Dr. Teslim Sanusi: The Ordained Trojan @ 80 – Part 2
As a Muslim, Sanusi considers the 5-times daily prayers a form of exercise too. More importantly, he gives the credit to his healthy living to God, through his two wives who are great cooks. Lastly, he recommends harbouring no anger or bitterness towards people as recipes as well. According to him, this makes you less “heavy-hearted” and allows you forever keeping a smiling profile. This he practices consciously,
Chapter Seven is titled Farming A Career. This reveals an interesting part of his life, the part that has shaped the ‘Sanusi-brand’. Post-Secondary School, he was a Costing Clerk at CFC, a furniture firm in Kaduna (1962); Accounts Clerk at the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training, Samaru, Zaria (Kaduna State 1963). Acting Chief Clerk, Guinea Insurance Limited, Kaduna Branch (1965) before the relocating to England for further studies. In England while studying, he had a 2 year attachment to Sun Alliance Insurance. On his return to Nigeria in 1975, he was with the defunct Nigeria Airways, the national carrier, as Insurance Manager, rising to become Controller (Deputy Director) Risk Management. It was at the Airways he was after three weeks on the job, divinely co-opted a member of the Nigeria Airways Hajj Operations Team- his first Hajj pilgrimage!
Not done yet, Sanusi had stints at The Nigeria Paper Mills, Jebba, Niger State, as Assistant General Manager (1985-1990); Credit Bond Insurance, Port-Harcourt, as General Manager (Lagos Office, 1990-1991) and finally birthing at his own “port,” Cosmic Insurance Brokers Limited, Lagos.
In all his working career, he recongnises the following persons as “stokers” (he calls them) of his ambition. They include Mr. Abodunrin, Chartered Accountant and his boss at Samaru, Zaria, late Otunba Yomi Oshikoya, lawyer and Director, Legal, Public Relations & Risk Management at the Airways, and Alhaji Isa Ozi Salami, former Executive Chairman at the Paper Mills. Elsewhere, he pays tribute to Alhaji Aliko Mohammed, Northern Nigeria’s first Chartered Account, and especially, late Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Ibrahim Dasuki, who without hesitation, gave him money to pay his admission way to Leeds Polytechnic, England.
Chapter Eight is titled: A Fulfilled Man. This chapter is a catalogue of Sanusi’s several awards, accolades, certificates and recognitions earned in the course of his professional, religious, social and humanitarian services. The list of endless. His office itself is an archive of over 50 plaques and medals. What is obvious reading through this chapter is that Sanusi, by dint of hardwork, focus, passion and prayerful demotion to God became. “A Man With An Eye At The Summit”! In the broking sub-sector of the insurance industry, he became President, Nigeria Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (2009-2011); in his native Erin-Ile, Kwara State, he was President, Erin-Ile Progressive Union (2007-2009), Amir-Ul-Hajj (head of Hajj Delegation) for the Ansar-Ud-Deen Society of Nigeria (2003-2004); Aare Musulumi (head of the Muslim congregation) at Alausa Central Mosque, Ikeja, Saraki Adinni of Ota, Ogun State.
It is however at the Lions, Club that the honours came in multitudes: President, Ilupeju Lions Club (2000) 1st Vice District Governor, Multiple District 404B (2005); District Governor (2006); Past Council Chairperson (PCC) International District 404 Nigeria etc. Added to all these is the Patronship of the Kwara State Chapter of the Nigerian Union of Journalists. The list is in exhaustive.
A Torrent of Tributes is the title, of Chapter Nine. Here, family, friends well wishes, business associates, Town-Union members and fellow Lions bare their minds in tributes to Sanusi. To the children, he is a loving and caring father who taught them to care, to love, to work hard and to pray fervently, showing leadership-by-example. To his two wives, he is several things: husband, father, friend, lover, motivator and above all, a generous man. To fellow insurance practitioners, Sanusi is a resourceful professional, a very creative and innovative person. To his Erin-Ile compatriots – men and women, Sanusi is an untiring community developer, a selfless leader and motivator. With him, one gets the impression of the man that Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892), British Peculiar Baptist Preacher had in mind when he famously said: “Feel for others-in your wallet.”
In the (last) Chapter Ten, titled, Epilogue-Thinking Aloud, Sanusi bares his mind about Nigeria. Quite rightly, he believes-indeed agrees, that despite its numerous potentials, Nigeria remains crawling, in the comity of nations, sixty-two years post-independence. That we remain a nation bogged down by “corruption, nepotism, tribalism, godfatherism and other needless vices”. His answer, although a controversial one, is to de-emphasize religion? He thinks that when we de-emphasise religion, there will be peace and progress. He thinks Nigerians are merely religious, but not Godly. He recommends Godliness, instead in our affairs, transactions, inter-relationships, and business. He adds that religion should remain a personal affair, but we should rather be “doing right before God”. He says building a society based on trust will make occupation and other vises ineffectual and insignificant. He reasons that Europe and America have a lot to teach us; that there, people in high political and public offices work for the utmost good of the greatest majority, and would resign their positions if found to have acted in self-interest, or for gross personal misdeeds. He cites the former President of Uruguay, Jose Mujica as an example of a great leader, a model of what true honest leadership is. A man who lives an austere life in a modest farm and gives away most of his pay.
The book, Dr. Teslim Sanusi: A Trojan At 80, is recommended reading by the young and the old alike. For the young in particular, a few lessons are obvious:
That it is possible to rise from relative obscurity to great heights, provided you are focused, passionate and guided
That handwork and brilliance can take you to the top, but it takes CHARACTER to keep you there
That honesty at all times is still the best policy
That humility, friendliness, a liberal disposition to life, and goodwill towards others, are all-time virtues that pay off
That a prayerful life and total submission to God’s will are enduring values, and
That keeping a network at good and purposeful friends, and contacts are rewarding assets. No man who is an island unto himself ever goes far in life. These are the take-aways from The Sanusi Story Dr. Teslim Sanusi: The Ordained Trojan At 80, is a straight-forward narrative. The style is simple, devoid of verbosity or ambiguities.
The paragraphing is carefully set so as not to make reading it boring. It is a story straight from the heart of the subject, as put together by the author.
Dr. Sanusi has pledged to distribute copies of the book FREE OF CHARGE to family, friends, well-wishers, business associates clients/customers, schools and organisations.
If you happen to get a copy, it will sure make worthwhile reading.