Many Nigerians were stunned on Wednesday when photo images of the 6th richest man in the world and the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg filtered out into the major buzz and online News agencies. It was like a thief in the night, unannounced and shocking to say the least. Nigerians are used to politicians who, despite not being in any position among the world’s richest, often create a publicity stunt whenever they are going to inspect a project or visit a place.

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They love the celebrity status, yet they hardly add any value. They love to be seen, yet their works are not seen. They love to be hailed, yet are not bothered if the people wail.

A lesson to politicians in Africa

Politicians across the African continent are actors who display their talents when they are sure that people are watching them. They do not so much concern themselves about the people, they are much more interested in the returns they get. What interests many Nigerians on Twitter is the fact that Zuckerberg mingled freely with Nigerians without bodyguards and no sirens.

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He wore an ash colored shirt and trousers and a pair of Nike Trainers. He was simple and humble. One tweet reads; “

One tweet reads; “Mark Zuckerberg worth $54.1bn, rated 6th Richest Man in the world, Lifestyle: simply walks down the street of Lagos without blowing sirens.” It was in contrast to the pomposity and arrogance with which many Nigerian rich men portray themselves in the public glare. Another tweet captured this: “NAIJA RICH MAN: worth NGN10m, rated nobody in the world, Lifestyle: Proud, Arrogant, Disobey Traffic laws, Owes workers’ salaries, uncountable girlfriends, noisy siren car, security guards etc”.

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Tech Donald Trump

His mission to Nigeria was meant to help tech startups and raise entrepreneurs. He committed $3bn to Andela in May this year and was glad by what he saw on the ground. It is a move that aims to replicate the Silicon Valley miracle in African cities. It will not only create jobs but will also launch the country on the roadmap as a technology hub. Unlike many projects embarked upon by Nigerian politicians, where hair dryers are distributed to a few, bags of rice, generators, and tricycles amidst pomp and pageantry, the visit of the Facebook founder has established the axiom that empty barrels make the loudest noise.

Value orientation

In case you don’t know, he gracefully ate the sumptuous Nigerian menu; pounded yam with 'egusi' soup and a roller coaster spiced fish to go with. He looked at home in Nigeria and his attitude seemed to be that he doesn’t even care if he’s the 6th richest man or not, he’s only living out his life to the fullest by fulfilling a purpose and making lives better. What makes our leaders feel insecure is not their riches, but it seems they don't give enough of themselves to the people who would otherwise endorse them.

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