Title: Even With Talent
Author: Chinyere Obi-Obasi
Reviewer: Uzor Maxim Uzoatu
Publisher: Grower Literature
Every person has a talent. The task is to discover the talent and fulfill it. Going the distance can be very hard, whether doing a one-hundred-meter sprint or running a marathon. The discipline required to make a success of life is a tough call. Chinyere Obi-Obasi, a celebrated finalist of the NLNG Nigeria Prize for literature, has in her new book, Even With Talent, produced a handy treatise on how to discover one’s talent and the progressive steps to be taken towards making a success of life.
The book comes highly recommended by successful Nigerians such as Nigeria’s king of stand-up comedy, Ali Baba Atunyota Akpobome, and the former National President of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), Dr. Wale Okediran, who wrote the two forewords for the book.
Ali Baba lauds the author thus: “Chinyere, you just wrote your name in the corridors of life’s journey to success and generations after you will be blessed by this, your singular effort.” According to the prolific novelist Dr. Okediran, “In writing the book, Chinyere Obi-Obasi who in her own right is a multi-talented individual, enriched the book by spicing it with her own personal experiences in addition to that of several other world class icons such as Wole Soyinka, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Maya Angelou, Ali Baba among others. By so doing, the author has produced a book which will be enjoyed by the inquisitive reader as well as scholars and those wanting to hone their talents.”
Even With Talent comes in 13 seamless chapters, starting out by tackling the question of what talent is, as Chinyere Obi-Obasi pens: “It is difficult to define what talent is, but I would approximate it as a special ability we were born with; something in our genetic, neurological, or physical structure that stands us out from everybody else.”
The subsequent chapters deal with the burden of thinking that one is multi-talented, how to discover one’s talent, the issues of women and talent and children and talent, the controversy over talent or skill, the demands of passion and hard work, talent enhancements, tutelage and mentoring, obstacles to talent development, the next level of new heights to conquer, great wealth-building principles, and interviews with remarkable achievers across the board of engagements.
Mrs. Obi-Obasi, a want-away barrister-at-law who once worked as a banker, offers frontal advice without any ambiguities as follows: “For the group of people who think they are multitalented, I advise that they analyse each of these gifts they think they posses to know where they exhibit the most strength.” She asserts: “There is no talent when nurtured that cannot earn you fulfillment, money, admiration, and fame.” For her fellow women, she offers the need to “get a job that is not time consuming.” She states that “it is not right for parents to impose their will on their children. Children must be allowed to express themselves naturally.”
There is no denying the fact that “passion fuels talent.” She cites the billionaire Warren Buffet who “spent hours every day, for many years, studying financial statements of potential investments.” The importance of can-do spirit and willpower, self-discipline, values, sacrifice, meticulous planning, time management, specialisation etc cannot be over-emphasized.
The author’s account of how she “became a Master of Ceremony (MC) and comedian” by accident is quite enlightening.
To ensure that “the book is not just theory” Mrs. Obi-Obasi undertakes interviews with real people who achieved success in diverse fields such as journalism, banking, farming, creative writing, medicine, communications, administration, diplomacy, literary criticism, publishing, painting, filmmaking, web designing etc.
One of the featured interviewees, the fine artist Juliet Ezenwa Maja-Pearce, wife of the writer Adewale Maja-Pearce, informs: “Since graduation in 1990, I have been a fulltime studio artist. Being a multitalented visual artist, I have produced works in diverse media. From water colours to oils and acrylic on canvas, pastels, gouache, mixed media, ceramic-sculptures, print-making and recently collage and installations. Right now I am deep in the experimental phase of my work.” On how she manages to cope as a wife and artist, she says: “I apply effective time management and I burn the midnight candle.”
This book is very necessary especially at this time that white collar jobs are hard to come by. All readers of Even With Talent will be empowered to take the bold step of making their own marks, and taking their destinies in their hands.
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