By Abdulwahab Tajudeen
You’d always want to write about Sherif Shagaya. But each time you realise the time is not right. Or the purpose is over-flogged. It would be a case of people reading meanings to whatever your submissions about him are. But today, I’m writing one. I’m writing at the right time and perhaps for the right purpose. It is needless to say he has applicable impacts across Kwara. It is a fifteenth-day moon, not easy to conceal. A smoke that a basket cannot stop from flaming up. The recent flurry of recognition and awards are deserving.
My first encounter with the man Sheriff Shagaya was in 2015. In the build-up to the general elections in 2015; candidates were out jostling for people’s support, going from pillar to post to become the choice of the masses. But there was one Sheriff: Mr talk-and-do. Wherever he goes, his impact must be felt before he leaves. That’s him. That’s Sheriff. He’s ready to shoulder the needs of his people. He did that during the election, and when he lost out, naysayers said: “that is his end.” They are not God. Not even close. I am sure his community development activities in the last five years have not failed to catch their attention.
How he took it upon himself the smooth running of Salman Shagaya Foundation, and he has never had a reason to look back, is enviable.
When the foundation started, it was said it would not pass the test of time. Still, Alhaji Sheriff keeps defying critics with different fingernails of innovation that latter foundations now emulate in Kwara. Consistency laced with innovations. They may be consistent but not innovative. While some are fully loaded with innovations but not consistent.
At Salman Shagaya Foundation, consistency and innovation are siamese twins. Hard to separate. These are at the crux of his drive for service to the people. The message is like “we are here because you are here.” The foundation wax stronger because Kwarans are supporting and benefiting immensely from it. What is a foundation without impact? Nothing. Absolutely nothing!
And for all of us at Salman Shagaya Foundation, this has been a fairly good year still. It has been from one recognition to another. Happy seeing our works being appreciated by the populace. They are our energy. Charging us to do more for humanity and we won’t hesitate to continue on our good works as Alhaji Sheriff said the other day while picking the award of excellence bestowed on him by the Ilorin Emirate Youth Development Association (IEYDA).
As it is always known that whatever you believe in will be tested, I can proudly say Sheriff Shagaya is passing the test of time. He is staying firm on his feet, growing the values and principles he built in these past years. That stands him out. Steadily, steadily…