A book review by Olutola Daramola
We Live These Lives, published by The Female Professionals’ Book Club, and edited by Ezinne Ibe and Ngozi Onyesom, captures the thought-provoking stories of 20 African Professional Women making waves in their different professions. This real, captivating, inspiring and all-encompassing book will make curious minds keep flipping the pages until their curiosity is satisfied.
The book, whose front and back covers come in colours synonymous with the female gender – pink and lilac – contains 231 pages divided into six parts. The Blurb was written by Professor Olufunke E. Davies, Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Ibadan.
There is no ambiguity in the use of language, it was written in simple English. It is equally important to mention that the rich cultures and traditions of the Yoruba and Igbo people of Nigeria were accentuated.
The power of women coming together topursue value-based objectives and goals thatwould better their lot and for posterity cannot be over-emphasized. An excerpt from page 2, paragraph 3 confirms this “…to debunk the objectionable assertions against women. Women are best pals when a common interest binds them together. Strong supportive sisterhood has always existed, and many women have benefited from that system”. According to a study by Forbes Magazine, nations that had women leaders outperformed others in combating the coronavirus pandemic.
“We Live These Lives” contains stories of women who chose to dream, dare and challenge the status quo. Their stories encourage women not to see their male counterparts as rivals or enemies of progress but as healthy competitors.
The impact of the home, especially the mother on children is very important. Many of the authors made reference to the roles played by their mothers in shaping their lives. Modern-day mothers have so much to learn, particularly on how to raise successful children.
Some important values which women should imbibe include; discipline, hard work, resilience, team spirit and a never give up attitude.
On the journey to success, it is pertinent for women to start early and keep at it. This is against the background of home, societal, workplace, religious and other stereotypes set for women. The notion that women should be seen and not heard and that there is a bar that women should not cross was disabused in this eye-opening book. In essence, women should not only be at the home front but at the forefront.
Finding a mentor is key to achieving your life goals, be humble enough to accept mentoring.
Identifying like minds and forming alliances with such people is critical. Women supporting Women groups like The Female Professionals’ Book Club have immense benefitsunlikethe “egbe ki l’oko o se” ( selfish, self-centred female groups with no regard for societal norms) kind of groups which are of no significant impact on one’s journey of discovery. Sisterhood Networks and Associations such as the TFP Book Club add great value to womanhood by giving expression to dreams and seeing them become reality. This group has proven to be a great support system for members who cut across continents.
Just as there is no perfect publication, the book under review has errors but very minimal. The names Obajimi and Malomo were wrongly spelt on page 39.
To cap it up, the book gave prominence to the God Factor. All these achievers acknowledged the almightiness of God in what they had become. These are stories of women who are unashamed to identify with the Lord Jesus Christ. Indeed, True Sisterhood caters for the physical, emotional, educational, career and spiritual needs of women.
Pages 213 to 219 which contain the biographies of these women, give us a peep into their diverse backgrounds.
“We Live These Lives” is a book which I would describe as timeless and is therefore recommended to everyone, not only the women folk.
Grab your copy now.
Olutola Daramola is a Broadcast Journalist with the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN). She has a Masters degree in Peace Building and Development and belongs to the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), and The Society for Peace Studies and Practice (SPSP). She is married and blessed with a wonderful family.