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Shifting Anchors… and missing link in mentorship, leadership development

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216 paged book, Shifting Anchors: Changing the Nation… One child at a time, written by highly resourceful Dapo Akande

Author: Dapo Akande
Publisher: Grace Springs Africa
Reviewer: Dare Folarin

The 216 paged book, Shifting Anchors: Changing the Nation… One child at a time, written by highly resourceful Dapo Akande is a wake-up call to all slumbering parents to arise and play the vital role of mentoring and developing the next generation for leadership.

Dapo, in the book, opines that parents are not giving due attention to the role of mentoring in the development of the country.

In what could be referred to as 34-chapter structure, Dapo marshals his points under various rubrics to bring the message home in a graphic manner. The chapters offer the author the leeway to give valuable insights on germane issues.

For instance, some of the chapters are imperatives and call for action. Few examples will suffice: Discipline, The Missing ingredient, When Leaders follow, Time to Tweak Our Mindset and Itiju- A sense of shame. These chapters give great insights and strategies to how we can turn leaders of tomorrow to world champions.

The foreword by Emeritus Professor Michael Omolewa is an added treasure to the book as readers have wonderful comments from the international educationist. Professor Omolewa submits inter alia that “the book makes a bold attempt to embark on a winding journey of identifying issues of leadership deficit, educational frustrations, character flaws, and the exploration of social injustice, adult delinquency and the abuse of the law by those employed to uphold the law.”

This is in sync with Akande’s advocacy for integrity rather than rabid criticisms and examples rather than precepts.

The simple nature of the language deployed by the author makes the book very accessible to all. His use of practical examples reinforces the message in an impactful manner. The inclusion of pidgin words and expressions like ‘oyinbo’ and ‘at all, at all na im no good’ give the book its zing.

Yes, we need a nudge to make our country better and we also need to obey the biblical injunction to let all men know your forbearance. We need a nudge to call corruption and fraud by no other names. We should shame and name criminals. In “Itiju, sense of shame” the author advocates contentment whereby we do not over-do things and subsequently commit suicide. Another chapter, aptly titled, “when silence is not golden”, closely follows this.

The book ends with a chapter titled, “For we are Nigerians” in which Dapo desires a change in the narrative submitting “ we need to ask ourselves, who is the Nigerian?

But the book did not just end abruptly as the reader is offered a page titled “Parting words” in which the author recaps his message in accordance with the Aristotelian writing regimen, tell them what you are going to tell them.

Dapo submits, “every parent owes the nation a duty to bring his or her child up well, by inculcating them with the right values. We Yoruba will call such a child, “Omoluabi”…But first, you must lead in the way you would want to led”.

Reading through the book reminds me vividly of some of Dapo’s articles published in Businessday. No doubt, Dapo is a worthy patriot irrevocably committed to our emancipation from all shackles, real and imagined.

All said, I commend the book to all patriots interested in bequeathing a Nigeria of their dreams to the next generation of leaders. A Nigeria where no man will be oppressed and everybody can aspire to any level of prominence and excellence.


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