, he looked up and said,’ Edgar, no be that boy wey dey find trouble for Thisday every sunday?
I say na me o. He replied – oh boy, you worry o. I say na school fees. Then he replied, “No dey yab me o.” No mention me o
I say u never win the Nobel, when you win, like them Ambode, I go yab you.
Asue is cerebral. This is stating the obvious as he is regarded as one of the best corporate lawyers in the land.
In fact, when they call Oyebode, they call Asue in the same breath. Corporate Nigeria has benefitted from his skill and guidance, and it is no wonder that up until recently, he was the Chairman of Nigeria’s most innovative bank – Sterling
I don’t understand what exactly just happened at Sterling Bank with the recent restructuring but that is a story for another day.
Today, he is the chairman of the largest brewery in the country and also a co-partner of one of the largest law firms in the country, if not Africa
His work at the NESG was brilliant. It threw him at cross purposes with authority but has been validated with what is happening today.
Asue used to invite me for hours of conversation. I used to live for those days as he would take me thru law, politics, leadership, entertainment, etc
Yes, he is that cerebral. I will just sit down and be listening and be listening and drinking from his fountain, and at the end of the day, he will offer me coffee
I go look laugh say,’ Me? Coffee?
Anyways, we have an outstanding Afang date and will send you guys a picture when we get to it
Happy birthday, my Lord, and May God grant your express wishes so that you will be finally able to afford to buy that afang for me.
Happy birthday, bro
Duke of Shomolu
I have raised a lot of money for my various plays and am in the market to do another whooping sum on Anonymous nipples and sundry millions for Fajuyi, Etsu Nupe and the annual December plays.
One thing that has come to the fore has been goodwill. Goodwill is the vehicle you place value on and push into the marketplace
Goodwill is the penetration vehicle and the delivery mechanism that you use to extract benefit, while value is the elixir that cooks the benefits that both sides feed on
By this, you will agree that Goodwill is looking like the most important abi?
In my sojourn in this Lagos, I have met a lot of men of Goodwill. But recently, especially in these tough times, Goodwill seems to be speedily eroded
What strengthens Goodwill is integrity, capacity, value, and love for self and society.
With these, people, society, and markets will open for you, and you would be able to build structures that will, in turn, benefit society.
But like I was trying to say earlier, tough times have led to the erosion of the ingredients that make up Goodwill and we are now more often than not seeing men of Goodwill fall in standing with no power to move mountains anymore.
In the last 5 years, I have received recommendations and referrals from former men of Goodwill who have worsened my case rather than helped it
A pure example was when I was looking for money for Emotan, and the man said very clearly to me, ‘ tell the man who sent you, that I said, I will never deal’.
That Goodwill has gone. Another example is the that of an elder statesman who sent me to over 20 people, and I received 80% rejection.
His case was overuse of Goodwill. There was no pacing. The Goodwill don tire pple So it led to disrespect and apathy
But Ken Etete seems to have defied all of this as his Goodwill remains one of the most sterling that I have encountered.
I first met Ken thru Albert Okumagba, who had said” Edgar, we need Ken. Take his number and deliver him’
Ken was a hot shot oil and gas man who had influence and was doing great things in the system.
His nack for society was apparent as he involved himself in empowerment, which brought him towards Albert’s radar, who at this time was trying to bring all Federal Government Colleges together to revamp education
From that first day, Ken and I struck a chord leading to him emerging one of my greatest pillars in my foray into theatre.
Now, I have learned very quickly to tap on his Goodwill and push heavily into areas that I would never have entered.
Thru Ken, I have met and made friends with Uche Orji, the fmr MD of Nigeria’s Sovereign Wealth Fund.
Thru Ken I have met super influential Akan Udofia who has adopted me as a brother and who I worked for during his run for the Akwa Ibom Governorship elections and thru Akan I have met Scott Tommey the ebullient and very brilliant businessman who calls me Duke.
Ken also opened me up to Julius Rone, the gas king who is today best positioned to lead our economic renniasance with what he is doing in the gas sector
All I need to do is to call Ken or meet him for lunch and say, “Lord, I dey look for person, and he will immediately take his phone and call and hand it over to me
There is, however, one side in this Goodwill matter o. You never embarrass who is sending you.
You must relate with his contacts with the same level of integrity and respect that your benefactor carried himself so that he will continue to have the confidence to open u up.
In looking for money for Anonymous-nipples, my new mischievous play, it was very clear that the strategy would be built around specific individuals
The strategy has been working as we have crossed the 40% mark in collections and the 60% mark if you add pledges
Then I called my brother B, and he said P is your man. He is the new kid on the block, but call Ken and Ken will open him up
So I had two people I needed from Ken, and I called him, and he said hold and put the first on the call, and I got value
Then he called the second, and instantly, I got an appointment
Went for the appointment and listened carefully to what he said, which prompted this article
Ken sent you. Ken has called, and dt is all I need to know. I will deal. I can never say no to Ken cos he is a good man.
You see,’ he is a good man’ is the key phrase. Not good man say he dey go church or good man say he dey give money but good man cos he has integrity and would not send someone with no Intergrity out there.
As we spoke and he told me about his relationship with Ken, he still ended it with Ken being a good man
Goodwill is all you need even in these tough times..pple must see you the way this person has seen Ken otherwise no matter the amount of money you have, you will not be seen as a good man.
I’m going to have lunch with Ken today to really engage him and dig deeper because I have been inspired to deal with people so that I, too, can be described as a GOOD MAN
Duke of Shomolu