Silent R


Sometimes in life we get to meet people who shape our life for good and inspire us to be better every day. I once had a conversation with a friend and he said ”this kind of people are a one in a life time”. They are people who you meet who see the better individual you can become and the value you can bring into a team.

In 2017, I had applied for a job to work as a social media manager in a restaurant chain in Lagos called Bukkha Hospitality Limited and here I was during the final stage of the interview with the Managing Director. We talked about my passion, my skills and what I was going to bring on board to grow the organization. It was not really an interview as much as it was a discussion. I felt so free and eager to contribute right away. Sitting across the table brought this quote to my sub-conscious:

A good leader inspires people to have confidence in the leader, a great leader inspires people to have confidence in themselves

Working with Rasheed as made me grow as an individual and made me a better person. I remember when we had a meeting about having an online delivery platform and how he wanted me to champion it. Before this, all I knew was how to optimize social media for business success but I have not actually managed an online business from the scratch. At first I was scared. I had thoughts of what if I cannot deliver. But Rasheed assured me that it will take time for us to hit the ground running and he trusts me to be able to make it happen. Now on the first page of Google, you can find and we have achieved this with sheer determination and grit. I am constantly reminded of the target for the online delivery platform and I know we will achieve it.

I have also learned humility from Rasheed. He is one of few men that I know who owns a restaurant chain and he actually queues to get his food. No special favour or paparazzi. He is a customer just like everyone else and this has endeared him to me. If there could be another synonym for humble, it will be Rasheed. Everyone calls him by his first name and he is cool with it. He makes it so easy for everyone to relate with him and he is always willing to listen and advice.

I call him ”Silent R” because like the third eye, Rasheed is always looking out for new information and new ways to make the people around him feel empowered. Most times he allows his attitude to do the teaching. Rasheed is usually at his desk by 7:30AM every day and he actually signs in to work. I do not think there is any day he has been late to resume except for few business meetings that require him to be. I remember a time I had a meeting with Rasheed for 10AM and I was about 10 minutes late because of Lagos traffic. He was not angry that I kept him waiting, rather he used the opportunity to teach me about the need to keep my word and send a message when I know I will be running late. ”Keeping people informed helps them to¬† know you value and respect their timing as everyone always have something they need to do per time.”

Rasheed taught me not to accept mediocrity and he usually emphasizes this at every meeting we hold. ”I do not want people to associate me with a negative brand” he will always say. Always question things and aspire for excellence. That it has not been done before does not mean that we cannot do. We may not have the finance now, but we can plan for it. We must always look for how we can optimize our process.

Rasheed will make an awesome lecturer and I feel many people need to hear him speak. Although he is ”Silent R”, every time he speaks, they are worth their bars in gold. And we need more people like Rasheed to create platform that will allow them interact with young people at this stage of our national life.

Rasheed is like an artiste and he has inspired me to think and see creatively.


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