• Thursday, April 18, 2024
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BusinessDay

The legend of Herbert Wigwe

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They say legends do not die, but was Herbert Wigwe a legend? Then, who is a legend? The third meaning of a legend is a very well-known person.

Few weeks back, Wigwe was his boisterous self at an event centre at the Eastern bypass close to the Marine Base where the Wigwe University (he is the founder) mounted its first students fair.

At the event, he talked about his life, the story of it. It was a time to unveil the academic programming of the new university and how it is a mix of foreign and local content, with the fee very low compared to foreign universities.

He traced his life and how he studied all in Port Harcourt and has worked all his life in Nigeria, yet, he has had no need to japa.

The essence is to show that there are opportunities in Nigeria too and that determined persons can make it in Nigeria. In fact, some said on that day that those that flee are those with little or nothing to offer.

He took time to reel out the various projects lined up to make the Wigwe University one of the best in Africa. He got the vice chancellor of the university (a non-Nigerian) to show how the university would give you everything you seek abroad, and more, all at reduced rate of $15,000 compared to average $70,000 per annum abroad.

The VC and others lamented over the urge to sell landed property to sponsor kids abroad, a scenario they said was bleeding the land; divest at home, invest abroad.

At the end of the fair, many of the students from Ivy schools in the garden city began to crave for Wigwe (both the university and the man). Now this!

By all the things he accomplished so far, by all the lives he has impacted, Herbert the son of Wigwe is a legend, and he built his legend from creating empires of wealth and pockets of wealthy men.

He has blazed a trail but blazed across the sky like a star. He is gone. A friend of his said: “Unlike his billionaire peers, Herbert never shied from lending a helping hand, especially when you make no such request of him. He believed that a close friend should go ahead and make demands of him. Most others stonewall people.

“There is a lot to learn from his approach to life. Herbert was persistently reflective and critical of the ceaseless pursuit of worldly desires and ambitions. His pursuits and relationship with diverse human segments underscored the vanity of the often-misguided nature of mortal aspirations and the inevitable disillusionment that follows.

“Being an accomplished magnate, he understood too well, the pitfalls of unbridled ambition, and tirelessly emphasised the importance of inner virtues and wisdom.

Yes, Wigwe was a legend. He died a hero. The tears in Rivers State can move a flood. A true legend has gone home.”