When popular comedian, Julius Agwu, published his first book titled Jokes Apart, a few years ago – just before his ‘ill-fated’ adventure into Nigeria’s rugged and unpredictable political terrain – not many people believed that other artistes would follow in his footsteps. But they were proved wrong a couple of weeks ago when Teju Babyface (real name Olateju Oyelakin) and award-winning singer, Kenny St. Best, presented their new books to the public in Lagos.
Just as the title implies, Teju’s Secrets of the Streets: 23 Secrets for Achieving Success with talent is specifically written as a guide for young people across Africa, who are itching to carve a niche for themselves in their chosen professions.
The author finds it convenient to state clearly in the book that comedy did not happen to him by chance; it was the product of a careful decision. “I stumbled into comedy as a means of making some extra money while in school, so I wouldn’t starve,” he announces.
Teju’s narrative continues with a whiff of personal regret, first, for allowing himself to be driven by the need for subsistence to make comedy his choice of career and, second, for neglecting, through sheer short-sightedness, his real calling, which is film acting.
To those who still feel that he should have chosen that path, the comedian explains that, no matter how much he tried, the “doors to acting” simply refused to open and let him in. Here, expressions, such as “low-hanging fruit” and “viable option,” assume a different dimension and a deeper meaning that says a lot about the degree of desperation that drives many young Africans into making hasty decisions about their future, especially in these tough times.
The author’s advice to youths aspiring to greatness highlights the need to overcome insecurity, that old worm that feeds on needless fear, especially the fear of the unknown, among others, is instructive. His bag of secrets, too deep for a young man of his age, is certainly inexhaustible, .
On the other hand, with the presentation of her new book entitled Stop! Turn it Around and her unexpected foray into the ‘unusual’ world of motivational writing, Kenny St. Best has distinguished herself as a woman of many parts. Apart from music, which is her forte, she is a motivational speaker and a pastor. Three years ago, she temporarily abandoned the glitz and glamour of show business for a brief romance with politics. Now she looks almost certain to embrace writing as a full time vocation.
The author was inspired by a need to motivate millions of Nigerians who, at one time or another, might have suffered a setback in their lives and, as a result, lost the will to keep pushing till they attain their desired goals.
“My new book is not for those who haven’t tasted defeat in their lives. It is for those who have suffered setbacks in any way. It does not matter if they had financial, emotional, marital, even health setbacks; my motive is primarily to encourage such people to pick up the broken pieces of their lives and to move on again.
“There are many people in this country who have lost the will to keep struggling for survival. My book is for this class of people. Apart from helping them to get back on their feet, it will also equip them with the right strategies and tools for a successful recovery,” she says.
Nevertheless, the singer owes this fresh and exhilarating encounter with the Muse to a Lagos-based music promoter and entrepreneur, Dr. Ope Banwo, who had encouraged her to write the book. For her, the bigger picture is helping the average Nigerian to survive the crippling effects of corruption and the ongoing economic recession in the country.
“A lot of people may be contemplating suicide right now because they can no longer cope with the hard times. Some have committed suicide because they couldn’t see any solution to their problems,” she says.