Africa Rise and Shine

AFRICA Rise and Shine ISBN: 9781945533408 ForbesBooks, copyright and written by Jim Ovia.

This book consists of 30 intensely interesting chapters, notes about the Jim Ovia Foundation Programs and Resources, 2 Appendices and a list of most worthwhile “Recommendations for Further Reading”. It is the story of a young Nigerian boy who lost his father at a very early age but who, through the foresight of a struggling mother and help from an older brother, managed not only to finish his schooling but extend it far beyond. As a result and in true entrepreneurial style, he established a bank with its first office actually in part of a duplex apartment house. From these humble beginnings, it grew to be the leading bank in Nigeria with assets of more than 16 billion. But beyond this, he initiated an internet service where none existed, established a telephone service to replace a poorly functioning government run facility, constructed a new highway leading to his bank, and established numerous other national and international relationships of great worth not only of great value to his bank but to his country as well. A country incidentally that is the largest in the entire African nation.

Discussion: In actuality, there is little more that can be said about this highly intelligent and motivated man. He has exhibited all of the traits of an entrepreneur, but has slanted them in a rarely seen altruistic manner. Additionally, it provides a completely different picture of Africa, than more usually is set forth. Thus, this book not only is highly recommended, but in a manner this reviewer seldom employs. It is one which a reader cannot afford NOT to read.


Across Time and Space

Across Time and Space: Chronicles of Courage, Hope, Love, Persistence and Leadership. Assumed published, Copyright and Written by Emilio Iodice.

The title of this book fortified by its subtitle, “Stories for Us, our Children and Grand Children explain exactly its contents. The opening story describes a young German woman who had the fortitude to defy Hitler. The second details the story of the 5 Sullivan brothers who were lost together while serving aboard a U.S. Navy ship during WW II. Another is that of the heroic action of a young Italian police officer and the stories continues with numerous other examples of “wisdom, courage, love, compassion, charity, integrity, faith and hope”. Many of the offerings included are examples of residents of a small island off the Italian coast and apparently are memories of individuals known by, about, and/or are relatives of, the author, and all exhibited one or more of the attributes mentioned above. Many tales seem to be personal remembrances of these individuals as they immigrated to the U.S. and attempted to blend into the country during the devastating Great Depression that began in 1929. Interestingly detailed accounts of the founder of Bank of America, President John F. Kennedy, athletes Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio and others also are depicted.

Discussion: The author has described periods of great unrest and/or others calling for display of all of the personal qualities he has enumerated as well as frequent sacrifices of varying degrees. It is a book seemingly ‘written from the heart’ by one who also has experienced some of the same or similar situations. The author has provided an authentic touch to each episode by offering pertinent references. The only regrettable aspect of the book from this reviewer’s perspective is the amount of repetitive material that judicious editing would have eliminated. Overall however, a most thoughtfully prepared and written text from which readers will gain much while enjoying the diverse nature of the tales.

4* 5*Thoughtful reminiscences providing many lessons; -1* editing required.