By Uzor Maxim Uzoatu
A Taste Of Success by Azuh Arinze; Yes International Ventures, Akute, Ogun State; 2022; 298pp
One way of making a success of one’s life is to follow the lead of successful people. Azuh Arinze at the young age of 50 has made remarkable success of his life in journalism and publishing, authoring well-received books such as Success Is Not Served A La Carte and The CEO’s Bible. He has now upped the ante with the 50th birthday offerings of books: A Taste Of Success and Conversations With Showbiz Stars.
A Taste Of Success is a compilation of the interviews Azuh Arinze had with successful icons in government, business, the arts, law, writing law, religion, moviemaking, comedy, sports etc. The notable names include Olusegun Osoba, Sam Ohuabunwa, Seni Adetu, Gamaliel Onosode, Bruce Onobrakpeya, Akachi Ezeigbo, Okey Ndibe, Dakuku Peterside, Femi Adesina, Festus Keyamo, Babatunde Ogala, Bamidele Onalaja, Dele Momodu, Adesuwa Onyenokwe, Anselm Madubuko, Chris Okafor, Abisoye Fagade, Kunle Afolayan, Ali Nuhu, Frederick Leonard, Gbenga Adeyinka, Gordons Komone, Ike Shorunmu, Remi Bello and Omotunde Lawson.
The erudite successful journalist, Azu Ishiekwene, in his insightful foreword to A Taste Of Success states: “All who work hard and remain steadfast are eligible to a taste of success, and these are explicitly the contents of the many ‘case studies’ presented by the author.” In a remarkable commendation of Azuh Arinze’s book, Ishiekwene concludes thusly: “Who knows, I might have been more successful if I had read it earlier!”
In the words of the accomplished journalist and former Governor of Ogun State, Olusegun Osoba, “For anybody to be successful, you must be serious-minded, you must have dedication to whatever thing the person is doing, you have to be hardworking and then you have to be very, very frugal. I’ll give you an example – I’ve been wearing the same watch since 1984.”
For the renowned pharmacist and then president of Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Sam Ohuabunwa, “The moment you know your purpose in life, you are on your way to success. When you now accomplish it, that’s when there’s full success. Success is a continuum and it changes. It’s a continuum because what is success today, may not be tomorrow.”
Seni Adetu, former MD/CEO of Guinness Nigeria plc and Group CEO of First Primus, believes that one “way that people have not been able to manage success well is that you must never ever get carried away by the praises of people.”
The revered Gamaliel Onosode, former chairman of Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG), Cadbury Nigeria plc, Commerce Bank plc, Dunlop Nigeria plc, amongst others, reveals: “For me, success is being faithful as a steward. A steward of the gift of life, and I believe that God gave me life. So, my success is to be measured by the extent to which I prove faithful as a teward of that gift which has been entrusted to me.”
Nigeria’s legendary printmaker, painter and sculptor, Bruce Onobrakpeya informs: “Being an artist has made me who I am, has made me develop, has made me tell my own story very well. That is to say, show that part of me that would have been difficult for people to see or know, or in fact, for me to learn and know some other things.”
The prolific author and professor, Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo advises wannabe authors thusly: “You must edit yourself as you write and must not be in a hurry to publish your work. You need to write and then rewrite, going through your work to make it better before sending it out to an editor or agent or publisher.”
The novelist and professor, Okey Ndibe, stresses: “To write well, you must read.” He then adds: “There are some people who want to go into writing to make money. So, when I encounter such people, I say to them, find a trade, leave writing because writing is not guaranteed at all to make you money. So, if money is your thing, find something to buy and sell. But, for me, to be a writer is a passionate vocation.”
Dakuku Peterside, the politician and former Director-General of Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), states: “My greatest achievement is that young people can see a role model they can say, at last, we know one politician who has integrity…”
Presidential spokesman and former MD of The Sun newspapers, Femi Adesina who was also the former president of the Nigeria Guild of Editors says: “I can be anything. I can be just a writer, I can be just a reporter, I can be just an MD, I can be president of the Guild of Editors, I can be anything. So, being a presidential spokesman is not something I hankered after, it’s not something yearned for, it’s something that came my way and it’s something I’m doing willingly and I’m enjoying doing it. But I can do without it. I can do without it!”
Festus Keyamo, SAN, is as ever grateful “that Gani Fawehinmi trained me as a lawyer and as a young man and later I fell into the hands of President Muhammadu Buhari who sharpened my skills in politics.”
Babatunde Ogala, SAN, believes that Nigeria today is “under-lawyered” while the real estate revelation, Bamidele Onalaja of Revolution Plus banks on “integrity, trust and doggedness.”
Irrepressible Dele Momodu, presidential aspirant and publisher of Ovation magazine who celebrated the day his article appeared in The Guardian for which he was paid 25 Naira can now tell his success story thus: “Today, I have 1.2 million followers. I’m sure I’m even close to 1.3 million followers on Twitter now. That is power, that is serious power.”
Ace broadcaster and magazine publisher, Adesuwa Onyenokwe, the inimitable mother of six children, reveals that “every time I go on air, it’s always the same thing. Even after 30 years! I still feel a little anxiety, a sense of butterflies flying in your tummy.”
For the celebrated pastor, Apostle Anselm Madubuko, “Everything is important, but God is more important.” Thanks to Azuh Arinze through the vehicle of A Taste Of Success we can now all make a success of our lives. May his tribe increase!