• Saturday, April 20, 2024
businessday logo


Herbert Onyewumbu Wigwe (H.O.W) Gone? … How?

Herbert Wigwe

Herbert Onyewumbu Wigwe (H.O.W)

Just like your name, we have not ceased to ask…How?

How did a man who lived for impact leave with no trace?

An outstanding force with so much grace,

It’s how, while being a blessing, lines of laughter often etched upon your face.

In the ecosphere of finance, you made an impressive stand,

Now you are gone, your absence felt, our cores bland.


I moderated your panel at BusinessDay’s CEO conference in 2023

Themed: ‘The impact of government policies and regulations on businesses in Nigeria’

I remember how brilliantly you responded to your questions,

Spicing up the day with your responses and insightful observations.


At the end of the panel discussion, it was time to take pictures, you said to me,

“Stand right here Kemi, you have done a very good job”.

I walked up to your side, smiling from ear to ear, confidence on the roof

A beacon of leadership had scored me highly, my face in that picture is clear proof.

CEO Access Bank Holdings, Mr Herbert Wigwe, Group Managing Director/CEO, UTM Offshore Limited, Julius Rone and MD/CEO Olam Agri, Mr Ashish Pande
Ashish Pande, MD/CEO Olam Agric; Herbert Wigwe, Group CEO Access Bank Holdings; Kemi Ajumobi, editor Women’s Hub and Julius Rone, group managing director/CEO, UTM Offshore Limited


Your passion for philanthropy was felt by many, far and wide,

A legacy of perspicacity, grossed through every stride.

Through the trials and travails, the fear and despair,

Your soul respired compassion, situations found repair.


In the banking terrain, you trod with valour,

Showing that doubts can be silenced, and wisdom is an armour.

Each decision you made was moulded with maximum precaution,

Contributing your quota to individuals, institutions and the nation.


Charity was for you like the air you breathed,

It was beyond words, it was the life you lived.

It streamed from your empathetic core,

It wasn’t a script, but a flair you treasured and wore.


You valued education and inspired numerous dreams,

Enabling communities with optimistic beams.

Your affluence cannot be quantified fiscally alone,

But in lives changed, hearts transformed and visions grown.


You planted seeds of change with your princely hands,

Showing the world the power of love, how inspiring and truly grand.

Your acumen was a gift to humanity, it showed us you were innately dear,

Reaching everyone you could, building hope and quashing every fear.


The turbulent market storms didn’t drown you,

Your constant insights echoed in boardrooms,

Your presence silenced every uncertainty intended to loom,

Shepherding progress’s symphony, expunging all dooms.


Sadly, today, your mortal existence may have resigned,

But your unconquerable spirit continues to rise,

In hearts and minds, where your kindness lies,

In homes, schools and organisations whose memory of you never dies.


It’s good-bye as you, your wife, son and friend ascend up high,

Even in celestial realms, your essence will never die,

Indeed a banking giant has exited his phase,

Forever gracing the heavenly stage!