One of the defining elements in daily human existence is the reoccurrence of types, forms, and similitudes whether in humans, animals or even plants. We therefore see from time to time, even in the midst of a parody of complexities of life, a very common occurrence of people that share very similar characteristics, traits and personalities these often define them, make them to stand out from others.
In one of my books, “Signposts to Success”, I devoted a chapter, intensely and intentionally, to defining types of persons whom we must come across in our daily lives. These include, but not limited to the blessed, kind, diligent and so on. Conversely, are the unkind, foolish, wicked, lazy, fault-finders, stubborn, arrogant, mentally tormented, destiny stoppers, etc. Even within these groups of human types, there are particular individuals who share many traits and sets of attributes one with the other. Although, all human beings are complex and distinct from each other, we nonetheless notice that look-alikes in physical or emotional traits and in the outlook of life’s experiences abound all around. In mathematics, such occurrence are called severally “line symmetry”, “reflection symmetry” or “mirror symmetry”.
In isolating such personalities with their exemplifying characteristics, we notice two global personalities of today with a number of peculiar archetypical qualities which they share, endemically, with themselves. One of them is our own very urbane, modern and witty Senator representing Bayelsa-East, Ben Murray-Bruce. On the other side and now occupying the dominant part of the global political firmament is the recently elected American President, Donald Trump, whose personality is of a special genre and classification. The crossbreed of personality and the bracket which both men share goes beyond their vintage, public acclaim or their physical attributes of great endowment with height and presence to the deeper issues of life on who they really are.
It is a unique coincidence of life that both men are very successful in business, creating wealth and affecting lives of millions of people in the train. While Donald Trump was busy building hotels, golf courses, highbrow lounges and real estate acquisitions, his Nigerian prototype, Ben Bruce, unwittingly found himself, hands ploughed in similar business and doing very well, dominating the landscape of Nigerian entertainment industry. In the same way, a journey to New York would be incomplete without going to Trump Towers. Whether in Lagos, Abuja, Port-Harcourt or many other cities, Ben Bruce and his Silverbird took the hospitality and entertainment business in Nigeria to a level of never before. This needs little elaborations as life in a place such as Abuja, for a lot of families, is totally incomplete without regular visits to Silverbird Gallery and Entertainment Centre.
Similar to this is their corresponding and almost proportional interest in working with our female folks. The symmetry of interests is such that both of them were involved in organising Beauty Pageants respectively in America and in Nigeria; and globally. Whether both men met in the process, somewhere along the line, remains to be confirmed.
One of the finest things God in His mercies have given to humanity are our women folks, their beauty, their character and elegance, their virtue and the want and happiness which they bring to all around them. From ancient times and in all civilizations, whether the Egyptians, Romans, Greeks or traditional African society, the greatest value has always been placed on our women. Any culture that seems in any way to reduce or denigrate the importance and the value of our women is anthetical to natural order. It is therefore a great show of character and personality that Ben Bruce and his more senior American prodigy are involved in helping us appreciate more, our women. Despite the seeming outlandish and showbiz environment in which they operate, both Donald Trump and Ben Bruce are conservatives and hold on to strong traditional moral values including very strict approach to family life.
When Ben Bruce showed up in 2012, to contest the Governorship of Bayelsa State, just like the case of Donald Trump, some dismissed him as a non-starter in politics. I did hear one person mention “why can’t he just continue making money and keeping us all happy?” but for many who had great presence of mind, we knew that Sen. Bruce will turn out to be a great, successful and marvellous politician with exceptional promise in the future. Ahead of his resumption at the eight National Assembly of Nigeria, I had a discussion with Ben Bruce and he mentioned to me that “we will have great fun in the National Assembly”. For a man who has spent most of his life giving fun, happiness and the more pleasuring things of life to people, I had no doubt that the Senate was in for many high points of enjoyable debates and law making; definitely a departure from dullness, lethargy and hostile approach to law-making. It was also clear that a lot of vive, informal approach and witty innovations will be brought to the work of the hallow senior chamber.
Today, none is in doubt as Ben Bruce has helped us all better appreciate the work of the hallowed chamber with a different approach and this has become infectious to most of his peers even to the leadership of the upper house. He does things very differently but seriously. His debates in the House are the most well researched, articulate, and inspiring. Although, he represents a zone in Bayelsa State, his contributions are more national in approach, youth unemployment, climate change, promotion of made-in-Nigeria goods, the national economy and so on, always ahead of his colleagues on things that will unite Nigeria and interesting enough, “Make Nigeria Great Again”.
It is reported that in course of his life in business, about 20 years ago, Donald Trump had soliloquized loudly about possible interests in politics. Many around him chuckled and brushed away at the thought of it. Even on becoming an aspirant, the shakers and movers within the Republican Party, guffawed and convulsed with no little laughter. The rest of it is history. He made clear to all that his was not going to be business as usual in terms of “political correctness”. So, the past eighteen months has left the whole world spellbound by the new American President’s approach to politics. Unimaginably unorthodox, informal, blazingly frank, and forthright. Indeed, his approach manifested the euphemism that “his sincerity inspired belief”. Yes, this helped garner support in getting him elected to the White House. Indeed, it helped many easily overlook his supposed faux pas and gaffes in etiquette or other seeming social or political blunders and past alleged indiscretions. I suppose a great lesson for politicians.
Also, like our good old Ben Bruce, the new number-one strongman in the world, Donald Trump insisted in following “common sense”. But is there sense that is “common” to all and available to all? The answer, according to social psychologist and even logicians, is YES. To them, “common sense” means a simple understanding of things and making a fitting and reasonable judgement. That is, the type of judgement that most people are not likely to go against or tear apart. Indeed, the Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines it as “a reliable ability to judge with soundness, prudence and intelligence.” When the American statesman, Thomas Paine in 1776 made his strong argument for independence from Britain, he published a pamphlet which he simply titled “Common Sense”. It is stated that even the Royalists or Monarchist within the fold who would not have supported at the time, American independence, easily saw the depth of his thoughts in an everyday manner. This is the type of “common sense” that got the got Oga Trump elected and may be deployed throughout his Presidency. Here at home, it has also helped the light-hearted law makers from the historic port town of Akassa in Bayelsa state make Nigerians better appreciate the twists of law making in Nigeria.
In doing things with common sense, both men have also relied heavily on the gift of modern technology and innovation which seems to define the course of globalisation. The world community is today defined by our ability to share information, knowledge and ideas through the social media and other computer-mediated technologies. It also enables us to network with many people at the same time and create a proper understanding of the compelling developments, trends and challenges or opportunities which we confront daily. These now define almost completely, with serious pros and cons, how we live and how we do things. But on the positive side, ICT, and social media whether Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, social blogs and so on, have made life better. Today great personalities such as Pope Francis VI, President Barack Obama, and our President Muhammadu Buhari communicate, even if in a limited manner, through the social media.
Both the President in waiting, Donald Trump and Senator Ben Bruce have shown their addiction with modernism and 21st Century living by their strong reliance of ICT in communicating. We therefore see for the first time in Nigeria, a Senator who is more at home with using Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and leaving most young Nigerians still struggling to follow him. Similarly, President-elect Donald Trump is no a less ICT and Twitter aficionado. Throughout the presidential campaign, Donald Trump personally tweeted and replied almost every single communication directed at him. As if that was not enough, during this period of transition, with a schedule that is beyond human imagination, the US big man has continued online on social networking with thousands of people and following up on things happening around him both in the United States and around the world. How this will be when he fully resumes as President will remain to be seen.
As much as we wish Donal Trump a very successful presidency that will greatly and positively impact the global community including our dear country, Nigeria, no less can be said about thoughts for our own good brother, Ben Murray–Bruce. It is clear that this Senator will go beyond making laws to greater national and international assignments. He has poise, the drive and determination, the unknown nationalism, the true civic-humanism, and the strong fear of God, all of which combine to make men move higher in the journey of greatness. Reading through his trajectory, these attributes all helped Donald Trump. But beyond that, the things we see on the earth are, in the words of Williams Shakespeare, also written in the stars and the fortunes of men, both great and small. These are things that are ordained through the supernatural mercies of God even before the foundation of the world was laid and will come to pass at the time appointed. It remains for us to wish them in their various preoccupations Godspeed and optimum results.
Godknows Igali, PhD is an Administrator, award-winning author, and diplomat. email@example.com
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