ALEX, A CLASSIC EXAMPLE OF HUMILITY By Williams Eghebi
Mr. Alex Onyeagwu, happy birth anniversary. Ordinarily, I should have saved my ink on your birthday as I have in the last few years highlighted your good deeds on your birthday. I could not resist the urge as you have chosen to raise the bar each year, making people rejoice and pray whenever your name is mentioned.
There will not be shortage of choice wines and exotic champagnes in your cellar today. There has never been a time your barn runs dry anyway. Gifts bearers and courier agents will keep your minders busy today. Your cellphone will expectedly run into glitch as thousands of goodwill messages will distort the airwaves in search of space to deliver.
The gifts, phone calls and text messages are all coming to you on this birthday not because you have the exclusive right to the day. There are many mutual friends that share the birthday with you. The groundswell of affection is not only hinged on your uncommon kindness. You have dispensed love over the years to people irrespective of circumstances of birth, tribe, religion, social status and academic attainment. There is a particular aspect of you that’s rare and unimaginable. I will tarry a while.
Mr. Alex Onyeagwu, Managing Director and Chief Executive of Hartford Resources Limited, is a man whose kernel was not cracked by the benevolent spirit. He passed through the existential difficulties most people suffer in their early life especially when they are not blue-blooded.
I am not interested in the fact that he was amongst the best students in his class at Gbenoba Grammar School, Agbor. The ‘Expo 77’ nightmare did not bring him down perpetually. It’s no news that he excelled at the University of Calabar where he studied Economics. In any case, that he was the accounting pillar of Vincent Egbarin West Africa Limited (Orikeze Conglomerate) before proceeding to the University of Calabar is a story for another day.
On this birthday, I will not bore him with eulogies highlighting his leadership prowess at The Prime League Nigeria, Ika foremost social club. This is not important. It’s not equally necessary to talk about his contribution to the development of his alma mater.
What’s the derivable currency to state that as a banker, he arrested depositors and investors with his infectious smiles and smart dressing?
All those attributes mentioned deserve flaunting but I chose to decant them because he has a special feature which is very cheap to acquire but easily deflated. I have found the humility of Uncle Alex his strongest, far-reaching and useful trait every person ought to possess and guard jealously.
To be solvent, handsome and humble do not come easy. It’s actually not a walk in the park. These three assets could be likened to those the Three Wisemen from the East offered when our Saviour was born in the manger. These important blessings graciously given to him never made him to mis-step. He retains his mien, knowing that though ‘wildflowers do not care where they grow’, their fragrances however, are never altered.
The humble life of Mr. Alex Onyeagwu should be a handy lesson for all especially those that detached themselves from their places of birth. They need not be reminded that the strength of a wealthy man is a measure of the disposition of the have-nots around.
Uncle Alex clearly understands that the rich cannot sleep deep when the poor neighbours are awake due to hunger. In spite of intervening forces to push him into encasement, he has stubbornly refused to extricate himself from his childhood peers. His stoic resolve to oil all flanks made him a happier and younger man each passing day. He has refused to become a mumak amongst his contemporaries.
I need not be reminded that Mr. Onyeagwu is a treasured child of God. Gyrating in the midst of many successful politicians, he had the strength to resist partisan politics, a trade in this clime where treachery, barefaced lies and heartlessness are the apparent qualifying characters.
I am aware that he has no plans to celebrate today. I am equally aware that friends and family members know that when they knock at his door to drop banquet of flowers, he will open with innocent smile. At this moment, he becomes a guest in his own house as his aides will receive orders from the uninvited visitors to be busy in the kitchen and bar. His very dependable chef will have a very busy day. If you have not fed from his pot, you will not appreciate the enormous role of that ethnic group in providing delicious recipes and cuisines.
I have no doubt that there will be many more birth anniversary in his lifetime, savouring good health and other blessings from God.
He is reputed for wishing his friends and foes well. God will never turn His back on him. He will be a testimony and an example of what God does for those He love.
Let the party begin, for he is a jolly good fellow.