God bless the great writers who write great stories and keep human history & heritage alive! – Tomiwa Olasiyan (2015)
My biggest inspiration from a book came from one of the very first books I read during my years of rapid development. My years of rapid inspirational development is between 2008-2010. Those 3 years are very important to my growth as an intellectual being. I discovered myself during those years, my knack for reading, researching and writing became clearly known to me.
The book that inspired me the most was ‘Kaduna Boy’, written by Chief Bola Ige, a former governor of old Oyo state (between 1979-1983) and also formerly Minister of justice & attorney general of the Nigerian federation. Chief Bola Ige (or Uncle Bola as he was fondly called by close friends and relatives) is a legend in Nigerian politics, a legal colossus and man of the people who got love and support from both the young and old. I could liken Chief Bola Ige to my greatest role model, Pa Obafemi Awolowo. The only difference being that Awo achieved more in National politics then Uncle Bola.
Kaduna Boy by Bola Ige is a chronicle of the man’s early days, background and growing up in the northern part of Nigeria (in Kaduna) though being a yoruba boy of south western origin. How he moved back to South west to attend high schools in Ibadan and Osun state and his travails as a poor kid in an emerging country like Nigeria. How he rose to prominence from local politics to achieving great success in the legal field and becoming a Senior Advocate of Nigeria. Also his politics with Nigeria’s foremost political party, Alliance for Democracy.
Reading Kaduna boy in 2008 after my high school graduation & I was at home seeking uni admission, I was influenced as I saw everything I was passing through in my life in the book. The man had seen it all and survived. More importantly, the man now achieved excellence in the legal field, and I was already trying to study law! He even became a successful politician. Chief Bola was like everything I have been & all I wanted to be! I just saw a reflection of me in that book and that was why it had such effect on me.
I read a lot between 2008-2010. Oh I read so many books I can’t count. They were too many. I would love to credit my elder sister, Nike now for introducing me to reading books. We don’t know what we have when we have intellectual people around us, they’re worth more than any size of gold! My sister lent me the first book I read from her library, titled ‘And the shofar blew…’ by Francine Rivers. Immediately, I fell in love with the act and bought my first two books few weeks later. They were Christian books, titled ‘Miracle of Seed faith’ by and Oral Roberts and ‘Left Behind’ by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins.
Reading the Holy bible from Genesis was all the inspiration I needed to start writing. I remember my first ever long essay was a result of my deep thoughts on Jacob and Esau, the two sons of Isaac. I admired Jacob for defying all odds to achieve greatness and reasoned Esau showed godly maturity too in making up with his brother, even after Jacob cunningly took his blessings. I can’t really remember now the full details of that essay but I feel the main moral was that God’s plans are always the right ones for every man. I found the story of Joseph highly inspiration too.