For some time now, veteran journalist and celebrated romance writer, Kayode Ajala, had been praying ceaselessly for an angel to offer him a lifeline in his moment of distress.
Ajala, the editor of the defunct Hints magazine, published by Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, a former Minister of State for Petroleum, joined in the prayers by his lovely wife, Linda, since he was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease, resulting in highly-elevated urea and creatinine.
Mercifully, gangling and good-looking Ajala said to be in dire straits, would not have to wait for too long on the sickbed, as billionaire Femi Otedola, Chairman, Geregu Power, has reportedly offered to defray his medical bills.
An elated Linda was quoted as saying, “Mr. Femi Otedola is God-sent! We can never thank him enough. He’s been taking care of the bills and promised to continue until Kayode gets better. I pray Almighty God continues to bless him and his family.”
This latest effort by Otedola has further foregrounded his abiding fellow-feeling and love for humanity.
In the past years, Otedola had put smiles on the faces of several eminent Nigerians including Majek Fashek; Christian Chukwu, a former captain and coach of the Super Eagles; Peter Fregene, a former Green Eagles goalkeeper; Victor Olaotan, an actor; Inih Ebong, a former associate professor, Department of Theatre Arts, University of Uyo and Sadiq Daba, a broadcaster and actor. The list of beneficiaries of his large-heartedness is inexhaustible.
Interestingly, his philanthropy, nay large-heartedness has not gone unnoticed, as he has been recognised and honoured at home and abroad.
He teed off the year with the coveted ‘Philanthropist of the Decade’ award by Thisday newspaper. The board of Thisday newspaper had awarded 24 individuals and institutions for their contributions to Nigeria’s socio-economic and political growth.
Otedola was so honoured, according to the awards committee, given his recent hefty donations to public causes and lifting the needy. It is not surprising that the billionaire is the people’s choice for philanthropist of the decade. His singular donation of N5 billion to assist children of terror-ravaged North-east remains unexampled.
He made the donation through Cuppy Foundation, a non-profit organisation founded by Florence Otedola (DJ Cuppy), his daughter. She is a board ambassador for Save the Children and a member of the organisation’s Africa advisory board.
He was recently also conferred with the prestigious Humanitarian Award of the Year 2020 by the influential New Telegraph Newspaper.
Indeed, two years after the Lagos State billionaire businessman shattered all charity records in Nigeria nay Africa with a humongous donation, many are still discussing the gesture with interest.
To some, this humanitarian gesture sounds so “unbelievable.” To some others, it is a publicity stunt.
But what is incontrovertible is that people who express these views do not see the truth in Francis Bacon’s saying that “though charity may begin at home, it shouldn’t end there.”
Otedola, in giving to the cause of humanity, believes it is far better and more gratifying to make a difference in the lives of the poor.