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Literature

How curiosity helps quest for knowledge

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Book Title: In the Curious City

Author: Stephen Erutor-Pat

Pagination: 72

Publisher: CoachInFocus Resource Planet

Year of publication: 2016

Reviewer: Tony Okuyeme

 

“The greatest invention in the world”, notes American inventor and businessman, Thomas Edison, “is the mind of a child and every mind is born with the instinct of curiosity.”

Also, renowned German-born theoretical physicist, Albert Einstein, notes that “Curiosity has its own reason for existing. The important thing is not to stop questioning.”

This is the focus of book written by Stephen Erutor-Pat and curiously titled In the Curious City. This 72-page book published under the Motivated & Driven Series, the author notes, “is a summer when every young mind should explore the world”, stressing that …“In the Curious City… wisdom begins in Wonder.”

He however added that “Answers only change the world when the right questions are asked.” Divided into six chapters with an introduction, this ‘larger than its frame’ work is a must read for anyone eager to explore or question everything for the advancement of knowledge and discovery.

In the introduction, the author presents his thoughts, and tells of the inspiring power of a girl who is trapped in her father’s house, situated in the middle of a thick forest and was firmly secured every night with a heavy stone, such that no one could neither come in nor go out. But curious leads her to know new things, to meet great people, and opened her to exciting world of opportunities.

Chapter one titled “The Curious Cat”, the author provides different definitions of ‘Curiosity. Quoting from Wikipedia, he states: “Curiosity is a quality related to inquisitive thinking such as exploration, investigation, and learning, evident by observation in human and many animal species…”

On his part, he defines curiosity as “the quest for new ideas and information, a strong desire to question things until understood. It is a hunger to explore and delight in discovery.” According to him, “when we are curious, we approach the world with a child-like habit of poking and prodding and asking questions. We are attracted to new experiences. Rather than pursuing an agenda or a desired set of answers, we follow our question where they lead.

“And the exciting thing is that you do not need all the answers at once, you just need to get one answer after another, satisfy one curiosity after another and you are well on your way to fascinating discoveries.”

In this 21st century…, Africa, he says, is in dire need of deep thinkers, people who will go after knowledge with a club, stressing that “power goes to the continent or country that has greater knowledge. This is also true of individuals. This is why countries like America, Japan, China, India, the UK, and so many others are powerful.”   

Chapter two, as the title suggests, focuses on “What Curiosity Does To You”.  According to the author, curiosity promotes intelligence, awakens the mind to new ideas, perspectives, as well as makes one more positive among other things.

In Chapter three, the author urges the reader “Explore: Question Everything”, and never quit until you have satisfied your curiosity.  In this chapter, the author also writes on the power of observation, highlighting the contributions the contributions of the Wright Brothers, Isaac Newton to science and knowledge.

Chapter four is titled “Discovering Your Spark; Burn Up Some Curiosity”. Here he opens with a quote by James Stephens and Dorothy Parker, which states respectively that: “Curiosity will conquer far more than bravery will”; and that “The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.”

He however notes that you must believe in yourself, stressing that “until you are successful inside, you cannot be successful on the outside. And that is why wealth is not defined by what a man has physically but by the quality of his thoughts. This is why this book is written, to help you see yourself and the world differently.

In this chapter, the author also offers insight into how to develop a questioning mind. These include acknowledge that you don’t know; seek to clarify thoughts; learn how to listen; and mingle with those who know more than you.

“The Lead of Curiosity: What Education Really Is” is the title of chapter five, while the “Epilogue: Impression is never the goal is the focus of chapter six. How to develop your curiosity; replace fear of the unknown with curiosity; write, put your thoughts and ideas on paper; be tolerant and admit when you are wrong; become an expert in something; learn to learn and do; and don’t take things for granted are some the areas the ways to develop your curiosity, according to the author.

How the author has managed to say so much in this small book is no doubt, ‘curious’.  This is a compelling and inspiring book.

Stephen Erutor-Pat is the founder and president of SoarSTARS Club, an NGO with a mission to bring out the best in every young star.

He is a passionate motivational speaker, a writer and a strong believer in the Great New Nigeria. He strongly believes in change and that Nigeria will lead the world if her youths (her future) can but rise up, sharpen their skills, develop their talents and pursue knowledge with a club.

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Literature

Entrepreneurship, innovation as panacea for unemployment

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Book title: How They Started: Innovative Nigerian Brands
Author: Kachi Ogbonna
Publisher: MiH Consulting Limited, Lagos
Year of publication: 2016
Pages: 252
Reviewer: Adejoro Cornelius

 

Every government in Nigeria in the past few decades have had to battle with the challenge of unemployment without much evidence of success yet. In fact it is safe to say that of all the challenges that are facing Nigeria as a country today unemployment is top on the list. Governments at various levels, private establishments as well as individuals have adopted different approaches as a remedy to this. Kachi Ogbonna’s approach is somewhat different. For him, not only is entrepreneurship the solution to unemployment, he also argues that Nigeria is the best place to start and run a successful business in the world. This, obviously, is contrary to the general opinion that businesses cannot thrive in a place like Nigeria. His book, ‘How They Started’ is therefore a detailed research which presents an empirical proof that it has been done successfully in Nigeria before and that it can be repeated even now. The author is an entrepreneurship consultant. He has established different businesses and today helps many universities to develop an entrepreneurial mindset in their students. He is also committed to helping startups grow.
The author argues that the solution to graduate unemployment in Nigeria is not rocket science. He maintains that it is first of all a matter of mindset and orientation. He maintains that if the young people can look inwards to discover the latent potentials within them and attempt to match them with the various problems they see in their surroundings with the aim of offering solutions and adding value, they would have succeeded in creating businesses with or without government’s special support.
In showing how Nigeria has always been a land of great opportunities, the author traced businesses that started as far back as the immediate post-independence era and still waxing strong today, down to those that were launched in 2012 and have grown to become multinationals in less than four years. The author’s ability to group the 25 brands featured into sectors (eight sectors in all) shows that opportunities abound in almost every sector of the Nigerian economy.
It is probably just a coincidence that this book was released at roughly the same time that Nigeria is passing through what can be described as the biggest economic decline since independence. The price of crude oil has fallen in the international market, the Nigerian currency the naira has depreciated significantly in value, investors are leaving, companies are retrenching with reckless abandon and with the obvious need to diversify the economy and also reduce importation, I am forced to say that if government and those that run our universities are serious about ending graduate unemployment then they must find a way to liaise with Nigerians in the mold of the author of this book and also adopt it as a practical entrepreneurship manual for building entrepreneurial universities.
It is difficult not to commend the author’s liberality and unbiased selection of the featured brands. However, the more he attempts to lay down the criteria for the selection the more we are forced to ask whether they are the only 25 brands that met those criteria. Yet, it is impossible for me not to recommend this book to all entrepreneurs, aspiring entrepreneurs and indeed everyone that seeks to contribute in growing the nation’s economy through entrepreneurship. Let me also add that every undergraduate deserves to have a copy of this book before leaving the four walls of university.

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Literature

TMTR Training Room launches in Lagos, holds maiden workshop

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The TMTR Training Room, a skills-based, practice-led certificate-awarding institute on Saturday commenced operations with a training programme for select journalists drawn from the print, broadcast and online platforms on Saturday, February 10, 2018. It is run by Toni Kan and Peju Akande.
The programme focused primarily on equipping the participants with tools and insights to better understand the Cybercrimes Prohibition Act 2015 and how it affects their practice especially with the imminent 2019 elections.
The institute was conceived in January 2015 with the mission to evolve a teaching culture that will help train and empower practitioners who will change the creative industry for good by upholding the highest ethical and professional standards.
The inaugural programme also focused on the Fake News phenomenon that has taken the world by storm no thanks to the democratisation of access to the internet and the rise of social media. The programme provided insights to the legal pitfalls bedevilling the modern day journalist working at a time when the internet has enabled the emergence and growth of citizen journalists.
Facilitators included Peter Okwoche of the BBC, award winning writer Kaine Agary who is also co- founder of Takkai as well as Toni Kan Onwordi, award winning writer and PR maven.
A statement from TMTR said the institute hopes to provide their students with a space for learning new and enhancing old skills.
“Using a practical case study and scenario painting approach, students will interact with practitioners from whom they will gain new insights, learn new skills and discover new tools to navigate new landscapes.”

The vision of the founders is to become the training centre of choice and a reference point for the knowledge worker in Nigeria and ultimately across the world.

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Literature

Jos Festival of Theatre: Mu’Adhin’s Call, Renovation go on stage

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The stage is set for the 11th Jos Festival of Theatre which will open in Jos, Plateau State.
The Festival of Theatre has, over the last decade, become a nurturing ground for Nigerian artists to showcase their talents and creativity through a Nigerian and international repertory. The 2018 festival under the theme “Creative expression in a time of Hope”, which opens on March 4 and end on Friday March 9, will feature exhilarating plays as well as a variety of workshops for the artistic community, Jos Repertory Theatre (JRT), the organisers of the festival stated.
According to the statement, the classes in acting, dance, basic film production, and arts management will hold during the day with the theatrical performances taking place in the evenings.
“The Jos Festival’s plays will present poignant messages concerning migrants, marriage, politics, revolt, and the abuse of power over the week of performances. The workshops will include facilitators from Lagos, Kaduna, Kano and Jos.”
The 2018 edition is also showcasing the directing skills of five new directors – Osasogie Efe Guobadia, Ebuka Ifebunso, Seyi Babalola, Sunny Adahson and Akolo James Anthony who will be directing the musical Brother Joachim’s Vocation which he wrote. He previously wrote two plays, A Toast of Triumph and Late Pam which have premiered at the festival. Among the other plays that will be featured this year are two American classics, Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge and August Wilson’s Radio Golf. The Spanish contribution to the festival is Lope de Vega’s Fuenteovejuna a true life story on events in the little Spanish city of Fuenteovejuna with an overbearing leader who faced revolt by the townspeople who eventually kill him on the night of a celebrated wedding in the city. The Spanish classic is being performed in English by local actors. Arthur Miller’s A View From The Bridge is being directed by Patrick-Jude Oteh.
Ahmed Yerima’s play on power, politics and betrayal, Mu’Adhin’s Call, will be performed alongside Sefi Atta’s Renovation which will be used to celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8th. Sefi Atta will make her second appearance at the festival after the premiere of her play Last Stand at the 9th Jos Festival of Theatre 2015.
The festival receives ongoing support from the U.S. Mission Nigeria in addition to an array of local and international supporters such as Grand Cereals Limited, the International Performer’s Aid Trust, and the Jos Business School.

The pre-festival play of the 2018 festival which will be performed on February 25th 2018 is August Wilson’s award winning play Fences which was the star feature at the 2017 Oscars awards. The play which deals with the domestic life of Troy Maxson, is set in 1950’s America when there was a new spirit of liberation but a liberation which makes Troy a stranger with an anger and a fear in a world that he never knew pitching him against his wife and his son whom he understands less with each passing day.

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