A titillating tale.

Read 500 pages everyday, that’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will.

Warren Buffet (when asked the secret of his success).

The story should start like this;
Few months ago, a group of geniuses noticed the dwindling culture in the present gadgets freak and social media addicted generation called millennial and decided to initiate a group called woke gen.

They were a generation awaken to knowledge, consuming sharing and applying knowledge and they did this by reading one book per week, sharing nuggets, reviews and other related paraphernalia that made reading scintillating.

However, life happened, as most ideas with absence of sustainability plan , woke gen went on break,but before then, they ignited the zeal of a young vibrant lad, who decided to continue with the journey.
The following month, which was already the third month of the year, the young lad changes his status, from undergraduate to graduate, to graduate intern.

Let’s pause and divert; In Lagos, as an intern you are on the lowest cadre, if you are not lucky enough to get those very few places that pay good money, your allowance would at most suffice for your t.fare and afford you no other luxuries, this means long hours in rickety buses confined to the livid lashes of flogging called hold-up.
The graduate intern joins the team of the teeming population that spend about four hours commuting from mainland to outskirt, that’s at least four hours in the bus(car, or pick-up if there is no other means) so the lad with his grit and tenacity realises four hours of his life can’t just waste so he decides to spend half of the time reading, quarter sleeping and quarter writing traffic stories and replying people he couldn’t reply during the day (by the way he still manages a social media brand as a side kick and was managing a brand that hosted the biggest food festival in his alma-mata despite not being physically present)

By first week in June, He had read 48 books, that’s six per month as against five per month planned by woke gen. He then converses with one of his cerebral friends,Toyin Faleke who had read 60 books as at then, his wings clipped and decided to read 60 before that month. This feat would be published in about three major blogs in his alma mata (Oaupeeps, bossmeek and one other) and he would get more encouraged keep reading silently.

In August, he would apply to speak at TEDx , sharing his scintillating tour and how reading is legit the best feeling ever and how smooth reading could be, and he would get a beautiful rejection mail that his idea wasn’t good enough, so he would retire, dejected and would stop his “Bookathon” because he had professional exams to prepare for, as at then(Late August) He had read 74.

After his exams, he would resume albeit sluggishly and stick with the one week one book, until he attends a conference of Human resources managers and L and D specialist where he would have the opportune to speak and share his story of how he has read 78 books, defending the fallacy made earlier that his generation doesn’t read( I forgot to add that he was one of the youngest in the room, career wise and chronologically and he got the ticket (worth 15k) for free through some networking skills he had learnt from reading). He would meet his angel, a Godsent helper, share his dreams of finishing hundred books and the man would agree to pay for the remaining 22 books in exchange for a periodical review.

In the opening hours of boxing day, he would close the pages of Jowhor Ile’s After many days, his 100TH book of the year. The end.

Part 2.
When people ask me, Emmanuel Faith how did you do it, I do not exactly know how to reply but having written that, I guess you now know. A bit of zeal, zest, grit and tenacity. Actually, I feel we all can achieve what we set our mind on doing,my younger brother once wrote a 50,000 words story in one month,and another person wrote 363 poems this year ; What price are you willing to pay for the prize?

Sometimes, I intentionally switch of my data to finish my books, I maximise every Lagos traffic many more.

I know you all want me to write tips on how to read hundred books and all, well, maybe I would, I don’t know, but for me it doesn’t look really huge, a friend of mine just saved 1,000 every day for 365 days, as I speak he has 365k in his account, I don’t even have up to 0.1 of that in my account right now (He is still a student by the way),Another friend, Aderonke Praise just told me she read 105 books this year, and I am sure Toyin Faleke read more than a hundred too,so you have to ask yourself; What kind of friends do you have and who are those in your network.

One of the books I read this year was, “You have a brain” by Ben Carson and he talked about how immensely powerful our brain is and how we can make it do so much, like SOOO MUUCCH.

I would do another bookathon next year, and I want us to do it together, send me a whatsapp message on 08179001180 or to Phoebe on 07064842009 if you are interested. Please do send to Phoebe if I don’t reply within 24 hours. Send your name and add bookathon at the front. We are basically reading five books per month, that means by the end of the year,we would have read 60,isn’t that amazing?

I am looking for platforms, panels, discussions, gatherings and any other means to spread this glad tidings, I won’t mind media houses, the dailies and many more, let’s just spread the word that a millennial read a hundred books in 12 calendar month and debunk the fact that we only know how to press phone as our parents (and their generation) believe lol. And yes, I had challenges, problems, and all… I would share the story when I get the platforms( and write another blogpost that would be more procedural).I am available for facebook chats, tweetchats and any other means or platform of spreading this message. Thanks a lot.

A big shout out to my brother,my mum, Usen Udoh, Gbenga Sile, Temitope Dabest, Toyin Faleke, Bidemi Olumide , Adeoti Adebola,Aremu Tijesupemi ,John Phooebe,my wonderful whatsapp contact list and everyone who contributed to this journey by buying me books,paying for my books,sharing my reviews and many other ways. God bless you immensely.

Let’s make 2019 a better year
Your friend.
Emmanuel Faith.

An enthralling end.

Book Review.(The Last Batch)
Book 1.
Title: Secret of The Street.
Author: Teju “Babyface” Oyelakin.
Pages: 265.

When an entertainer writes a book, you can expect an enthralling ride of fun-filled experiences filled with didactic lessons, reading “Secrets of the secret” offered nothing less.
From the opening paragraph to the last line, Teju shared about 22 scintillating sustainable success secrets for entertainers, creatives and anybody really.

The book opened with a familiar slang; “The Secret of Jamb Question” apparently from the song “Don’t ask me JAMB question” by a popular Nigerian musician. In the chapter, Teju talked about the negative impact of self-doubt, how we ask ourselves questions whose answers we know. Are we good enough to grace a stage? Are we smart enough for a new career position? Are we brilliant enough to take a professional course or ace a scholarship application. In his words, He can, who he thinks he can. The chapter drew its curtain with a quote from the famous philosopher Betrand Russel which said;
The fundamental cause of the trouble is that in the modern world, the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt ”

He also addressed the importance of name and the crucial role it plays in building a brand and public image. In Nigeria, names like Otedola, Dangote tintinnabulates because a lot of efforts have been put into building and sustaining the relevance of this name. Delving into the core of the book, he shared sacred secrets like the “Secret of Puma” which talks about making haste slowly, elucidating on the role of steady tenacity in walking through the door of success, The “Secret of banging” where he talked about the price for the prize and reiterated on the fact that in the world of entertainment and even in the world as a whole, more often than not, you cannot always eat your cake and have it, this point was reemphasized in “The secret of Efiko”.

When I saw a chapter titled, the “Secret of the Hip and Hop”, I was expecting to see something about hip hop music or so, however Teju Babyface had better ideas to express. The chapter talked about the challenge of inconsistency, how creatives jump from one art to another, trying to explore gifts and talents without necessarily polishing any of them. He talked about the need of honing your skills to a commendable standard before taking the leap of faith, where you leap before you look and he talked about ruling your space and conquering your territory before you aim to rule the world. If you are not known as a musician in your neighbourhood or church or school, who will vouch for the song you are in a haste to produce?

He did not forget to share the importance of having a mentor, of reading and learning the art of giving gifts, habits whose immense impact I have benefitted from. A remarkable part of the book was the fact that he opened each chapter with an indelible illustration and closes with a proverb or a quote. Secrets of the street is an amazing book I would love to read over and again.
Book 2.
Title: The Defining Decade; Why your Twenties Matter and How to make use of them.
Author: Meg Jay
Pages: 159

The twenties have been given different name by different psychologist and medical personnel. Some call it the defining age, some the decision making age, but Meg Jay called it the defining decade and she couldn’t have been more precise.
The author who is also a clinical psychologist that specializes in adult development and twenty somethings in particular demonstrated mastery of her field by precisely addressing the challenges most twenty somethings face using practical illustrations.

One of the opening chapters Forward thinking , addressed the matter of using your brain to think and making rational choice ahead of your emotional prompts which could be transient but drastic, in fact the chapter opened with a quote from one of the popular American anthropologist, George Dorsey which says “The more you use your brain, the more brain you will have to use”. In my words, the more you learn, the more you learn that there is more to learn

She addressed a lot of career related issues, including bridging the gap between college and work place, the importance of internships and general work ethics as a whole. In her words;
“When twenty somethings enter the workforce, they are in for a shock” Neither their captivating graduating CGPA or their roll honour can save them from adapting to the harsh reality the workplace presents. You have to be consciously of your actions and inactions as whatever you do or don’t do contribute immensely too your career growth.

Delving slightly away from career related challenges, she addressed relationship related intricacies and marriage from a rather unique perspective. In one of the chapters titled “Being In Like”, Meg addressed the issue of compatibility and companionship in relationship, in fact, the chapter opened with a quote from a writer, Leo Tolstoy which reads;
What counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how compatible you are but how you deal with the incompatibility”. According to her research, relationships that are built around sex, physical attraction and other euphoric but transient values crumble easily but those that are built on mutual core values, virtues, goals, short terms and long terms objectives have little probability of resulting in divorce. She also addressed the idea of hopping through the twenties living with paradigm that life starts at forty . She reiterated that there is no better time to pay attention and plan your life than in your early twenties.

In a chapter titled “Outside in”, Meg talked about the essence of meditation, looking within and having honest conversations with yourself about your honest strengths, weaknesses and potentials. Aligning all this together helps you guide your thought pattern and enables you to make the right choices concerning life issues.

Hilarious as it may seem, she talked about having early relationships instead of waiting till early or late thirties before getting into a relationship. In her words, steady relationship with aligned goals, mutual values and core virtues reduces social anxieties and depression as it helps us feel lonely and give us the opportunity to practise our interpersonal skills.
The last chapter, “Will things work out for me?” was a beautiful climax to an enthralling journey and again emphasised on the need to judiciously amass the strength and abilities of the twenties towards building a formidable yet very beautiful future instead of watching the years roll by you.

Book 3;
Love is Power or something like that.
Author: A.Igoni Barret
Pages; 199.

Enthralling, Exciting, Pulsating and Sensational, Love is power or something like that is an amazing weave of eight different stories told by eight uniquely vocal voices echoing the inexplicable intricacies our society presents while subtly enunciating its intriguing idiocies.

The first story, The worst thing that happened is the narrative of a pensioner living in a remote part of a developed city, not too far away from one of her children. The others had gone abroad to search for greener pastures, finding home in foreign bosom. The story elucidated on the patriarchal display that resides in this part of the world and was imminent when the pensioner advised her daughter against filing a divorce and leaving a husband who beats her black and blue and apologises with sexual pleasure and good money.

Following is the typical well familiar story of a young lad who should be in school all things being equal but has found solace in the crispy corner of a cybercafé where he scams foreigners by slipping into different acts. As a typical yahoo boy, he raises their hopes, gets their cash and crash their expectations like an unfaithful tailor.

The shape of full circle which was the subsequent story reminds me of one of my brother’s opening lines “Come, let me show you the shape of my tears”. The story spans across two generations of family who suffered from the livid lashes of poverty thanks to the wrong choices they made, especially martially and how they wear the garment of the consequences without fear but with series of tears.

The most interesting story in the collection would be My smelling mouth problem. Set in a quite relatable setting of an overcrowded BRT bus in Lagos state, the hero (who also doubles has the villain) of the story was recently diagnosed of halitosis. Prior to his diagnosis, he often acted dumb in public places, avoiding any form of conversation as much as possible however this unfortunate day, he couldn’t escape not talking after being accused of being a thief that wanted avoid paying for his transport fare.
The story, which depicts the epileptic state of the country’s transport network started with the fact that our villain boarded a BRT bus whose AC was spoilt and paid the amount for the AC bus (Buses without AC cost less according to the story) After few minutes of getting soaked in sweat, some human right activist stood up to riot against the cheating and the BRT had to return to the terminus and offload the passengers to another functioning AC filled bus. It was during the offloading and on- boarding that the villain was forced to talk and release malodorous aroma into the air.

Igonni Barret is a beautiful story teller and couldn’t have painted Nigeria better than he did in this spicy, sarcasm filled novel.

Book four.

To Bee a honey.
Author; Oyindamola Shoola

The title of the collection is a symbol of its creativity. To bee a honey is a collection of pulsating poetry stringed beautifully to give mellifluous melody to the soul.
The 21-year-old author who is also the co-founder of Sprinng literary movement, a writing organisation whose workshop I benefitted from earlier this year, successfully painted vivid images with her blunt yet silky imagery that left you pondering about the beauty of brevity.
Below are a few excerpts from her collection.

Sometimes, travelling back
To one’s self and memories
Is more important
Than travelling back home

You are an ocean,
Stop letting people
With small cups
Tell you how to be.

It is no surprise that
Men who don’t know
How to love God
Cannot love the god
That you are well enough.

Love a man
That touches your mind
With what you see and hear of him
Before what your body
Feels of his hands
And what your hands feel of his body

Love a woman
That touches your mind
With what you see and hear of her
Before what your body
Feels of her hands
And what your hands feel of his body.
To bee a honey is an amazing collection to read for relaxation, meditation and didactic purposes.

Book 5.

Title: And After Many days.
Author; Jowhor Ile
Pages: 247

There is no better way to end a 100 books tour than drawing the curtain with a masterpiece written by a former winner of the highly coveted Etisalat prize for Literature.
And after Many days is an elucidating exposition into the beauty of family, the ugliness of power tussles, the complexities of the society and how this diverse yet dispersed elements knit together to make us who we are and what we would or might become or what might become of us.

The story opens the stage with the disappearance of our protagonist, Paul. Paul, polished and pristine is the kind of child every parent long to have. An agile first born of an averagely well to do family with two other siblings, was a high school student preparing for his tertiary institution examinations when death decided to snatch him in the most careless form, the rod of a reckless policeman who was hurt by the fact that a civilian ignored his call, a young lad for that matter.

The book was set in Port Harcourt, during the oil tussle and it spanned across different strata of the society, exploring different themes; from the strong family tradition and bond, to the knitted energy generated from ethnicity and kinsman. Jowhor Ile paints Nigeria in glistening graffiti, navigating its delicate yet dazzling peculiarities, the beauty of women in market places, the thrill of frivolous festivals, the uncalled yet mandatory family obligations, the titillating tyranny and subtle silence and many other things that makes Nigeria Nigeria.

And after Many days is a worthy adventure anyone should go on, as you can be certain of a worthy tour.

A stream of sagacity

Book: Becoming
Author: Michelle Obama
Pages : 436.

If “What Happened” by Hillary Clinton is a classic, then “Becoming” by Michelle Obama is a master piece. The Book was divided into three sections

Michelle opens the stage by giving the reader an insight into her very humble background. In her words, “She was an humble black girl from Euclid Avenue with long ponytail and a lot of ebullience”.

Michelle was born on the 17th of January 1964 at the captivating city of Chicago, Illinios in United States to a father who worked in a factory and a mother who sold everything.
Being the second of two children, she looked up to her elder brother Craig, who was her inspiration and source of motivation in a lot of things, which included taking up challenges, doing debates, participating in sports and many other intellectually engaging activities.

Michelle is a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard law school where she left a footprint as one of the very set of Black Americans to attend and graduate with flying colors from Harvard Law school and she started her legal career at Sidley&Austin where she met her husband, Barack.
“Becoming” was written from a procedural approach, laying emphasis on the role of process and the grit and tenacity that comes before the glitz and glamour. For example, Michelle shared about how she burnt night candles for her law school exams because beyond her name, the pride of the blacks in Harvard law school was at stake and she had to perform excellently well. Like Hillary, she also enunciated the role of family, citing her father as an epitome of tenacity and honesty and her mother the pillar of pristine performance who instilled in her the ability to be coordinated and organized.

Moving from “Becoming her” to “Becoming us”, Michelle narrates the scintillating scenery of meeting Barack who was a summer intern at Sidley&Austin where she was an associate , the associate that supposed to supervise Barack.
Barack fascinated everyone with his zeal, his zest and fervor attracting the attention of other associates and distracting her own attention. In her words, “Although I was quite fascinated about Barack, I couldn’t imagine dating him because he was still a law school student who was my intern”, but Barack had other thoughts. A lunch, a dinner then a date followed by an invite to a karaoke and another cocktail and a relationship was a daring leap.
“Becoming more” gave an insight into Barack Obama slow both steady rise to the top.

From being the president of the Harvard law school debate team and editorial team to having a seat at the house of senate in Illinios, Barack was a procedural person who had ambitious goals and dreams but started by making great impact at seemingly unrecognized platforms.
Becoming was a worthy read with a lot of lessons embedded, which includes;

  1. Not Despising the days of little beginning
  2. Not despising social strata during relationship
  3. finding a partner with common goals, dreams and ambition
  4. The importance of family, good friends and a healthy inner circle
  5. And being yourself amidst the brouhaha of glitz and glamour.

2.
Book: You have a brain
Author: Ben Carson with Gregg and Deborah Lewis.
Pages: 231
The fourth sequel to Think Big, Gifted Hands and Take the risk, “You have a brain” is a rather audacious title to name a book which so much dosages of sagacity and insight.
Ben Carson is a well established name in the world of neurosurgery and there is no better wand than a brain specialist reminding you about the fact that you have a brain!
Benjamin Opens the book with some pulsating facts about the brain.
Do you know that:
Inside the human brains are approximately 86 billion neurons interconnected by more than 100 trillion synapses (estimated since no one has counted them all yet) which science has only begun to understand
The brain started developing almost immediately after conception. During the first months of your mother’s pregnancy, your body was created
The brain generates electricity constantly, enough every waking minute to keep a low-wattage light bulb fully lit. So when you say, “That’s a bright idea”, your statement could be literally as well as figuratively true. Isn’t that sensational?
The brain can feel no pain because it has no pain receptors. The organ that controls the whole nervous system feels no pain, that’s why neurosurgeons can operate on the brain without worrying about the pain level of the patient even when the patient is awake.

Beyond the physical characteristics of the brain, Ben Carson also espoused on the amazing capacity of the brain, enunciating on the importance of using your reason ahead of your feeling when taking actions. He dished out amazing dosages of sagacity but the one that hit me most was when he said “If I can read, I can learn about anything I want to know, the doors of the world are open to people who can read.” This has been quite applicable as a lot of spheres where I share knowledge today occurred as a result of reading.

As a matter of fact, despite not being a law student, I have discussions with my colleagues in law about tax, Intellectual property law, Alternative Dispute Resolution and I recently picked up interest in Fashion law which is not yet enunciated in this part of the world, and all this wouldn’t have happened to an economics major if not for the zest of absorbing knowledge via books.
“You have a brain”, though written for teenagers is an amazing book worth reading for any knowledge seeker.

3

.
Book; Do It Afraid.
Author: Ife Agboola.

Do it afraid as the title implies was written for people who get worried and scared at different junctures of life but don’t we all get scared at different point in time?.
The author opened the stage with the climax, hitting the nail on the head in the closing paragraph of the introduction by informing her readers that “There is nothing to fear but fear itself.”

Addressing the topic from an ecclesiastical point of view, the author quoted different scriptures that addressed the issue of fear. As we have once be told, using a KJV bible “Fear Not” was written 365 times in the bible that means there is an instruction sufficient of each year.
She continues by expatiating on the importance of shutting out fear and exploring our potentials. She cited Malala Yousoufzai, the joint youngest winner of Nobel Prize of Nobel prize as an illustration.

Malala spoke out amidst fear, using her panic as a powerful tool of announcing her kinsmen fears to the whole world. This reminds me of Halima Aden, a former Kenyan Refugee who became the first lady to walk on the American runway fashion with a hjab, paving way for other elegant ladies who had been limited by their religion and the unconsciously . You can stop by her ted talk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=roe-STL8JxI.
An embodiment of immense treasure, the book drew its curtain with the challenging words that “Nothing is going to get done, until with get up and get on the road with divine direction”.
Do it afraid is a challenge to everyone nurturing dreams, lofty plans and other amazing ideas but is scared to take the next step, you start doing by doing.

4.
Book: Biography of Fela.
Author: Carlos Moore.
Page: 313.

It isn’t hear-say that Fela Anikulapo Kuti is one of African legend as far as music is concerned and there are no words to describe the pulsating sensation I had reading his detailed biography.
The author opened the reader into the full dimension of who Fela was as against whom the society, the journalists, the rulers and every other stakeholder painted him to be. Fela who was born to a father and mother who wanted their son to be a doctor but the son had other plans.
Fela grew up has a vivacious kid, the one who was fun loving, fun seeking and quite adventurous. He had been travelling around different countries in Africa before he even became known.’
As against the society’s belief that he was a serial polygamist, Fela married all his wives at once after witnessing them suffering brutal beating and humiliation from government officials who were mad at Fela Anikulapo because of the lyrical lynching they had suffered from his really satirical music. Tracks like “Army arrangement” and “beast of no nation” stirred up rancorous controversies and the military governments who was quite limiting as far as freedom of speech was concerned concluded that Fela was a threat that should be annihilated and this led to the attempted onslaught with no restraint.

In an explicit interview with his wives, each of them expressed their affection for Fela, appraising him for his dauntless tenacity and pristine pertinacity. It might interest you to know that he married all his wives in one day after many disputes with his family lawyer and his wives are from different part of Nigeria and Africa.
Fela , whose music preached against corruption, politricking , debauchery and many other nefarious nuances was a legend whose name would not be forgotten and Kalakuta republic is just an emblem of how great he was.
Reading the book exposed me different sides of Africa, of Nigerian culture and gave me an insight to a bit of what really happened to Nigeria’s living legend.

5.
Book: I laugh at these skinny girls.
Author: Tolu Akinyemi.

Poetry is bliss, a means of relaxing yet getting intellectually engaged but people tend not to like poetry because of the complicated way poets write these days, poetry has been stereotyped and has a warped definition in people’s mind already, Tolu Akinyemi sets out to demystify that myth with his scintillating poetry series of which “I laugh at these skinny girls” is a sequel.
The author wrote poems that addressed different ills of the society and attempted to cut across all strata of themes like heartbreak, disappointments, failed promises, politics, diligence and many more silently enunciating on arguments about gender role, patriarchal display, importance of home upbringing and many other societal tussles during the process. A few of his poems are below.

Valerie.
Like you promised me, Valerie
Would you still come over?
Do you recall-it’s bus forty-four
Three stops from Sainsbury?

I’ll still cook you dinner, Valerie
Like I bragged yesterday
I’m boiling water already,
For amala with gbegiri.

I’ll eat and watch you eat, Valerie.
Your hand buried in gbegiri,
Could there be a ring in it
Would I ask you to marry me?

Unfamiliar Grounds.
Where I once stood
Now I stumble.
Who won’t tumble
On unfamiliar grounds?

The hunter stares
Down the darkness
Of his own barrel
And he sweats

For once he knows
How the buffaloes felt.

Reading the collection was an insightful journey and I look forward to reading other sequels in the series.

He slammed the brakes!

NYSC has completely lost its relevance, and is now an instrument of affliction, a dungeon of distress for Nigerian Youths. Kingsley Omose.

I have never been a fan of NYSC; call it national integration or (a means of knowing your country better as a friend explained), I think the scheme had lost its essence. Interestingly, even when I didn’t know I would be on the receiving end of its whims and caprices, I had always been unreserved about the extremely time wasting exercise. Scratch that. The glamorously grandiose scheme whose good intent had been continuously abused, but, that’s not the purpose for writing this blog post.

Last week, my mum said I had been running at 160km/hour on life’s journey and I wasn’t ready to slow down that’s why God slammed a compulsory brake, a TEN DAYS break of sleeping, waking up, eating, reading, chattering, and repeating the cycle. If you are my friend, you’d know that particular lifestyle doesn’t describe as I am almost doing anything and everything together. My boss once teased me about how I act like someone who wants to save the whole world.

My story would begin like this, a while ago, a tear-rubber graduate of the department of Economics whose supervisor gave a “not so good” grade in his project – coincidentally a 6-unit course – joined a tax firm as a student intern less than 24 hours after he left school (I did get home on Sunday night and started work the next morning). The young graduate (because he didn’t like numbers) tried to apply for an human resource position in an MNC (that he served diligently as a campus ambassador and won two merit awards during the process) but wasn’t given after acing the interview for reasons only God understands.

The young lad, now accepts his fate and applies for a position of a graduate intern and was granted, and thanks to his previous records of tenacity and the superiors and owners’ magnanimity. He learns (and is still learning) the nuances of taxation and studies under different senior colleagues the rudiments of core taxes like VAT and WHT.

While he basks in the aura of his new adventure, there is a restructuring and he becomes a manager of his own desks (a rare opportunity for an intern) under the tutelage of an experienced associate and this new desk relates with his human resource passion though numbers is still involved. Insert a sad smiley. The ever-working lad now starts a professional course which he took loans to register for and he combines his new desk (full of mounting responsibilities) with studying for exams staying back in the office on weekdays during the process.

His mum, worried for him, for his health, is deterred in her concern by his melodious “man must hustle, money must be made” mantra. Immediately after his exams, he discovers there was a partial scholarship at Edubridge academy (an academy that prepares graduates for the corporate world by teaching core skills like business plan writing, economic analysis, acing interviews and tests, presentation, stock pitch, Excel, PowerPoint and other basic 21st century employability skills) and grabs the scholarship, another series of 8am to 8pm weekend program (you should attend Edubridge by the way, it’s an amazing place to be).

His mum yells again worrying about his draining health and his dilapidated financial state (oh I forgot to tell you he had not finished paying the loans he took for his professional course and he hasn’t changed his wardrobe in six months) but again, he has his way, living 8-8, seven days a week.
So can you imagine his mother’s joy when she discovered the lad was forced to stay at home, stopping his program and resigning from work because of NYSC uncertainties and Kaduna crisis?

Staying at home for ten days taught me a lot of lessons. I learnt patience and perseverance, learning to trust God despite uncertainties. I had long devotions, amazing quiet time, and serene worship sessions. I also learnt to be in the shoes of others. One day I tried to imagine what it is like to be without a job and it drove me to intercession for people and for the country as a whole. I learnt the beauty of waiting for your own time as seeing my mates flaunting their NYSC uniforms was a daily torture, but the advice and counsel I had given people kept on playing on my eardrums “You have your race to run, stay on your own lane”.

I also learnt the essence of family, my family is the best lol. My mum with her encouraging words and didactic sermons, and my brother with all shades of comedy. He literally racks the home with his hearty sarcasm delivered on a plate of glee. I read new books, I finished my 88th book of the year, facilitated online sessions, wrote beautiful poems, reached out to old friends and made new ones. I read friends’ blogs, literary blogs, finance blogs and sports sites. Did I tell you my brother forced me to watch basketball and I actually watched AIT/NTA news every night?

While a part of me prepares to go back to work and the other part of me prepares to hear glad tidings from Kaduna, I have learnt the beauty of waiting, of patience and perseverance.

A big shout out to everyone who was very helpful during this period, to Awiss, Adebola Inioluwa, Demilade, Tega, Tejiri, Okiki, Oyin, Phoebe,Tobi Adebayo,Itunuoluwa,Sholafunmi Oreoluwa, Lolade&Bukunmi Ajani, Della and other friends who checked on me, to ECU household who remembered me in prayers, to Michael Gbenga Shile whom I disturbed almost every day with my rants and to Kolapo Ayobayo, my school mother who accepted all my tantrums with love. To everyone who made jest of me too, thank you, your harsh comments and heartless feedbacks made me a stronger person.

While I consider doing an article on the NYSC brouhaha, I have learnt that sometimes in life, we need to slam the brakes sometimes so that we don’t tumble in a fatal accident. I hope you remember that.

Till I write again.

Happy new month.

Your friend,

Emmanuel Faith

From Trevor without Tremor

Born a crime

The first thing I learned about having money was that it gives you choices. People don’t want to be rich,they want to be able to choose. The richer you are, the more choices you have.
Trevor Noah.

“Do not let your background put you on the ground” should be one of the most reiterated cliché I heard growing up and reading about people who rose beyond the boundaries of their background gives me pulsating sensations, thus reading “Born A crime and other stories” was a great delight.
The book is an autobiography, written in one of the most creative narrative that spans through adventurous escapades, captivating challenges, life-lessons and victorious triumphs.

Trevor opens the book with an exposition into the tribal disparity that existed in South Africa and how despite the fact that the black south Africans were five times the white citizens, they were terribly divided thanks to languages. Everyone wanted their language to be official, and this enunciated the differences in the tribe, making them prone to direct and indirect mental colonization and social segregation.

He continued with the importance of good parenting, and how he got exposed to bible, books and cultivated the habit of reading from childhood despite being the only son of a single mother who wasn’t really literate. He did lay emphasis on how pivotal reading is. In his words “If you add up how much you read in a year on the internet tweets, Facebook posts-you would have read the equivalent of a tonnes of books…”

The role of the home, a well-functioning family system cannot be undermined, and Trevor devotes a chapter to lessons he learnt from his immediate and extended family members which includes tenacity, honesty and other basic but virtuous values that guides humanity
The author spices up the journey as he narrated his high school escapades, from a heart that was betrayed, to a mutual love that was never expressed because both parties were too shy to express their feelings until the lady left unplanned and left Trevor with a battered heart. In his words “We spend so much time being afraid of failure, of rejection but regret is the thing we should fear most.”

The story of his dog fufi. is one of the indelible irresistible chapters in the book and it addresses the concept of entitlement. You know, it’s quite hilarious that we live in a generation where everyone feels someone owes them something, the government owes us jobs, our parents owes us attention our girlfriends owe us their time and our boyfriends owe us their affection, dates and going to cinemas, but if we learn to be satisfied with ourselves first, and take responsibilities for our lives, then a lot of disappointments and heartbreaks would be prevented.

The book also touches the delicate topic of the definition of masculinity. In His mother’s words “ A man is not determined by how much he earns, you can still earn less than your woman, being a man isn’t about what you have but about who you are. Being more of a woman doesn’t men your woman has to be less than you”. Isn’t that profound?

Trevor drew the curtain of the book by shedding light on the hidden mysteries of feminism telling the story from a patriarchal perspective. He narrated how his mum was continuously abused, how the authorities didn’t find it abnormal for a man to beat his wife and how his mother incessantly languished in the hands of an incontrollable machoist till she kissed death but lived.
Do you want to know why the book was titled “Born a crime….” Then pick up the book to read.

P:S- This is my 81st book of the year and I want to sincerely appreciate everyone for being part of my journey. For those who bought me books, shared me books, and recommended books, you are all appreciated. The goal is to read hundred books before December 31st, we can do this together. Don’t forget to share.

Emmanuel Faith.

Of Hillary and Happiness

If our expectations-if our fondest prayers and dreams are not realized-then we should all bear in mind that the greatest glory of living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall Nelson Mandela.

I.
At midday, on the 26th of September 2018, I finished my 78th book of the year, HOW IT HAPPENED by Hillary Rodham Clinton. While seventy eight might not be a sterling number as a number in itself, it is a remarkable number for me because it happened four days after the idea of sharing “How I read 60 books in six months” was termed “Not good enough” and it preceded a memorable moment of listening to a room of 160 gems from all walks of life(Directors, Human resource managers, top consultants, representatives of CBN and FIRS) give a resounding applause after hearing the feat God’s grace had helped me achieve. To cap it all, The Chief Human resources manager of the Dangote Group, promised to sponsor the remaining 22books (I told him I intend reading hundred before the year draws its curtain) and started by buying me two books worth seven thousand five hundred naira on the spot, so you see there couldn’t have been a better time.

I was opportune to attend the Talent management

and learning development conference which held at the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry conference and exhibition centre. It was a paid event (More like A PAID EVENT with loaded souvenirs, three-course meal and other juicy things) but I attended it for free thanks to the graciousness of the Leadership and Developed Network International, an organization I got connected with via a mentor’s magnanimity. Saying I learnt a lot would be an understatement, I had a jotter full of jottings, only to discover all the presentations were compiled in a flash that was in every participant’s souvenir.
A few nuggets; Machines can be programmed to do the next thing right, but only humans can do the next right thing. The truth is, we can’t develop the people of tomorrow without understanding the workplace of today. There were enthralling discussions around policy issues, our archaic curriculum and the rapidly evolving world we find ourselves.
I am glad to inform you that not everyone is swayed by the transient mediocre issues trending in the nation, people still appreciate values and virtues. By God’s grace I got the contacts of big people, REALLY BIG PEOPLE. In fact, I just sent a top senior officer of a company I won’t mention a dozen of books today because she requested that I should be her accountability partner for the rest of the year. If you think all there is to life, is Nicki Minaj,Cardi B,Davido and Wizkid, I have no words for you.
For me, the peak was the emphasis on the need for a paradigm shift from knowledge acquisition and assimilation to knowledge application. Isn’t that a captivating climax?

11.
I can summarise life in three words; It Goes On. Robert Frost.

 

While I have never been enthusiastic about politics or political related issues, I am a big fan of Hillary Clinton. I had been following her since she lost the party primaries to Barack Obama and I have being a fan since then. As a matter of fact, she is second on my top five most respected women, (My mum is first) and Adichie, Serena Williams and Joyce Meyer completes the list so if you had seen me in the early hours of November nine 2016, you would wonder if I was Hillary’s grandson.
Like every other logical, right thinking individual, I was stunned that Americans gave away the next four years to a boisterous business mogul but inexperienced emotionally insensitive leader. How did Trump win? What were Americans scared off? A female president? The Clinton Monopoly? Their open yet well concealed gender bias? Voting for a “safer” option? Disparity in ideologies?
Reading “What Happened” by Hilary Rodham Clinton was an answer to my myriad of questions, although it made me ask more questions whose answers I may never get.
The book opens with the surreal moments of a devastating defeat, and unfolds into events and occurrences, a procedural transition into different pages of a lady, now a woman, a mother and grandmother lived each day, putting smiles on people’s faces, breaking new barriers and setting new milestone. From being the first set of ladies admitted to study law in Yale, to being the first woman to lift the presidential banner of a political party in America, she steadily told a scintillating tale, mixing a balanced diet of failures and success to give the full picture of life as a politician and beyond.
A misconception that has eaten deep into citizens’ mentality is the fact the politicians are superhumans, Hillary debunks this by sharing her quotidian activities, both the pivotal and the mundane. She talks about her favourite poets, scriptwriters, plays, shows, and even relaxing spot. She sheds light the important of friends, of family, and of having a sustainable support system as a public figure. She indirectly taught lessons about paying attention about seemingly irrelevant things like mails, innocuous gestures and many more. Who would have known a few personal mails sent through the official e-mail and vice versa would have prevented America from having her first female president, thanks to the prejudiced press and some other callous cohorts who would rather be ruled by a male tout than a woman whose frown is more beautiful that the male’s pout

.
I could write a hundred paragraphs about the book but I would end with her ethereal style of enunciating feminism fiercely and addressing the gender disparity in authority despite the recent renaissance. She opens one of her chapters with the poem below.

It is hard to be a woman,
You must think like a man,
Act like a lady,
Look like a young girl
And work like a horse.

It would be beautiful to draw the curtain with the words that closed one of the chapters.
“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim”

A big shout-out to Ugochi Ilomuanya for sharing the book and to everyone who has contributed to my bookathon one way or the other, God bless you immensely.
To request for the book, you can send a whatsapp message to 07064842009.
Enjoy the weekend and don’t forget to share.

Your friend,
Emmanuel Faith

And I met Chimamanda

A Blissful Break.

Cliché are Cliched but they are actually true. Edeme Lisa

Intro;

The last six months can be described in two adjectives, Adventurous but monotonous. I resumed an internship the Monday of the Friday that I left school, became a trainee barely three months after and started preparing for a professional exams four month after so my schedule was pretty predictable, home, work, read, home, work, read again. Aside a very few really compulsory events I had no option but to attend, I wasn’t really living the social life I was used to in school thus when the opportunity to have a therapeutic weekend presented itself, maximising the opportunity seemed the right decision, and my mum’s magnanimity was a timely support.

I.
The Beauty
Sharing the room with an intellectual is one of the best thing that could ever happen, so when I was shortlisted as part of the lucky 30 participants to share the room with the Human Resources Manager of Procter and Gamble in Africa, Mrs Edeme Lisa, it was a moment to rejoice.
Edeme started by sharing her story, how she started from the scratch, travelled between Lagos and Port Harcourt twice in three days for her interview and other enthralling experiences. She also talked about how you can be what you want to be and all that you intend to be. For me, the peak of the conversation was when she quoted an author I had read (Malcolm Gladwell) and played a Ted talk that I had watched thrice in the last two weeks. (Zain Asher, Trust your struggles). It was an indication that I was consciously on the path of growth and in position for my long-term career goal. My takeaway from the event was majorly that we are really the architect of our own future and we can decide the kind of lif we want to live by taking purposeful and progressive steps towards our goal.

II.

The hustler.
The career discuss drew its curtain two hours before the second event so I had a few minutes to grab snacks and drink before moving to the next event. It was the island, a strange land and as an Economist I was looking for a place to get maximum utility at the lowest cost. While touring on my ultimate search, enduring the scorching heat from the sun, I was distracted by a captivating aroma that pulled me towards a rather unattractive place . I bought my food and requested for water, I was quite dazed when I was told that the sachet water is free for every customers that buys food and the number of sachet varies with the amount of food, isn’t that an amazing strategy?

Another remarkable case in point was the fact that despite being in the middle of flood and being disturbed by intermittent rainfall, she was quite hearty to customers. She emitted positive vibes despite the challenges around and for me that was an indelible lesson.

III.

Our Favourite.
Have you ever heard that the universe works in unison to help the tenacious achieve his goal? That’s what exactly what happened to me on Saturday. How would you describe meeting a global icon, a fiery fearless feminist, an amazing writing, a captivating speaker and your number one author if not exhilarating?
The four hours I spent in the room with Chimamanda Adichie on Saturday was the best time this year. She flowed freely with grace and poise answering diverse questions with ineffable intelligence and captivating confidence.
She spoke across delicate idiocies and sensitive ideologies throwing boisterous banters in between. There is so much to write but I would just play across a few. Adichie loves Nigeria, she loves Africa and she proudly flaunts her heritage. She is also amazingly intelligent and exudes immaculate disposition almost always. She is also actually very hilarious and comfy to be around, she argues logically and concedes easily when stuck in an argument beyond her field of expertise. I personally found that amazingly humble for someone of her pedigree. She addressed a few issues that I’d share below.
On Feminism, Adichie emphasised on the that feminism is a joint cause and both genders should gladly steer the course towards a balanced society. On bride-price, she expressed her concern on the misconception about bride-price, reiterating that paying bride-price is not a commercial transaction but a symbolic indication of a mutual consent about an exchange. She also suggested that the tradition had outlived its time and should probably be scrapped.
She talked about something she called “Christian feminism” and challenged Christians to tell a complete story. If we say the bible instructed wives to submit, then we should remember to also narrate the fact that when Jesus rose from the dead, He saw women first, that means he holds women in very high regards. We should also tell the story of Deborah that was a wife, a mother and a judge over Israel (The additional illustration is mine).

Another lesson I learnt was the absence of procrastination, I registered for the event around 2:30am, I was drowsy already but I was quite restless so I registered, by the time I woke up at six am to register for my mum, it had closed.
Drawing the curtain, A man who didn’t register for the event was allowed in because he brought a gift for Adichie, I was amazed, and I felt bad because I could have, and should have brought a gift. It probably didn’t’ cross my mind because I didn’t know I would have a personal interaction with her, but then I learnt my lesson like Solomon said , “A gift gets attention, it buys the attention of eminent people”

A glad tiding for Her fans would be that Americanah would soon be adapted into a movie, guess who is the lead actress? Our very own Lupita Nyong’o. If you don’t know her please go and watch Queen of Katwe.

I had a blissful break and I look forward to more exhilarating experiences.

And she ran mad

I

Your name is Chinedu, you are the first born of five children, three boys and two girls. You finished from Federal Government College Ogbomosho. You were the best graduating student, carting away all the covetable prizes and won two cash prizes, one from the Chief of your village who gave you fifty thousand naira, and promised you double if you continued with the same performance at the university level the second from the PTA chairman who gave you a hundred thousand naira.
You had scored 289 in UTME and 72% in Post UTME thus your name came out on the merit list of Chemical Engineering. You had set lofty goals; finish your part one with 5.0, apply for MTN and NNPC scholarship in part two…..

You needed a scholarship, you know you did. Your Father was a farmer with seasonal income. Lately he had been faced with plethora of plight which varied from the continuous deforestation that affected his farmland, to the drastic fall in the price of cocoa globally, so things have been hard. Your mother hasn’t fared well either. Her tye and die business has been a roller-coaster, thanks to the incessant appetite for foreign outfit the village women now exhibited, the “imported” syndrome had eaten deep into a village that prided itself in it’s cultural creativity exhibited through beautifully weaved attire. Your immediate younger brother Nnamdi is now is SS3 and your parents would be paying a huge amount for WAEC soon, the third born, Ikechukwu has stopped school for fishing, he never did like school anyway, your twin sisters Chinasa and Chizaram haven’t started secondary school yet despite scoring 90% and 93% in their common entrance.
While your mother suggested that they wait for a year so that the some would be able to balance financially, your dad thought they were ripe for marriage and wanted bride-price.
“They would be reading the remaining in their husband’s kitchen” your dad jested the last time your mother raised this so you ned a scholarship and to get a scholarship, you need a 5.0

II.
Your room was angola, A105, right beside the excos room, directly opposite anglo-moz. It was a view , a lovely kaleidoscope to watch how life happen to people and people happen to life. You watched as innocence got kidnapped by brute as those “omo get-inside” now got outside fully. You saw the unseen and heard the unheard, from misleading melodies behind buses to smooching and kissing by the risky stand.
One night on your way back from your night study at white-house, you saw Martha, Martha was the Senior prefect then. She had always been beautiful, seductively beautiful. Despite the lowcut she wore back in high school, almost every “happening guy” had asked her out. You saw Martha step out of a new prado Jeep and gave a guy a warm hug, thanking him for the night. You wanted to call her, speak some sense into her, remind her about how her father is struggling back in the village to pay her school fees, but you didn’t. You didn’t have the time, you had physics the next day.

III.
Anglo moz was empty tonight, they had just released MTH, EGL and Philosophy. OAU had dropped their first dose of livid lashes. You shook your heard when you saw 20 at the department notice board where they pasted your test your scores, that was 20 out of 30, that means you needed 50 out of 70 to make an A. It wasn’t impossible given your tenacity, but it would have been easier if you had scored 25 or 26 and if not for the partial differentiation question you missed and the Venn diagram you didn’t attempt you would have scored 28.
“I must study hard for my exams, you murmured”.
As you turned, you saw Martha, you saw her with a forlorn face, she had been the talk of the department the previous week, thanks to the rumour of her unhidden limerence for the musical Artiste that performed at the Mr and Miss OAU.
Martha had participated but didn’t win. She had given the contest her time, her energy, her body and every other thing, so she was dejected. Winning a beauty pageant was much more than beauty, alas! Not a lot of ladies knew this, becoming a superstar came with prizes, but it carried painful prices the hidden beneath the glitz.
You greeted her and she responded briskly, you asked how she was doing, a question you knew its answer. How would a lady who was mocked for her failure last week and saw 06 out of 30 in a five-unit course feel.
“I’m fine” she responded.
You asked if you could pay her a visit, or if you could hang out sometime, she gave a wry smile, and said ok. She asked for your number and you typed it on her iphone7, one of those men had bought it for her, you thought. When she asked you for your phone, you were too ashamed to show her your tattered techno W2, so you asked her to flash your line because you left your phone in the hostel, thank your stars your phone was on silence.

IV.
Martha had called you a week later , and you talked briefly, she sounded tipsy. She skirted around nothing and everything, she told you that she scored 10 over 30 in chemistry and needed tutorials. You could hear the loud Nicki Minaj and Cardi-B buzzling from a speaker and her friends calling her names to join the frenzy. You couldn’t fathom how people sat down to listen to musicians with such cuss words. You asked her to come around for a group study, but she said she wanted a personal one, so you said you’d call her back, alas you didn’t!

You ran into her on the first day of lecture free week, she was wearing the outfit you saw on her whatsapp status updates two weeks ago where she announced that she just had her make-up from house of rheevo, her nails from scenami and her outfit from house of Annie-oti. She told you she was going for a friend’s birthday party and promised to call you the next day.

The next day was at ODLT 1, you had heard someone screaming, “This one too has run mad o”
You looked up and what you saw, no! who you saw, It was Martha, she was pulling off her wig and shaking her head vigorously, you couldn’t believe your eyes. You dashed out of your seat to the front of the hall where they had dragged her. She had put her off her blouse and wanted to tear her pinafore. You put off your cardigan and covered her.

“She has been taken coffee and coke since morning” another lady said.
You carried Martha on your back and ran to health centre speaking in tongues as you ran……..

V.
Martha opened her eyes at few minutes past twelve the next day, Thank God the exams was four pm. She had sobbed in your arms, narrating her ordeal in the past few months.
She told you about how she partied, smoked, and did all sorts just to keep herself together.
One of the lecturers in her faculty had threatened her because she didn’t give in to his lasciviousness and assured her of failing his course when she got to part two.
She had lived off her body and her friends because no one would believe she was broke, thanks to her fame that rose magnificently after she won miss TESA.

You took her to her hostel, she changed, and you did a two hours rush revision before going for the exams.

Yesterday, you parted for part one holidays, you were grateful for your results as you made three 2 As and One B, the B coming in a three unit course while Martha managed a B and 2 Cs, it might have been a torrid tale if not for divine intervention. You can now apply for MTN scholarship and your twin sisters now have a chance of going to school. Martha gave you a warm hug, and whispered a silent “thank you” as you parted, they were the best words to describe the state of her heart

To be continued.

Afterword: I was almost not writing the “V” part, at some point I wanted the story to end terribly but unlike my friend Inioluwa Michael, I love stories with happy endings, however you can cut that part out and write your own imagination…Martha might have run mad permanently , and Chinedu would have lived in guilt, Martha might have missed the exams and have an extra year….. Today marks exactly six months that I left school and it saddened my heart that people ran mad while reading, a lot of factors might have caused this and I might just make this a series…while I think about that option, please reach out to everyone around you, tell them how much you care about them, a smiling face doesn’t automatically indicate a smiling heart. Show some love.

Do you want me to make this a series?
Leave a comment.

A titillating tour.

How we read 50books+ by Mid-year.

Toyin-Faleke.

I recently shared on my WhatsApp story about how I had read over 50 books just in the first half of 2018 and amidst all of the hailing about how my parents wanted a child and they gave birth to a book instead and how I was the ‘Omowe of Iwe Land’, one significant question was on the lips of everyone, “Babe, how on earth did you do it?”
Quite frankly, there was no jazz; neither was juju involved (trust me). I didn’t need to conjure incantations; neither did it require the head of a tortoise and the speed of a deer. For me, the very first step was being a book lover. I had always been fascinated by anything in prints since I was little. I mean, ANYTHING IN PRINTS; from magazines to newspapers to billboard advertisements, to my father’s Accounting textbooks (although, I still don’t understand all of the Accounting mumbo-jumbo. It confuses me), but yeah, you get the gist already. So, loving books and opening them up came easy.
Call me traditional, but I also was a sucker for hardcopy books any day. I love(d) the feel of a book in between my hands; the smell of the book so close to my face; the feeling of excitement as I flip(ped) the page, curious about what came next. My love for hardcopy books has died down to a large extent though (*insert crying face here*). The world has gone digital. Besides, as an Environmental enthusiast, it would make more sense to go softcopy than fell innocent trees to make beautiful books, right? (*insert grin here*). I joined a WhatsApp group early this year that was solely dedicated to the act of sharing books and I would say that has greatly enlarged my library of books; softcopy books at that, and it has helped a whole lot. So, people, not all WhatsApp pages are for broadcasting ‘send-this-to-7-people-and-receive-a-surprise-in-7mins’ messages – some are dedicated to a noble cause.
Answering the question of how I was able to read that not-so-many-books in such a short time, was basically the combination of loving books and having so many books to read (over 500 of them on my PC). Creating time to read those books wasn’t hard. In fact, I didn’t have to think about it or plan it into my schedule or anything. There was always time for a book, no matter how short it was or how busy I was. I read them in the bus (whilst looking up momentarily to check if the bus hasn’t driven passed my bus stop), I read them while waiting for my next lecture to begin, I read them when I am about to go to bed or basically, when I am less busy. See, it isn’t juju, is it? (*insert grin here again*).
I have had many people come up to me, lamenting about how reading books isn’t just their thing. I totally understand. But I am a hundred percent sure there is something that interests everyone. If yours is politics, begin with political books. If you are more inclined to read books on greatness or success, be my guest and start with those. Set a target if you have to. Say: One book per week or one per month. No rush. So, begin with books that catch your fancy before weaning yourself from them to delve into the hidden treasures of the other genres. I hope this inspires you in some way. Send this to 7 people and see what happens in 7 months (#wink)

Emmanuel Faith.

Toyin has said a larger percentage of things I would have said, and I decided to feature her because she was one of those who inspired me-as at my 39th book, she had read 50 already, so just a few additions.

Hilarious as it may sound, I didn’t start out with the agenda to read 50 books although I was supposed have finished reading 50 books by December according to Michael Inioluwa Oladele, so I would start by talking about your community. Who are your friends? Your close colleagues, classmates and what do you talk about? I can’t remember the last time I downloaded a book, I sometimes just check my WhatsApp folders and see that there are new books thanks to the groups I am , my friends and those on my contact list.

If you are a Lagosian-traffic is your best friend; I understand how frustrating traffic in Lagos can be, as a matter of fact I have taken a bike from V.I to Oshodi before then took another bike to Iyana-ipaja cause I wanted to beat traffic(Please don’t ask how much I spent) but as a Lagosian , you just have to factor in traffic into your schedule you cannot spend about three to four hours on the road daily and not be able to account for any, my secret? I plan each book I want to read, as a matter of fact I have finished a whole book inside a traffic before (it was a 235 page novel by dee Henderson) . This might not work for students, but trust me, everyone has a spare time, in between classes, before lecturer arrives etc. It’s the same way you find time to read James Hadley Chase, Sidney Sheldon and Mills and Boons, our heart is always at what we cherish, so why don’t you cherish what would add value to you?

************************************************************************
KAIZEN: Kaizen is a Japanese philosophy I came across recently while reading, it means continuous improvement in all things and so for the second half of the year, beyond reading, I plan to strategically read books that has to do with my career, area of interest and things I am passionate about, I hope you make such decisions too. The beautiful thing about reading is that you don’t really know how much you have learnt until a circumstance requires the knowledge you have acquired, or a situation requires a solution that you have read somewhere.
Etched in my memory is the day we had a foreign guest in our fellowship, she was the daughter of one our fellowship alumnus, who though was born in Nigeria, grew up abroad, spending time between the UK and US. She wanted to do a 12 weeks externship in an African hospital and chose Nigeria, her mother’s root in particular so her mum brought her to the fellowship for proper monitoring since she won’t be around with her. A lot of people found it hard to sustain a conversation with her thanks to her deep British cum American intonation so someone called me(if you know me, you’d know striking captivating conversation is a forte), to come and meet her since we were technically namesakes, so I gladly accepted the challenge(I had been admiring her from afar anyway) We started the conversation slowly and got steadily deeper, I asked her where in U.S she lived, she looked at me with all politeness and asked, Where do I know in the US,I asked her to try me, and she asked if I knew Connecticut. I replied with a hearty yes, told her Connecticut was one of the six New England states, that it shared border with Massachusetts by the North, Rhodes Island to the East and New York to the south, she was stunned!!!, she gave me a happy hi-five and we became friends immediately(we are still friends) . I learnt all I told her from John Grisham, Karen Kingsbury and Francine Rivers, I am certain you can witness to the fact that these authors explore different cities in their books. On our first hang-out, I told her about her school(She finished from Wellesley college) I told her about Chimamanda’s graduation speech and how their college MIGHT produce the first female US president, Hillary Clinton, she was in awe, and her respect and admiration for me increased exponentially, I learnt everything I told her from reading, there was no magic. If you take time to study intelligent around you, they are ardent readers, so won’t you love you join this league?
You might have to pick a reading partner, do a one book, one month thing, find a book club or any other method that works for you, but reading is one of the best activity you could embark on as it makes you rub mind with people you might ever meet…so keep reading, keep writing.
WITH LOVE FROM
TOYIN AND FAITH.

Toying Faleke is a final year student of the department of zoology, Obafemi Awolowo University,ile-ife. She is a lover of life, nature and literature.You can find her on IG @toyinfaleke where she weaves wonders with words.

Snap review.

Book is a magical thing that let you travel to far places without even leaving your chair.

In the early hours of Sunday morning, when the day had gone to bed and the moon was hovering around, I closed the 108th page of the book I was reading, it was my 50th book of the year. I have been thinking of writing a blog post, based on popular demand of my WhatsApp contacts, I have decided to do a very brief peek into my top ten books so far. Here we go!

OUTLIERS: Outlier is a master piece! The author Malcolm Gladwell, carefully navigates the pros and cons of fame and glory. With subtle style, he reveals the unnoticed yet pertinent ingredients of successful people, laying emphasis on key playing factors that contribute to the sterling records these achievers attain. Things like age, right people, right places, right opportunities are crucial to success. He also espoused on the popular 10,000 hours theory of master.

An intriguing chapter of the book was the chapter that enunciated on the rudiment of mathematics and why the Asian continent produces the smartest mathematicians and engineers in the world. The crux of the novel for me was the opening line of Chapter eight, No one can rise before dawn three hundred and sixty days a year and fail to make his family rich.

Outlier is an amazing book worth reading a hundred times.

Children of Blood and Bone: This book held my breath. In fact, I finished it in less than 24 hours (its about 576 pages). Tomi Adeyemi successfully weaved traditional and culture into a science fiction ,delivered it in a pulsating thriller and gave it to a publisher. The main character, Zelie is a typical heroine of any lover of literature as she combines variety of balanced character, displaying fearlessness, fieriness, brute and kindness at different point in time. From being the only survival of a minority yet very powerful tribe, to falling in love with the son of her family’s arch enemy, Zelie shows the faults and frailties of the powerful and paints a lucid picture of what heroes go through. When The author said she cried at some point when she was writing, I could connect because her words welled up my emotions . Children of Blood and Bones is a captivating classic any literature lover MUST read.

SALT: I read salt for the second time, this time more judiciously. Salt is a scintillating strand of beautiful words erupting into lovely layers of verses, chapters and prose. Each pages open you to a wide wild world of imaginations and encourages it to fly. The beauty of her poems are in their brevity as each word throws pulsating punches into your heart. A few of them are below:

Chemistry is
You touching my arm
And it setting fire in my heart.

If the ocean can calm itself,
So can you.
We are both salt and water
Mixed with air.

Salt is a worthy read for poets who intends to venture into short poems and for anyone who enjoys beautiful poetry.

NEXUS: I know a beautiful writer when I see one and I can unapologetically tell you that Leke Alder is an amazing writer. NEXUS is actually supposed to be business development and brand management manual, but the creativity the author displayed is worth awarding him the Caine’s Prize for fiction (I am not exaggerating). In Nexus, Leke Alder taught the rudiments of starting a business using a practical illustration of a guy who was treading on a blossoming but boring career path and wanted to venture into business. He falls in love with a gorgeous belle with accurate acumen for business and together, they prepare for the guy’s adventurous journey. NEXUS is a book I’d recommend for any entrepreneur especially owners of start-ups and SMEs.

INSTINCT: When your boss is a reader, you have to be. Instinct, A book by T.D jakes is an elucidating tour into your world. If you listen to, read or watch TD Jakes,, you would know He has a pristine pragmatic disposition to life. In INSTINCT, Jakes justifies the importance of listening to your inner mind, taking risk, breaking protocols and living life beyond minutes. A few of his nuggets are below.
Whenever what was, begins to fight what is, they both jeopardize what can be
A turtle and a giraffe can occupy the same space but they can never see in the same heights…….
Instinct is a book worth reading if you are ready to push yourself to the next level.

DESTINY: Destiny, a sequel to instinct is a continuation of a titillating tour started in instinct. Much can’t be said about this book unless you have read INSTINCT however that is a book worthy of investing your time in. Below are a few nuggets from the book

Success comes to those who get back up again and again because they are determined and unstoppable
Destiny has more to do with building character and internal fortitude than a particular skillset
Prioritization keeps me from allowing others to distract my attention from pursuing destiny… are you still contemplating reading the book? I am certain it would worth your time.

The Subtle art of not giving a f**k: Ok, so I Know this is really weird, as a matter of fact if someone tells me I would ever open the front page of this book three months ago, I would have shot the person but after a colleague I respect a lot recommended it, I had to satisfy my curiosity and it was a worthy adventure. In the book, Mark Mason paints a realistic rather brutal picture of the need to take TOTAL responsibility for our lives. He expatiates on how people have open down the drain because from blame game and how being accountable for our actions and inactions can move us closer to success. To read this book, you have to be non-sentimental as the author was very crude, sarcastic and unapologetic in His approach but the lessons embedded within a quite indelible.

I said These words; Kukogho Iruesiri Samson is a master of words, he is one of the very few people I know that thrives excellently well in fiction and poetry as he recently won the GTB dusty manuscript prize having won best written poet in Nigeria, Five times consecutively.. His second poetry collection “I said these words” is a balanced combination of poetry that addresses different spheres of life. Each section of the collection has an amazing intro that keeps you from kipping or skipping till you reach the zenith. Do you love poetry, good beautiful poetry, then kindly purchase the collection.

BINTI: That I would always prefer Tomi Adeyemi To Nnedi Okorafor doesn’t reduce or affect my admiration for Nnedi’s literary prowess. BINTI series is a perfect sci-fi. A complete blend of technology with culture and tradition. If are a big fan of avenger series and such related movies then please read BINTI. One of the Captivating characters of her character is the ability to balance great gait, grace and poise with fret worry and anxiety. Nnedi is a unique writer ad Binti is a living witness.

Seventeen Black and African Writers on Literature and Life: I don’t know why I love this book, maybe because it wa given to me by someone I love or because it was the 50th book reading this book exposed my mind to the essence of embracing our culture and tradition. It contains an interview with 17 sterling writers, of different breeds and genre sharing their view about culture and tradition. If you want to know what happened in, at and around FESTAC , Then you should stop by to read it.

It was quite difficult selecting a top ten as I read some really amazing books, rupi kaur’s poetry collection was unique, every day is for the thief by Teju cole, This is Lagos, The woman next door and many more. It is the first time I am reading 50 books within a 12 calendar month and I have to appreciate the following people for making thus possible: To start with, my appreciation goes to my mum who instilled in us the reading culture, my brother who is the best partner ever, Inioluwa Michael for raising the 50 books challenge on Facebook, To David McCoy who talked about OUTLIER on his WhatsApp stories, To my boss,Bidemi Daniel who trusted me with his most prized possession, His books, to Toyin Faleke who challenged me when I was about resting on my oars, to Bukunmi Ajani for her gift, to every member of Creative Writers Niche, my major supplier of literature books and to everyone on my WhatsApp contact list who requested I do a review.
I sincerely appreciate everyone who asked after my blog,I know I have promised and failed a thousand times, but I look forward to blogging at least once a month. Which of the following books have you read? Kindly share your experience. I would be looking forward to reading your comments
Have a wonderful week ahead.
Emmanuel Faith.