Meet Nigerian 80 years old author of five books who neither attended a high school nor a tertiary institution
It is sarcastic how the world over rate and mount emphasis on the acquisition of formal education. Schooling has been painted in gloss and sold to our generation as a divine course to chart and a path that must be followed if one must identify his purpose towards living a fulfilling life. It is rather interesting how life and happenings around the globe has proved otherwise.
It is enough to cite examples among those who dropped out from the universities to later drop-in into something greater. Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs comes to mind. It is not an exaggeration that a larger percentage of world most successful men in history neither had a formal education. Here comes Nigeria’s Adaobi Whyte, author of five books, who also did not see the four walls of a high school.
Adaobi Whyte informs us how she achieved this feat in a interview with the Vanguard Newspaper. The 80 year old grand mother narrated her story about her growing up and how she successfully authored her books in the face of challenges. She revealed to the Press that constant practice was key all through her years of self development. She however admittedly stated that the manifestation of the mystery of her becoming seems incomprehensible to her very self.
“I even marvel at it myself considering my level of education and just thank God. I formed the habit of reading from youth and from there I developed interest in writing. You see, God has taught me many things in all aspects as I just end up writing just like that. I taught myself by practicing and taking it as a hobby and improving on my reading as well as my writing.
“At 80 years I give glory to God because everything I have done, I have always done them naturally. People often ask which schools I attended and I often tell anybody who would listen to me that I attended God’s Natural School and I have graduated in colors from that institution with the highest awards and certificate presented to me by Almighty God himself. This makes me different. My ideas are a bit different from those who attended orthodox schools.”
As against the general belief that writing jumps at writers cheaply without much ado, Madam Adaobi pointed out that writing could be a very difficult venture, laughing at the thought. To laid emphasis on her point that writing doesn’t come on a plater of gold to most writers, and that writers are faced with different and spectacular challenges. She cited her protracted illness as one challenge her writer self had to face.
“Noooo ..hahahahah. It does not come so easily… especially with my protracted illness. My perpetual back ache makes it very difficult to sit down properly. I have written all my books lying down on the bed. The back pain never allows me to sit on the table. I believe it is the grace of God that has made these possible.”
Madam Adaobi Whyte further revealed in the Interview how her job as a secretary in her teenage period contributed to her person. How her interaction with great minds shaped her life and moulded her to what she is today. For Madam Adaobi, her job as a secretary and all the exigencies that comes with the job branded her into a polished product.
“I recall my journey of self development started when I started work at Nigeria Industrial Development Bank which has now become Bank of Industry. It was then run by Late Mr. Gamaliel Onosede. I worked as receptionist in an environment filled with educated women. Most of them had returned from Europe and Americas and other overseas countries and occupied different departments of the company. As we worked together, they kind of dragged me up in terms of etiquette, eloquence and poise. I was brushed clean. They bought different kinds of newspapers and magazines like woman’s own, women’s Digest, etc. I joined them in reading whatever they had to read that it became a habit.”
She talked about what prompted the writing of her last book: How Africans vandalize Africa. The octogenarian identified her desire and attempt to point to the major setbacks affecting the development of the African continent and the wish to proffer recommendations. She talked about religious exploitation, commercialization, dictatorship and sit-tight leaders as some of these factors.
“How Africans vandalise Africa, focusing Nigeria is a book that exposes and laments the destiny, slave mentality and wickedness of the black man. The indigenous slave trade, the cross Atlantic slave trade, importation of artificial Christianity and Islam into Africa, religious exploitation, commercialization, fanaticism and hypocrisy, colonization and independence and how Africans have engaged in vandalisation and destruction of the continent since independence. They have enthroned themselves as slave masters, dictators and sit-tight leaders, creating obstacles to the development of the rich continent.”
No doubt, this feat sets her a new record. Some of her books include Plight of the Nigerian woman, Ndoni Kingdom and peaceful coexistence, and Abuse of the Nigerian child.