I have always said that everything that has negatives can be harvested for positives. As the pandemic is busy trying to undo us, we too should tie our wrappers and be ready to outdo it by the many positive things we do while keeping safe.
The lockdowns were difficult; I will not lie. Staying in one place has its challenges. I mean, for me who has young adults living with me, they must eat, get bored easily, snack more and slowly drive you insane. In normal times they will be n school. But they also cook for you, ask you if you are okay, make you laugh and bond with you. These are the times we are in; we can make the most of it. During this lock down and semi-lockdown, I have been busy finishing my third book. When the world was very busy and everywhere was bustling, I may not have gotten where I am with it today. Life by its very nature can be distractive and to finish a book project and polish off the raw edges requires quiet, peace and time alone and so the lock down provided it. But while I was busy with my book so were other writers. I therefore bring you a collection today of books of great interest either finished in the lockdown, polished in the lockdown or are being promoted in the lockdown. There are four of them. The fifth book is to inspire your inner author. Let’s go.
1. I recently received a phenomenal book from a bookshop. And I was quite pleased with it. I reckoned it was sent to me not only for my enjoyment and pleasure but for my dissection. If I did not really enjoy a book, I am unlikely to talk about it or recommend it. A lot of the books here, I have read, others have been recommended and others still, someone I trust has read it. When I received this book, I was quite excited because I was getting bored of my own bookshelf and needed a fresh injection to the collection of books on my shelf. In addition, it is a book about women, an area I have keen interest in. Women and Leadership, real lives, real lessons written by Former Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard and former Nigerian Finance Minister and candidate for WTO President, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is a formidable book about formidable women. It carries interviews with frontline women leaders around the world like former American secretary of state and American Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, former Managing Director IMF and current President of the European Central Bank, Christine Lagarde as well as President of Liberia, Ellen Sirleaf Johnson, former British Prime Minister Theresa May ,former President of Malawi, Joyce Banda and former President of Chile Michelle Bachellet who was also first Head of the UNWOMEN among many other powerful women in the book. In amazing narrative to include the story of their own rise to leadership position and their own thoughts about leadership, feminism and the glass ceiling. The interviewees talk about the same thins but also talk about having their ideas stolen by male colleagues, what it feels like to be called fat or a slut by the media and what they could have done differently. Here is a quote from Ngozi Okonjo Iweala from the book. “Julia describes herself as a feminist, I describe myself as a womanist…I use the word womanist to describe my enduring respect and admiration for women everywhere; for their ability to do so much, love so much and endure so much.” The authors go round the world having conversations with women of note on what it means to be a leader and a woman. Their perspectives deliver a book that guides and inspires and serves as a handbook for all women who wish to lead or who have leadership thrust on them. The book is at once an education and part memoir of both authors and their subjects. We learn about their growing up years, their turning point and their challenges. A great resource on women and leadership full of bankable research and data. A breath of fresh air at a time when we all seem down on our luck. A book to motivate us, inspire us and get us to look forward to a better world with a powerful call to arms to all women everywhere.
2. Often times we second guess ourselves and ask if indeed we can reach for the skies. Also we tend to go into self-doubt even if what we are doing is good. An inner voice tells us we are not good enough. A new book on self-inspiration and self-motivation to guide you out of self-doubt has just debuted. Ezinne Kufre Ekanem has just put out a book for all times that will get you moving and get you elevated. It will show you how to identify your goals, build your self-esteem and how to stay on top of your game. “Up You” is that book. Grab a copy especially in these weird times when we all need a boost.
3. When Ayoola Precious Owolabi’s name first got our attention, he had been killed while covering the protest by Shiite Muslims in Abuja for Channels television. That clash between the police and the protesters led to Ayoola’s death and the demise of an Assistant commissioner of police on the 22nd of July 2019. Ayoola was a Corper. As parents, brothers and sisters, we all mourned him as if he were family. His memory has been kept alive by his family with the post-humous release of his collection of plays “Three minutes to midnight and other plays” compiled by a sibling Beracah Owolabi. In language so hilarious while making us search our deeper thoughts, Owolabi’s talent shines through capturing the essence of today’s youth and shining a torch on issues such as corruption, relationships, greed and deceit. “Three minutes to midnight” is about a plan by three young friends who attempt to rob a stingy old woman in an operation that goes very wrong. Forward is written by Channels TV Chairman John Momoh who pays glowing tribute to the late author and his creative dexterity. I personally believe that the plays will truly come alive on stage.
4. Chiomah Momah has been writing children’s books for a while. But this time she decides to look back at women of honour and their inspiration, their hard work, their challenges and what we can learn from them. So she sits down and comes up with a truly remarkable book that looks at the lives of heroines who have a thing or two to teach us through their life stories. Get a copy of this book, easy to read and full of wisdom. The book “Wisdom from Women- Learning from women of the past” will give you too many nuggets to hold unto from Funmilayo Ransome Kuti to Gambo Sawaba, from Margaret Ekpo to America’s C.J. Walker. It’s a book to keep by your bedside and learn from.
5. As always at a time when things all seem to be falling apart The Prophet by Lebanese American Khalil Gibran always does it for me. It’s like a soothing balm and his philosophical words always opens one’s eyes and motivates no matter the issue, no matter the season.