By James Bwala
Today, the Vice President turns 57. On September 2, 1966, this expedition began in Yerwa town, Borno State, northeastern Nigeria. Kashim Shettima is without a doubt the most perceptive, knowledgeable, and attentive person I have ever met. He is a compassionate and modest example of the kind of man I want to be. He draws attention whenever he speaks because of his contagious smile of knowledge and contagious laugh of humility. A photographic memory is something that only those who possess it can fully comprehend, and I firmly believe that Kashim Shettima is one of those lucky individuals!
I’d like to believe that all Kashim Shettima’s staff members reading this know exactly what I am talking about, and I am fairly certain most of my previous guests and avid blog followers know too. I have worked with Kashim Shettima since his days as Commissioner in Borno State, although I knew him long before now, and one can only describe my relationship with him as a life-changing experience. Having had little to no knowledge of politics or much previous political experience, I came to Shettima keen and willing to learn as much as possible about this beautiful and new platform that I now call my second home. It was difficult to be one of the least experienced trainees in Shettima’s staff (of all time), but I quickly found my feet, put my head in the books, and tried to study the vast array of flora and fauna situated in our immediate surroundings.
But my understanding of politics did not significantly increase until I teamed up with Kashim Shettima as a ranger and tracker. Shettima helped me get to where I am today by being patient and being able to share his knowledge. We were able to establish a solid and cohesive link during our first drive together, and this bond has grown over time into the friendship that we now enjoy. Our gaming drives are governed by trust, loyalty, and respect, and it is the unshakable alliance we have built that allows us to collaborate so well.
We have had the good fortune to experience some amazing political interactions together, to analyze various situations, to follow the development of political opportunities and the dynamic play of many times, and to share our individual life experiences and backgrounds with one another. He has taught me essential lessons in tracking, spent endless hours helping me set up, protected me during trying moments, and I am still in awe of his extraordinary spotting skills. I will always carry his palpable presence with me on this machine we call life. Future generations must treasure and transmit his amazing astronomical knowledge and reverence for fostering relationships.
Kashim Shettima is a truly amazing individual who has made a significant impact on many lives, as well as on everyone who has had the honor of driving with Kashim Shettima from his early years to the present. I am confident that those who have previously worked with him will share a similar attitude and appreciation for what he has accomplished. He is an exceptional person and father who is gracious, knowledgeable, giving, and humble.
While growing up in Maiduguri, Bullumkuttu, Abuja, precisely. I had the privilege of attending the same primary school as the Vice President’s relatives. We have been friends with the Usman Alkali family, and I can still remember my closeness with Salamatu Usman, Yagana Usman, and Adamu Usman, to name a few. We lived in the same neighborhood where our parents had come to know each other. That was where it all began, and I came to know him. Kashim Shettima is without a doubt one of this planet’s most precious humans. I have heard them talk about his intelligence and drive for inspiration. He is so knowledgeable and patient! He has a great sense of humor and is keen to pass on his knowledge if you are genuinely interested.
I remember him saying to me one day, “I know you read a lot! Shettima had made the arbitrary remark while making coffee a few months earlier at his breakfast table. To my surprise, when I turned to face him, he gave me a funny smile and a quiet giggle. I returned his smile and said, “I was,” giving him a shoulder nudge in response. Without a doubt, my love of reading, but more so my modest admiration and sincere gratitude for everything I have learned from such a great man One of my favorite times with him was at that point.
The phrases you spoke at each amazing sighting, which wonderfully captured the chemistry between you and those of us who are around you, have motivated me to do much more in my efforts to increase my comprehension of the lessons we receive from you. We were fortunate to have you as our guide on our once-in-a-lifetime journey. I’m delighted that both of us were able to have such a big influence on me.
So many people in this world do not get the adulation they truly deserve. In life, the people who hold us down are very significant; their smiles when we see them every time are the greatest treasures of hope that we slowly cultivate in our hearts and minds. Kashim Shettima is a good friend. Great are those who don’t cut off the hands that feed and hold them through difficult and good times. There are so many people in this world who do not receive the praise they rightfully deserve. The individuals that hold us back in life are very important, and the smiles we see on their faces every time are the greatest treasures of hope that we gradually grow in our hearts and brains. This friend and brother, Kashim Shettima, is a good one. Those who don’t chop off the hands that support and nourish them in both good and bad times are great.
The Village Choir was a highlight of my dance, though! I hope I can once again dazzle you with my dance skills. A lovely tribute to what seems to be an amazing man! Any lesson learned from Kashim Shettima’s lifestyle will undoubtedly always be connected to the happy times and life lessons he shared with those who were close to him. When I initially met him, I was sensitive to the idea that he would “test” me before winning me over with his kind ways and sly smile. My best wishes are with you for this new chapter in your life, Your Excellency. You have the drive, so you and your family will succeed! It was nice meeting you, and I’m glad we were able to make a big difference in your day.