Indeed, Nigeria has lost a rare gem, we will never have another Gani Fawehinmi.
He was a great man that left a solid legacy. Here was a man who had all the opportunity to become a billionaire if only he was ready to compromise. Indeed, he left a vacuum in many hearts.
Great men like him ought to be celebrated, it is our duty to learn from him.
The most talked about aspects of the late Gani Fawehinmi’s life are that of his giant legal strides, human right activities and social justice victories, but we usually forget the other aspect of the great icon’s life and that is the fact that he was also an entrepreneur.
Below are three reasons why I consider the late Gani Fawehinmi an outstanding entrepreneur;
1. Gani Fawehinmi identified a need
Entrepreneurs are people who identify and meet needs, irrespective of the industry and once that need is met satisfactorily, then you can be sure that wealth is being created and value has been added, this was exactly what Gani Fawehinmi did. He was the Founder, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of the Nigerian Weekly Law Reports (NWLR). The Nigerian Weekly Law Reports is the first leading Weekly Law Reports in Africa. The publication started from Part 1 on October 1st, 1985 and has been churning out reports since then into the waiting arms of lawyers both home and abroad, who will gladly pay for the report. This is a great proof of his entrepreneurial spirit and what is most outstanding is that he made the business have a life of his own.
2. Gani Fawehinmi had multiple streams of income
Entrepreneurs usually have multiple streams of income. Gani’s law practice was enough to take care of him and his family but he understood the importance of having multiple streams of income and that it is one sure way of living the kind of life you choose or better still attaining financial freedom, he lived the life he chose and withstood all external pressure. Gani Fawehinmi was the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Law Publications, a company focused on the printing and publishing of Law Books and Law Reports. I decided not to write about the fact that, he may have had other businesses or interests in other businesses or investments in real estate etc. I have restricted myself to his entrepreneurial strides within his legal profession that created multiple streams of income for him.
3. Gani Fawehinmi had Employees
You may be wondering why I added this? Very simple, Gani had a combined staff strength of over 200 members – hmmnnnn. If you wish, you may do a bit of calculations = let us assume that 100 members of staff have parents, wives, two kids each, a brother and a sister each – take note we only used 100, if you do the calculations you will understand why this is no mere feat. Imagine what the monthly staff bill would be like?
This proves the point that the great Sage put food on many tables, when you consider this with his philanthropic milestones then you will understand that he was truly an entrepreneur at heart. Ask most entrepreneurs what gives them joy? You ll likely hear this; it gives me joy to add value to people’s lives and that is exactly what Gani did.
So when we refer to the late Gani Fawehinmi as the legal luminary, the human rights activist, the social crusader, the traditional chief or the politician – we should also add the Entrepreneur, this will help awaken Nigerians to the fact that entrepreneurship is really the way to turn the fortunes of our great country around for good.
Adieu Great Ganiyu Oyesola Fawehinmi – you name is already written in GOLD.