It was the legendary music icon Bob Marley that said,some people are so poor all they have is money. If he was referring to the vanity craze in his era and people’s propensity for public validation through show offs and “baller” behavior, I wonder what he would say about men of means in these times when vanity has become mainstream.
Of course, achievements are reverred in traditional Igbo societies. Men of means are respected and recognized, but the respect accorded them is not an end in itself but a means to an end. It is the reason our forebears enunciated the principle of Aku rue uno. The wealth lacks it’s essence if it is not deployed to a larger good, a common cause.
It is for this reason that High Chief Dr Darlington Nwabunike was honoured with Anambra Inspiring Leader at the prestigious Anambra Man of the Year Awards(AMTY)which took place in Awka on the 29th December, 2023. As the Chairman of De Imperial Philantropic Family, he took leadership a notch higher. While the culture in other associations had been to prioritize just social celebrations and vanity fair, Nwabunike went steps further to sow in the hearts of members the importance of uplifting humanity. Under his watch, De Imperial Philanthropic Family is now a reference point with the initiation of an ambitious and massive scholarship scheme for students across the entire South-Eastern States, covering not just tuition but other living expenses, including WAEC and UTME fees. According to him, the goal is to reach 1,000,000 beneficiaries of the scheme. This is leadership. Doing things and thinking differently.
Nwabunike has seen his position beyond just an appellation which has become the bane of leadership today.
So,while others are engrossed in mundane consumptions and the trappings of the present moment, Mr Nwabunike is thinking about the future, about planting trees he may not sit under its shade. It takes a thinking leader to understand that the society is better for it when there is shared prosperity and that the easiest way out of poverty is through education. This scholarship scheme will in the long run become a catalyst for economic growth, and the recipients will pay it forward. That is how the human progress is sustained.
Mr Nwabunike has shown capacity through this inspiring leadership. Indeed, his recognition is a laudable initiative. This gospel of his should be preached to the mountains so that other people can emulate such. It is time for other clubs to sow into the future. Mr Darlington Nwabunike already leads the way.