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In Don’t Quit, Uranta interrogates power of perseverance


Somi Uranta’s Don’t Quit offers a million reasons to remain consistent and focused. The book also inspires readers by citing classic cases of successful men and women who faced their fears.

One insightful thread that runs through Don’t Quit, an inspiring book by Somi Uranta, is perseverance. This recurring issue of persistence is intense and it confronts the reader early in the book. But by far, the most profound statement in the entire work is the author’s ability in bringing success to a touching distance with his unique style. Uranta, who writes and speaks principally to motivate, exhibits his passion in this book. He also re-enforces his interest in lifting and inspiring those who need a push to actualise their dreams.

This stimulating book, no doubt, gives credence to the author’s desire to stimulate and rouse persons who seek success and personal accomplishments. It also imbues in a reader, that infrequent spirit and drive to conquer new worlds, regardless of the challenges. But Don’t Quit is special in so many ways. Apart from drawing endlessly from a ceaseless pool of experiences of successful men and women across the globe who challenged their situations, the book also brings the humanity of these success stories to the fore. It draws attention to pitfalls and guards the reader against potential landmines on their way to success. It is definitely not your everyday book given its unconventional style, audacity, mobility and candor. These, no doubt, are the book’s major selling points.

It opens with a spontaneous and thought-provoking forward by Professor Jide Timothy Asobele of Department of European Languages, University of Lagos. Asobele, a prolific writer, polyglot and public intellectual, expresses delight over Uranta’s detailed research and perceptive writing. He insists that Don’t Quit is an extraordinary book, “an encyclopedia of select geniuses of the world who refused to take no from the gods of success.”

The scholar who describes the author as a patriot and academic evangelist says the book is apt, timely and a vindication of a sort. According to him, “having read from the very first page to the end of Uranta’s book, entitled, Don’t Quit, my heart leapt for joy that at last, the Nigerian education of heart is afoot. Why joy? The reasons are legion for every Monday morning, for the past 20 years or so, I have observed that some University of Lagos youth from different faculties troop to the blackboard of a senior lecturer in Yoruba Literature of the Department of Asian and African Languages to read the many ‘quotable quotes’ from world leaders from all walks of life; be it in the academia, literature, science, psychology, philosophy, languages and what have you. This desire by a handful of our youth to be educated and emulate world opinion leaders shows that there is hope for an education renaissance for the black and African people of the world.”

Don’t Quit is, therefore, a total book and it continues to enjoy rave reviews in many quarters. It draws extensively from people, places and experiences. But it is also a book of uncommon features. It shows the power of perseverance and also points to the unusual strength deposited in every human being. This bold effort in documenting the exceptional lives of men and women, who chose success as the only option even in the face of obstacles, is salutary.

The author’s subjects, drawn virtually from all spheres of life, have in common, success as a binding force. One after the other, he presents the moving stories of these top ‘failures’ that refused to give up. He also takes the reader into the secret lives of different generations of people who dared to be different in their earthly journeys.

These larger-than-life characters range from renowned world leaders like Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, Napoleon Bonaparte and Nelson Mandela to celebrated scientists and inventors like Thomas Alva Edison, Soichiro Honda, Philip Emeagwali, Charles Goodyear, Ralp Waldo Emerson and Dr. Washington Carver, among others.

For good measure, Uranta, who writes from the heart without encumbrances, relates and engenders interpretative nuances, essentially to aid connection, identification and understanding. His presentation format and planning also appear informal and unusual, may be for easy reading and appreciation and he seems to have achieved this objective. He quotes copiously and lavishly too, from other famous achievers who were accomplished writers, poets, publishers, evangelists, military strategists, warriors, philosophers, psychologists, playwrights and explorers who touched lives in many ways. And it is evident that his aim, essentially, is to inspire his reader with every page.

Another interesting aspect of the book is the big dose of nationalism that flows from the author’s pen. He brings success home by his extravagant reference and admiration of Nigeria’s achievers like, Philip Emeagwali, the country’s brilliant and award-wining scientist on the world stage; the late elder statesman, Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Dr. Cosmas Maduka, Dr. Mike Adenuga and Mr. Erastus Akinbola, business gurus par excellence and great men who turned their trial to triumph.

Nonetheless, one issue that is incontestable is that no one reads Don’t Quit without taking his or her knowledge up the notch.This is largely due to the array of materials and information that confront the reader every inch of the way. The book is therefore suitable for everybody: age, sex, creed and educational status notwithstanding.

However, the book, though in a class by itself, would have gained more ground if the author had dwelt more on African examples. Except for other unknown reasons, the constant reference to successes in the Western world leaves much to be desired. Therefore, the author, in subsequent editions, should feature more African examples of success and achievers because they abound. After all, charity, they say, begins at home!

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Don’t QuitSomi Uranta
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