When we think Nations’ Presidents we think extremely rich, powerful men especially here in Africa with particular regards to Nigeria. But this is certainly not limited to African leaders as we find many obscenely rich Presidents from other parts of the world. I wouldn’t go into that now as that is not why I’m here.
A couple of days ago while listening to the CNN News – a feature on Uruguayan President, José Mujica, it shocked me to not only see this simple looking man as a President but also to know that he lived equally a very simple life.
They call him the ‘world’s poorest President’, he says of himself, “I’m not a poor president. Poor are the people who need a lot – Seneca said that. I am an austere president.”
José Mujica donates 97% of his salary, drives a 1987 Volkwagen Beetle – the original “peoples’ car” – and sells flowers with his wife at their home. His monthly salary is estimated at about $12,000 and let me repeat … he donates 97% of that income monthly.
This utterly humble and simple man has this to say for why he’s chosen this rather sparse lifestyle…
“I live like the majority in my country lives. It was a majority who voted for me. And that’s why I identify with them. Morally, I do not have the right to live like a minority in my country.”
“A lot of people like a lot of money. They shouldn’t go into politics. That’s my way of seeing it. I am not improvising. I don’t do marketing. This is my philosophy.”
Utterly amazing I say. It gets me thinking that if a good number of our leaders had this thought pattern… particularly here in Nigeria… would we be battling this huge weight of Corruption and Poverty?
What do you think of this simple way of life… lived so as to identify with the majority of his people?
**Info thanks to amanpour.blogs.cnn.com and en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jose_Mujica**