By Peter Iorkyaa
My fellow Compatriots
Please permit me to say with every emphasis that I can muster that I am one of those on the front line when it comes to Youth Emancipation. If you have not been following the trend of events cum global discussion about the wave of youth take over in the different spheres of life, then you must be on a long thing, to borrow from the slang of the youths of today. For those of you who have followed the trajectory of this dude, you are likely to be hearing this sordid tale I am about to share for the umpteenth time.
Love him or loath him, you can’t take one thing away from Shenge Michael: his phenomenal pluck. The word “impossibility” simply doesn’t exist to him. So, he dares where most will dither. He throws himself and everything and everyone around at his latest ideas. And he is always brimming with them, for he is an idea’s man, a dreamer of dreams. But he is not just an idle dreamer. He is also a man of action. The possibility of failures scares him not, fazes him not, immobilises him not. So he keeps walking. And dreaming.
If the dream turns sour—as dreams sometimes do— he just pauses, then dreams more. And when he succeeds—as dreamers sometimes do— he barely pauses, savours the fruit of his dream a bit, then dreams more. He comes across as someone who gets bored easily and is constantly looking for new grounds to break. His is a spirit in constant exploratory mode. You can accuse Shenge of many things, but it is difficult to successfully indict him of lacking imagination, or of not daring to dream BIG.
What Shenge may have lacked in all of that, he more than compensated for with uncommon boldness. He’s plunged headlong into the elite league of AgricPreneurs in Nigeria. And he did it in a way that couldn’t but be noticed, with nerve and panache, two attributes he will later be known for down the decades.
And not a man for half measures, he has always wanted his humble whilst agric business to be comparable to Modernity and Standard not just in content but excellence in quality.
Trust me, Shenghait’s reputation as a trailblazer is not in doubt. I am one of those who still think that the establishment could have done much more and probably be better managed. But even at that, the sterling contributions of Shenghait Global Ltd to the following milestones in Benue nay Nigeria’s Agricultural sector cannot be over-emphasised: the comprehensive treatment of food crops, the prioritisation of social and economic analyses, the emergence and popularity of seasoned Agricoreneurs and knowledge disseminators, the tasty coverage of fashion and high society in glossy pull-outs, and the emergence of a new generation of farmers suffice claim above.
This Meticulous Personality (who actually prefers to be addressed as Comr. Shenge sShenghait or Mike, depending on his mood) is not your passive CEO. He is always in the thick of things, working his expansive rolodex and access for excellence and insights, deploying his artistic impulses to give the Business conglomerate and other ventures distinct aesthetic edge, tapping into his cosmopolitan reach to comb for ideas that can be simultaneously localised and internationalised, and spotting and playing talents to their sometimes hidden strengths.
There are two other personal attributes that I don’t think people give Mr.Shenghait enough credits for: he can be surprisingly generous and he can be disarmingly forgiving. Those early days of Shenghait, he would return from travels with gifts for his staff, and because he has a good taste you could be sure of the quality of what you get from him, be it wrist watches, perfumes or shirts.
Like the rest of us, he is just human. A Hausa proverb says the best a man can be is nine out of ten (and not a perfect ten). But his talents, his boldness, his contributions to the Agricultural and cultural landscapes, and those touching traits give, in my summary , a rounded and more than redeeming view of this exceptional personality who is also a citizen of the Heaven already.
It is my believe that after all is said and done and his generation is far gone, he will leave behind positive enduring legacies, an epitome of a hardworking and fatherly rectitude.
I doff my hat to the HAAGEDEGE 1 of Africa