One of Nigeria’s most famous Lifestyle journalists, Lanre Alfred, has published a new book Nigeria @ 60: Foremost Nigerians in the Last 60 Years. It is a compendium that most of us should buy because it is loaded. The book is dedicated to The Spirit of Africa, Dr Michael Adeniyi Agbolade Isola Adenuga.
Why did you dedicate the book to the chairman of Globacom, Dr. Mike Adenuga? I asked Lanre. He replied
“The story behind my decision is quite interesting. I have always followed his giant strides in the business world. After examining him carefully, the impact of his business on the lives of Nigerians and Africans, in general, it was hard to pick anyone ahead of him. So, the book is especially dedicated to the man popularly called ‘The Bull’ as a homage to his humanity and relentless strides at rewriting the African business narrative; for standing tall and wading through odds with the courage of a knight and confidence of a champion. In a land dogged by human and infrastructural lapses, Dr. Adenuga’s humanity and entrepreneurial ingenuity nourishes the glands of kith and kin even as his genius oils the wheels of industry. What you would also find intriguing is that, unlike the proverbial warrior who lives to chant the poetry of his own deeds and derring-do, Dr. Adenuga remains impressively humble and immune to conceit, treading a rare path to acclaim. He attracts honour in torrents, at home and abroad. And I am happy to dedicate the book to him because his exploits continually resonate as an undying tribute to mankind’s better nature. Dr. Adenuga emerged as a worthy recipient of such honour because his deeds and recurring success establish him as a man who challenged resolve with steely grit, and exploited the arduous planes of ambition and toil, till he encountered grandeur at the crossroads, where wild contemplation and hard work morph into triumph. And interestingly, amid the ravages of the coronavirus, the widespread gloom and apprehensions of citizenry and industries caught on the receiving end of the pandemic, Adenuga has raised hopes and planted joy in the bosoms of Nigerians. His huge donations to the Federal Government and several state governments have been instrumental to the partial containment of the virus. These are no doubt the hallmarks of a selfless man and patriot, and are thus, worthy of being celebrated.”
What inspired the book, Nigeria @ 60: Foremost Nigerians of the Last 60 Years?
“If you examine my career over the past two decades, you will discover that I have specialised and excelled, to God be the glory, in chronicling people and events. Being a widely travelled journalist has also opened my eyes to the fact that our job as reporters does not start and end on the pages of our medium. So, a few years ago, I wrote my first book; a coffee table book called, Lifestyle of the Rich and Famous. It was very well-accepted, and it spurred me on to other book-writing ventures. In 2017, I published, The Titans (The Amazing Exploits of Nigeria’s Greatest Achievers), and I was also widely applauded for it. But this latest effort attempts to fill a gap in our national history – the lack of books on some of our past and present heroes. Whether we want to believe it or not, Nigeria is a nation that is guilty of not keeping data, which has, over the years, led to the distortion of her history. Many of those who came before us, despite all their monumental talents and achievements, refused to pass on to us lessons that can guide us as we navigate through the labyrinth of life. Our generation is the poorer for it because many do not have a sense of where they are coming from or where they are headed. So, what this book has done is to spotlight and profile extensively those who have contributed to the development of this nation in their different fields of endeavour.”
I strongly commend this latest book by Lanre Alfred to all followers of Nigerian history and development and indeed to avid readers of fine prose and literature. It is a book that takes you on a scintillating voyage into the lives and times of Nigeria’s greatest figures and the shaping of the country’s destiny before things unravelled afterwards. The book is a compelling read!