The title of Jennifer Ehidiamen’s new book, coauthored with the mesmeric Funso Bukoye is a sublime poetic treatise that accurately portrays the general and current conditions that young people in Nigeria and around the world find themselves in. Indeed, our challenges are not different across borders as some of us are born without a loaf – no cash, no connections; while some of us with half-a-loaf – little cash and regular connections; and the rest with a bakery – blessed from birth with abundant cash and connections.
The book thus represents a stretched out hand of hope from a big cousin in youth development strategies to those who like she did, will be starting out with half-a-loaf, or none. The word is that formal education alone may not cut it for you, just as talent without diligence in application may not help either; the keywords there being ‘alone’ and ‘without’. Jennifer also reaches out to those of us with a bakery by showing how prudence in personal and resource application can help build a secure future for ourselves and our generation.
The ultimate aim for the ‘have-nots’ of our society today will be to start small and build institutions that would feed our generation. The goal for those with bakeries already (our successful business owners, multinationals and politicians) would be to invest wisely and seek to empower more people in strategic areas of our country’s economic development. Either way, the book offers useful instruction for everybody.
Some questions the book addresses within its pages are:
- What should going through school actually teach you?
- How do I juggle my passion and career?
- Do I really need money to start?
- Can I thrive without starting my own business or NGO?
I always pick ‘epic’ quotes from every book I read or review, and I found many here that tingled, and inspire every time I read them. Here are some of them:
“Just as there is poverty in a Nigerian village, so there is on London streets; only in shades do they differ.”
“Our failures are often due to oversight, not lack of opportunity.”
“Your employability is your job security, not the job itself.”
“From simple ideas to complex theories, you must be creative, diligent and assertive in your approach to communicating what you are ‘selling’.”
I hope you enjoy each section of the book and most importantly take away the valuable lessons it offers.