Last week, I was stunned like I know most people were to hear of the gruesome slaying of the CEO of GOKADA, Fahim Saleh.
It was surreal like a plot from a B-rated mafia movie. He was found in his expensive apartment beheaded and chopped with a chain-saw. I say mafia movie because we have all heard threats of people being torn limb from limb; before being fed to sharks in such movies.
Fahim Saleh seemed to have been quite popular and easy going. I had seen him in pictures mingling and identifying with Nigerians. I recall watching the video of him explaining how the Okada ban had changed things for his business.
Young, handsome, very intelligent man trying to impact his world chopped up like an animal.
So being a person with an active imagination; I tried to think of possible reasons why this could have happened. The initial report that came said professional killers were suspected. I agreed. Because ordinary people do not just wake up and chop people up just like that. There are many ways to assassinate a person without it being this vicious and personal.
Though death na death.
I thought that he had somehow stepped on toes really big enough for someone to hire someone to kill in a gruesome manner. I thought of loan sharks (hey, I know he was rich. But sometimes seemingly rich people often have cash flow issues)
But how would a loan shark recover money from a dead body? And Fahim Saleh had growing potential.
So, I discarded that and thought maybe it’s an investment gone bad. Maybe he collected money from some Russian warlord (don’t ask me why I thought that) and the guy refused to wave off the bad investment. He wanted someone to pay.
Then I thought of it involving a woman. Maybe he took someone’s woman and the person vowed to cut him up to pieces.
At this point, you may notice that I have read too many thriller paperbacks.
What I and nobody suspected was a personal assistant who Fahim Saleh had been gracious to; despite him stealing about 100k (dollars) from him.
It hit me.
This really isn’t new.
In 1998, Captain Hadiza Oboh was murdered in cold blood by her domestic staff; a gardener and her security man. People she was benevolent to. I don’t remember the details. But there was a retired army man that was murdered by someone he had given a portion of his farmland to use benevolently.
A few years back, there was the story of a young man that an elderly woman was helping put through school (higher institution) who murdered her.
The list goes on and on.
People bite the hands that feed them time and time again. In some situations, you find out that they resent the hand that feeds them.
Or they think that kindness is foolishness.
I have seen people speak about Fahim’s death as a lesson on helping people.
I don’t know. It is an uncomfortable message. There are tons of people who receive kindness with gratitude and even pay it forward.
I was told of an extraordinary story.
A woman hired a nanny and put her through hairdressing school. This woman was kind to this girl and encouraged her.
The nanny went on to be very good at hairdressing down the line; she opened a huge salon somewhere in Ikeja that tended to high class women. You know what that means. She was making a lot of money.
She decided to hunt down this kind woman. I was shocked to find that they had retired without being able to complete their retirement home. They were living in a house that still needed a lot of things to be completed.
The hairdresser single-handed finished the house project.
In fact, the first time she travelled to America; she went with her benefactor’s daughter, paying all expenses.
I don’t know. But I think the tragic death of Fahim Saleh warrants an overhaul on kindness to employees. I think that people should be kind if that is a reflection of who they are. Meaning that this is not some ploy to reap future benefits. Because sometimes it doesn’t.
Be kind because it satisfies you to make someone’s life easier.
If there are lessons to learn from this death, something that Oprah once said comes to mind.
“When people show you who they are believe them.”
When a certain character has been relayed by someone around you, do not dismiss this.
Tyrese (Fahim’s killer) had stolen.
And while it was Fahim’s prerogative not to report, in hindsight now; that person should never have had any access to him anymore. But reports tell us that he fired the guy after agreeing on a payment plan. So I don’t even know how this guy was able to get close to him.
Do not dismiss bad behavior when you see it.
It is not that I am saying that we should not give second chances. I am saying that one should be very wary when unpleasant traits are revealed by the people around them.
I don’t get angry when I discover someone has said nasty stuff about me or tried to sabotage me. Instead, I am more grateful because when a person has been revealed to you; there is a lot you can do about that revelation. You deal with such a person with a long spoon.
I have deal breakers with people I employ.
Stealing is one. You leave that day. Let someone else give you a second chance.
But Fahim Saleh also fired the guy.
So what could have been done differently?
I am just wondering if there is something we can learn from here about dealing with people. Unfortunately, a blanket distrust on all employees may not help. Perhaps the lesson is that we should never underestimate people. Or even that evil will stalk you whether you are good or bad. A
May Fahim Saleh rest in peace. May his family be comforted. And may Tyrese Haspil pay a thousand fold for this brutal thing he did. Amen.