How are you doing? How are you truly doing?
Honestly, I wonder what answers we actually expect when we throw these questions out there into the universe. Wouldn’t it be rather interesting if people actually answered these questions?
Oh, and it’s a new month. Happy New Month! I am just super thankful because I am done with the first quarter of my internship!! Still a long way to go, but thankful still.
Did you read last week’s post? If you have not, then get over here! You just might need it (Or know someone who does).
I had always thought about including book reviews here, but I have been trying to streamline the purpose and content of this space, so it may or may not be a constant moving forward.
However, this book changed me.
This is not a hackneyed statement for me at all. I did not expect the depth of influence it would have on me.
Quick backstory; I just wanted to get Luvvie Ajayi’s ‘I’m Judging You’ because Roving Heights (the much loved book store) said it was the best book they had read this year but because I wanted to maximize my 750 Naira delivery charge, I randomly decided to buy some other books and I just added this book because I had heard the name ‘Chude Jideonwo’ from Mrs. Tara Fela-Durotoye, and she seemed to hold him in high regard, and I have a world of respect for that woman. Plus, this book was actually cheap, 1500 Naira!
Prior to purchasing this book, I had never heard about or seen this book, and thinking about that now makes me so angry! I literally kept on calling it ‘Chude Jideonwo’s book’ because I had no idea what the name was.
The last book I felt so deeply about was ‘There Was A Country’ by the ever-so-great Prof. Chinua Achebe, and it has taken me almost two years to feel those feelings again. It is quite funny how these books are by Nigerians about Nigeria for Nigerians (and the world at large).
Chude really comes off as one who tells as it is…honest, relatable and in-depth! Even after openly supporting the now President Buhari, Chude spoke out earlier this year to talk about his disappointment in the Presidency whom he supported vehemently during the 2015 Elections (Bear in mind that he handled the first tweet of Pres. Buhari as President and was offered a spot in his administration, which he declined). His portfolio is also pretty darn impressive, just Google him.
I agree with Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani’s commentary on this collection of essays;
‘Many Nigerians have created a hobby out of discussing and writing about their country’s issues. Chude belongs to that rare breed, who go beyond mere sound and insight provide unusual insight’.
So, let’s begin!
Chude brought to my consciousness the fact that as I said in this post, the average Nigerian can truly inspire and improve Nigeria as I explained in this post, but speedier, widespread change truly comes from the Government, for no other reason other than the fact that they have the budget, reach, weight, capacity and jurisdiction to effect progress or regression. That is the reality!
Government is the single, most important factor for change in a society- print that and paste that on your door if you really want to do something to change your country.
Chude Jideonwo (February, 2013)
For some reason, this was a hard pill for me to swallow until he helped bring me to the understanding that it isn’t a bad thing. If anything, when harnessed properly, it is a goldmine!
I remember when the Buhari- Jonathan ‘hustle’ was on-going, I was one of the ardent non-supporters of the now President Buhari, but I wanted to be disappointed. I really wanted my fears that we would have a rather tenuous government to be unsubstantiated, I really wanted to be wrong. Unfortunately, that has not happened.
We can’t just trust that this president has good intentions and knows what he is doing. He might have a different philosophy of leadership and willingness to think differently from his predecessors, but unfortunately, that cannot be enough.
Government doesn’t just have to work. It has to be seen working.
Chude Jideonwo (June, 2011)
The author truly makes us realize that a being a great leader in a certain sector does not automatically translate to good governance skills in all regions. Citing prodigious examples like Dora Akunyili and Nuhu Ribadu, he helps us understand that we should learn to ascertain the skill set of the people whom we expect to lead us.
One who is a remarkable pharmacist may not be an amazing lawyer, and there will be proof. We need to seek the pointers that will show us this, and quite judiciously too. Granted, we may not know these people largely but we still have to work with what we have, discover more and learn from history.
Is it really true that if we go our separate ways, we will be unable to be strong nations on our own? How many more people have to die before we re-assess this tenuous unity? Of what use is a unity that does not bind its people?
Is there really any brotherhood or sisterhood when you get to Nigeria’s core?… Are we able to overcome our mutual suspicions no matter how many high-minded words we speak?
In the task of rebuilding our nation, we cannot afford to have no-go areas. These questions have to be answered. Or more will yet die.
Chude Jideonwo (April. 2011)
I am the worst when it comes to ‘News’, I have no real idea what is going on in this country presently, but one thing I know is that the questions above are very valid with the IPOB- restructuring crusade right now, and we HAVE to answer them for transformation to occur.
Another somewhat difficult realization from these essays is the fact that ‘age’ is not the prime issue of our governance. Simply put, this is because ‘Nigeria will not be different because the ages in power suddenly changes; what matters is the age of their ideas and the strength of their character’.
Say what you want about our geriatric president, let’s not forget that Mr. Trump’s opposition did not focus on his age, because it really shouldn’t be the foremost issue. Phenomenal ideas are phenomenal ideas, no matter whom it comes from. Young or old, a great leader is a great leader!
Mr. Jideonwo also graciously gives us ‘A roadmap for incremental change’ citing 52 things we, the Y Generation, need to do (one for each week of the year, as he describes) to truly effect change, and I really, truly agree with him on these things. They may seem simple and some may even come off as inconsequential, but truly thinking about them selflessly and long-term, they will add up!
He argues that Nigeria certainly become fundamentally more progressive and hopeful since our advent of democracy in 1999 assuring us that hope is ever-present, a hope that looks beyond the disappointments and toward the possibilities, connecting with the reality of change as we keep putting one foot in front of the other.
I actually agree with him even though the majority of the world is moving at a much faster pace, we are moving forward too, and it’s imperative that we acknowledge- not necessarily revel in- this as we work to be infinitely better.
I decided to stop there because a continual would definitely make this review too long.
Ingenuous as I am about politics and its innards, this book struck a nerve. I definitely agree with most of his ideas and opinions, and a part of me actually wants him to officially become a politician. I also want him to write more books.
If you have slept on this book for as long as I did, please wake up and purchase it from Roving Heights. I got mine at 1500 Naira.
In true Chude Jideonwo fashion, I leave you with this…
GOD BLESS YOU.
GOD BLESS NIGERIA.
I am an ardent believer in Nigeria, and I believe you should be too.
Do you know Chude Jideonwo? Have you read any of his books or essays?
Do you really think that we, the millenials, Generation Y, can positively change Nigeria?
Do you actually think the Government can step up their game and serve us better?
Let’s know in the comments!
Thank you so much for reading!!
VENI, VIDI, AMAVI.
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