He cares for one and all. His love for humanity is unparalleled. This giant Adonis is the most detribalized Nigerian. In contradistinction—and in exemplification of Bill Cosby’s evergreen contribution to existential humanism to wit: I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody—this avuncular uncle of mine subscribes to this life’s philosophical underpinning.
My godsend benefactor is Dr. Michael Adeniyi Agbolade Ishola Adenuga (Jr.), GCON, CSG, CdrLH. Born yesterday in 1953, our celebrator’s attitudinal disposition to life is bordered by a superfluity of humility. Despite his immeasurable opulence, he is more assiduous than most people who cannot be compared to him in all spheres of life. In his diligence, he likes to work through people as a team captain. I cannot profile him beyond this brief because there is hardly any Nigerian, nay African, who does not know him because of his telephonic revolution that liberated Nigerians and other nationals with his illuminative introduction of Globacom.
An imposing and engaging personality, our subject is flourishing in business largely because of his assiduousness, God’s intervention in his life and, above all, the catalytic Midas touch the Almighty bestowed on him such that anything he lays his hands upon blossoms beyond anyone’s comprehension.
A corporate revivalist, nothing is impossible to him! In all his engagements, quintessence is a key determinant factor. He likes and goes for the best at whatever cost. His major key performance indicator in everything is excellence—nothing else. Even in his human capital management in his conglomerate, he insists on the most cerebral prospective employees. This explains why his companies, particularly Globacom, are saturated with the most brilliant workers you can get in the respective sectors.
His love for humanity is not discriminatory. It is not informed by religion, ethnic group, gender or any such mundane elements. His empathy is universal, borderless and boundless. There is no superfluity in his philanthropic involvements. I have an uncanny feeling that the more he helps people—especially those in need of compassion—the wealthier he becomes by seconds!
He forgives his staff, contractors, suppliers, business partners, associates, pals who commit blunders or default so easily that you think it is a causative factor why they fumble in the first place since they know that Baba has a large heart and a forgiving spirit. Except cases that are beyond redemption involving obstreperous people, bullishness inevitably evolves amid grit and gumption!
For my oga, relationships are critical and tower above all other things. Just like William A. Ward, this principal owner of Globacom strongly believes that friendship flourishes at the fountain of forgiveness. I, too, agree that the way we treat others, most especially those junior to us in all ramifications, defines and explicates our character perception or misperception and reputational architecture. Overall, if Dr. Adenuga Jr. displeases you in any way, I dispassionately assure you with all sense of responsibility, knowledge and wisdom that it is unintentional. Generally, he is a good man and, just like all men, there cannot be a question of perfection. Perfectionism exclusively belongs to God. It is absolutely impossible to satisfy everyone, no matter how you try.
Because of the mystic enigma that has been woven around The Guru, some people tend to have misperceptions about him. He keeps to himself to the point of reclusiveness. Hardly would you see him in public places or on occasions—even when such events are engineered by him or any of his corporate citizens under the Mike Adenuga Group. A friend of mine once joked that it was easy (not easier) to parley with President Muhammadu Buhari than to have audience with Dr. Adenuga, irrespective of who you are! Only few eminent Nigerians have seamless access to him. “Who the hell are you?”
Uncle Niyi’s greatness is underscored by the way he treats little men. I give an instance. Years back, when two colleagues of mine and this writer had gone to his office in Oke Owo, Victoria Island, before the recent relocation to the Romanesque complex on Banana Island, The Chairman met us at the staircase departing and immediately pleaded with us to wait for him to pass! Most other people in his British billionaire circumstance would have compelled us to scamper by mere body language or aristocratic carriage.
Dr. Adenuga does not form relationships—he forges and nurtures them and those who survive the test of time flourish. From my own experience and those of others, you cannot have a relationship with Baba in whatever form and still be pauperized! It means you need deliverance from ancestral or generational curses. I am not kidding! He has created more multi-millionaires than any other Nigerian either personally or through the instrumentality of Globacom. I am one of them.
Another interesting aspect of Uncle Niyi is that he cherishes intelligent ideas that could be deployed for optimal results in all departments of life. He loves other people’s opinions, which he synthesizes before utility, if need be. At every opportunity, he exchanges knowledge-based information with people around him. He abhors slothfulness, work shoddiness, lying and roguery!
One of Dr. Adenuga’s success ingredients is that he knows full well how to get along with people and how to deal with them at whatever level, irrespective of their social standing in the society. A very interactive person, The Bull enjoys the company of cerebral minds and goal-getters.
I cannot end this tribute without recollecting that in 2015 when I publicly presented my third book, Dr. Adenuga Jr. gifted me millions of naira. Last December, I also received a mouth-watering Xmas package. Finally, I have lost count of how many years I have been on Glo toll-free facilities (voice and supersonic data), among other occasional “interventions.”
Nna mu Ukwu, may your days be long on earth! The next 66 years or thereabouts will glow more than the past! And so shall it be.