When the cock perches on the roof, its crow reaches everywhere. You hear of it with ease.

With ease. The villagers will rise and hang their mats before setting out for their different day jobs. No one remembers their sleep was disturbed.

When mellifluous lines drip out of the mouth of Awoko( Parrot), in the forest, a hunter may nod in secret admiration, but Awoko may not escape his trigger. That doesn’t mean she wasn’t liked. The hunter would pick up the game to remember much later, Awoko (Parrot) was a master artiste.

There’s a message somewhere to pick here. I hope you do really get it. Good intentions needs to be recognised and understood by the people. That’s how they will value it. But a King who says the village river be closed because he will be bathing there for days without advancing a reason, invites a revolt. If the villagers say he’s mad, proud and arrogant, they do not offend his destiny.

Kabiyesi ( The King) should have said he would be bathing there because the gods demanded he did for the wellbeing of his people. That’s how intentions sell.

However, if you do ever come plain, simple and sincere but the people act like people and disbelief you, the time will speak for you. Somehow, someday.

The time will speak up for you. When it’s right. When it matters. And you shall be christened, unforgotten champion and hero at the time. This is the order of life.

Five years ago, a young suave, urbane gentleman wanted to serve his people as a representative at a Council. This Council is vast and filled with varied people from different villages, including the young and disabled. So far you are chosen by your people, you can come.

It’s an assembly where the people’s will, yearnings and problems are relayed and tabled for deliberations to proffer lasting solutions to them. As such, the representative is considered a wise, capable man with his people’s love and trust.

So when the young man ran for the seat because of his love and passion for the people, it was the supposedly loved people that queried and villified him. They said he wasn’t one of their own. They said he never spoke and fought for them before. They denied him the rights and went with another person. Their loss, he must have thought and they must know better now.

The man resigned to fate but embraced his destiny. His good heart didn’t make him forsake them. The man gave the sick money, the poor food and shelter, and provided traders capital to run their businesses. The rejected stone, failed to live as one, but a cornerstone. A cornerstone.

Little after 4 years, time began to speak for him. The villagers’ songs of derision changed to exaltation. His name became the music and his exploits was the song on everyone’s lips. The once rejected and condemned young man has turned a hero to the same people.

It’s no magic. Neither the people nor the man have changed. What has shifted is time. The man had always been a good, well-meaning, patriotic individual but never showed the people. Or they just never knew well enough. The people too, had always wanted to consider him but were just never convinced. Or were just uninformed. They didn’t want to take chance. It turned out the way it was. Everybody moved on. But not the time, it never forgets. The time will always speak for a good man, for good.

No just man shall die unjustly, no one. They may go with death but not with posterity. The people may forget but not history. History has a way of remembering a hero so much you would wonder if they ever died and imagined when they ever lived.

Kings, writers, warriors, teachers, scientists and every great men and women you could think of now probably died hundred of years ago. Yet they live; in your mind, reflecting in your words, ways and manners. That’s legacy. You may call it the wages of their struggles, reward for a lifetime of throes and travails. While alive, they lived for mankind, but you live for them now when they are long gone!

Quite not the same for those alive, the momentum gathers and falls. And like the wind, they also blow hot and cold. Our heroes run and lose, try and win, cry and poke fun the same. They are humans, so humane. We should celebrate them alive not when they become of the otherworld.

For he lives high and lofty, noble and beneign, helpful and useful to the people, he’s my hero, your hero, our hero. You just need to call him that…to celebrate and encourage nobility.

But if he was like the man I just talked about, the village-reject that turned the cornerstone, do not praise him, time already did justice. And would always do. He lost earlier to win his destiny. Now he lives this mandate as a man of the people; a man for the people.

For the sick he paid their bills, the young he helped to grow, the traders he filled their purse, the men he made men and the disabled he helped able, it’s vestige of humanity; the mandate he’s destined to live…

It’s Sheriff Shagaya, Chairman Salman Shagaya Foundation ( SSF) Ilorin’s FOOTPRINTS the time will never erase.