Sholaye Jeremi

Right from the start, Sholaye Jeremi has never been the typical anything: billionaire, businessman, or boss of social life. His humanness and humility set him apart as one far removed from the Vanity Fair that is the normal life of the Nigerian elite.

This Jeremi proves time and time again, especially at the beginning of every July, around the time of his birthday.

For 2021, Sholaye Jeremi has insisted on following his annual tradition of sharing merriment and meal with the underprivileged in commemoration of his birthday. Others might not count age 43 to be a particularly celebratory age, but the guests at the laid out birthday tables of Sholaye Jeremi, orphans and old people, will not be forgetting this one.

At 43, Sholaye Jeremi already boasts the grateful heart of an elderly grandpa while retaining the innocent intuition of a simple child, willing to yield his possessions and playground to others.

Except for his nearly boundless funds and influence among the Nigerian upper class, the simple man could be mistaken for one who runs charity organizations all over the place: orphanages and elderly homes in the morning, small and medium enterprise operators in the afternoon, schools in the evening, and corporate science societies at nighttime.

Here is an accomplished businessman, a corporate Don on all accounts, who urges others to remain hopeful, diligent, and endeavour to surpass all those that came before, including himself.

It is difficult to imagine that this is a man with profitable business interests in some of the economy’s most lucrative sectors, from oil and gas to shipping, to Real Estate, and telecommunications.

This is the man who hosts orphans, the elderly and other underprivileged Nigerians and treats them to the best of delicacies, often figuratively, but sometimes literally.

Surely, these are the markings of a true Delta, a truer Nigerian, the truest evidence of humanity?