Scribbled Notes

Welcome to my blog where I bare my thoughts on a variety of musings

Book: Influence of a King
Book Reviewer: Anote Ajeluorou; The Guardian, Nigeria
Source: The Guardian Newspaper, Nigeria
Date: 12 June 2016

INTERTWINE OF TWO YOUNG HEARTS ON THE PATH OF FAITHIMG-20160323-WA0003

Titi Horsfall’s fictional narrative, Influence of a King (Deep River Books, Oregon, U.S.; 2015), her second after From an Orphan to a Queen Esther, is the unusual story of two young hearts born in far-flung places, but who would find anchor at a time of momentous world crisis. It is the story of Nigerian’s Kanyam and English boy Chad, also of Nigerian roots, whom fate brings together in the most unusual circumstances and how they find undying love.

But their love rides on the back of a tempest; it is love set against the horrendous backdrop of World War II, with Nigeria still in the throes of colonial rule. How did this magical love happen between the two? How did the path of a poor, Nigerian village girl cross that of an affluent English boy to produce a romance that can only be dreamed of?

This is Horsfall’s masterly narrative that weaves 20th century historical events into the lives of the twosome at a period of uncertainty plaguing the world. Kanyam, born in the creeks of the troubled Niger Delta, suffers persecution and rejection from her own people because of how she looks. She is beautiful beyond words and is regarded as descending from the gods, but a source of unease in the community.

What is worse, she is not the anticipated son her parents expected; she causes her father the loss of his inheritance. Her mother loathes her for it. She is alone in the world except her father whose love for his daughter suffers occasional bouts of laughter and sadness. She is packed off to a mission school at that remote time to escape discrimination from her own people.
Indeed, Kanyam suffers as a girl-child for no fault of hers. Her mother takes her to a house of healing where she is inflicted with all manner of madness peculiar to such houses of horror in the name of exorcism. However, the education she acquires at the mission with Sister Martha and the others eventually redeems her from persecution; it is what would catapult her to her place of destiny and in the arm of love.

On the other hand, Chad is born to a Jewish mother from a wealthy family and a black father. But his mother’s wealthy background becomes the all-important factor that gives him his English identity. It is the period of the 1930s and the world is on the boil; the Great Depression of the 1930s is on in America and the world has just woken to the reality of Hitler’s quest for world domination. Chad is forced to play his part to save his country from annihilation. He joins the British Navy much to his mother’s sorrow and protestation. Her efforts to match-make him with a Jewish girl, Brina, before he goes to war, with the sole aim that he has a child, her grandchild, fails.

Chad goes to war at sea aboard the Royal Navy Ship, Destroyer I, and makes instant impression. While on a mission to retrieve an important object, the Green Baltic, from a cargo ship under attack, he is attacked by a shark and is wounded and loses consciousness until Kanyam’s father drags him ashore in his net in the open sea.

That is how he encounters beautiful Kanyam; she becomes his nurse. When he recovers his strength and sense of bearing, he returns to England through Kari and Port Harcourt. But before he leaves Kanyam’s village, an incident of momentous proportion happens. At a village maiden dance staged in his honour for staying among them for a year turns out a match-making one and he instinctively reaches for Kanyam. Embarrassed, Kanyam is deeply troubled by it and refuses to see him before he leaves for England.
Chad, however, returns to Nigeria as head of a commission of enquiry on some military matters regarding the English officers operating in the Delta region who illegally acquire land and displace Kanyam’s Oputo people, with Kanyam’s uncle, Donga as the arrowhead in his quest to displace his brother, Kanyam’s father, Adoki, from Oputo leadership. Through some quirky events, Chad’s second encounter with Kanyam isn’t pleasant as a Resident Officer, Auckley Garner’s designs on her leaves her vulnerable. After the inquiry, Chad returns to England bitterly disappointed that Kanyam has so easily forgotten him after the failed episode at Oputo during the maiden dance. Sadly, he does not give Kanyam a chance to explain her side of the story.

BUT it is as if the God, which Kanyam and Chad worship, has had their path ordered for them from the beginning of time, as two youngsters seem destined for each other. In spite of this apparent miscalculation on the part of Chad that seems to have put a permanent wedge between them, Kanyam gets a scholarship to study at a university in Scotland. Towards the close of her programme, Chad walks into Kanyam, almost mysteriously, at a lawn while England mourns the death of her king.

Indeed, Kanyam and Chad seem fated to meet aided on by their faith in God, as they keep their hearts open to His direction. Horsfall weaves a Christian religious metaphor into unforgettable narrative that links two lives in far-flung places to connect in unusual way. In Kanyam, Horsfall has created a charming character through whom she portrays the plight of the African girl-child and woman. Although patriarchy is the usual blight of the African woman, Horsfall goes beyond the usual and highlights the life of a young woman whose beauty and uncanny resemblance to her paternal grandmother set her on collision course with her townsfolk, including her own mother who sees her own daughter as the source of her husband’s disinheritance.

But through her also, the local people of Oputo see the benefit of educating the girl-child; through Kanyam, Oputo gets a lawyer to fight on its behalf as British officers threaten to confiscate their land for oil exploration, with the result that war and unrest ensue. Kanyam’s early education, through her father’s foresight, would set precedence for the future in the immense benefits of a girl-child education.
Influence of a King is an ambitious, adventurous novel; a narrative of colonial history, World War II, a lost African grandson accidentally finding his roots, a girl who is an outcast and the uncommon love divinely ordained between them, in an improbable time and space. It is also, and deeply, a story of God’s hand in the affairs of men and how He directs them within the compass of His own making, especially when such men and women align with His divine will; only God’s influence could have brought Kanyam and Chad together in Nigeria and later in London to culminate in marriage.

Horsfall’s novel reads with breathless ease. The range of her subject is glorious and the verisimilitude created is stunning, which is deftly resolved to give this novel a marvelous glow. This is fiction at its heartwarming best.

 

7TH MAY 2016 BY TITI HORSFALL

Book Reading

 Titi Horsfall’s Influence of a King and From an Orphan to a Queen; Esther

Terra Kulture, Lagos State, Nigeria.

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Guests from all works of life; lovers of arts and literature, writers, corporate professionals,businessmen and women, the academia, and distinguished members of the press were treated to a unique literary evening on Saturday, March 5, 2016. Venue was strategically chosen – one of Africa’s best arts and culture centre –Terra Kulture.

Organised by the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) Lagos State Branch, in conjunction with Terra Kulture, the event was the Book Reading of Titi Horsfall’s novels; Influence of a King and From an Orphan to a Queen; Esther. These novels have launched the author into Nigeria’s creative writers’ conclave.

Opening the event with lyrics specially arranged for the Book Reading, Mr. Precious Omuku; a lecturer with the University of Port Harcourt Music Department and his team, led guests in the rendition of the National anthem. With the tone of the evening laid, guests enjoyed more renditions of sonorous classical music.

The Chair Person of the event, Mrs. Koko Kalango CEO, Rainbow Book Club and Project Manager, Port Harcourt World Book Capital 2014, and a stunt advocate and canvasser of literary works, briefly took the audience through her working journey with Titi Horsfall. According to her, she had worked with Titi Horsfall on the UNESCO World Book Capital Project tagged ‘The Walking Book’. Eulogizing Horsfall’s literary works, Kalango enthused that Horsfall exhibits commitment to her literary crafts, stating that Titi is thorough in her work and always ensured all her literary works are researched based.

In her review of Influence of a King, Kalango stated that on the surface, it is a love story between an aristocratic Chad and a lowly girl, Kanyam from the Niger Delta region who had been rejected by her community. Nonetheless, Kalango asserts that looking deeper; the novel is a story about God the King, His love for men, and who rules in the affairs of men.

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Describing both novels as books of power, passion and purpose, Kalango concludes her address by encouraging guests and lovers of literature to read Horsfall’s novels, stating “Horsfall’s works are great reads that I would encourage, at any time!”

Mr. Femi Onileagbon; Chairman of the Association of Nigerian Authors, Lagos State branch extolled the virtues of Titi Horsfall. In his address he described the author, “as a woman who likes to do things right whenever she is involved in something.” Mr. Onileagbon narrates his experience while reading Horsfall’s latest novel, Influence of a King.  According to him, the message he got was that everyone has a purpose in life, and until such a purpose is fulfilled, the person would not leave the surface of the earth.

“It doesn’t matter if you are confused about that purpose at the age of 50 or 70. Keep at it, and the purpose will be fulfilled, when God needs the purpose to be fulfilled.” He noted that in Horsfall’s novels, certain Christian tenets are enunciated, without someone ‘preaching at him’.

“Reading From an Orphan to a Queen; Esther or Influence of a King lifts you, opens your mind, and allows you to see things the way you have not seen before!”

Closing his address Mr. Onileagbon encouraged writers to keep writing and ‘put out a book today’ in fulfillment of a writer’s life’s purpose.

Moderating the Book Reading session, reviews, and interview was Dr. Andee Iheme; Director, Calabar Study Centre of the National Open University of Nigeria and former National Director, (Training) Nigerian Institute of Public Relations.  Dr. Iheme expertly moderated the reading sessions while intermittently taking guests through the pages of Titi Horsfall’s novels. He described the books as rich in content, written in simple English language; with words that make easy reading for anyone to understand. He praised the superior and excellent print and cover page of both books, saying that its good quality can withstand wear and tear for an appreciable length of time.

Thereafter, Mr. Uche Izuora, a reviewer, and blogger, gave his perspective on the content of both novels.  In a very articulated manner, Izuora took guests through the pages, experiences and imagery on display. He was particularly impressed with the level of detail that Titi Horsfall puts into every scene, making the scenes come alive, and the reader enthralled with a depth in a story that holds one captivated. He says, the writer, spurns romantic expressions and narrations that can only be Titi Horsfall’s.  He notes how the author weaves in Biblical truths that not only portrays her deep understanding of Scripture, but delivers this in a tender manner.

The Book Reading was further eloquently delivered, with tints of drama and comedy.

Ms. Siene Allwell-Brown, one of Nigeria’s finest veteran broadcaster and former General Manager External Relations in the LNG industry, graced the event and added colour with her reading of Influence of a King. She made reference to the use of alliteration in a sentence– desperate depression dragging – an example of Titi’s literary consciousness.

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She was particularly pleased with scenes that stirred her childhood memories, use of words that are indigenous, and in certain cases, indicative of the Niger Delta. She praised Horsfall’s commitment to writing; despite having a full schedule as a corporate professional, a wife and mother to her children.

Mrs Kalango read from Influence of a King, and revealed that education played a critical role in the success of Kanyam, the novel’s heroine. She advised that the message on education should be taken seriously.

Mr. Victor Eromosele, CEO of M.E. Consulting Limited, and former Chief Financial Officer in the LNG industry, also read from Influence of a King, projecting his voice in military style as he read a war scene from the novel.

Dr. Kester Osahenye, a writer and MTN’s Channel Manager- Retail, read From an Orphan to a Queen; Esther, stating that few write like Titi Horsfall. He encouraged more people to read, as her works are highly recommendable.

Pastor Tosin Onoyiga, member ANA Ogun State read, From an Orphan to a Queen; Esther, and gave his feedback. As a script writer, he confirmed that the written style of the novel would make any movie producer’s job very easy.  Seeing that the plots and scenes make for captivating viewing, he hopes that both books would be adapted into movies.

Mrs Sola Izuora, General Manager of Sola Wunmi Enterprises Limited, read and gave her views of From an Orphan to a Queen; Esther. She narrated her experience when she first came across the novel. According to her, once the novel is picked, and reading begins, one cannot stop until the very last page. The literary style is so conversational, yet highly literary, and she believes that many the world over, would attest to Horsfall’s writing ability.

Mr. Michael Ikpoki, former Managing Director and CEO of MTN, said he had over the years, praised Titi for keeping up with her writing, despite having a full time job. He recalled flying in from Ghana to attend the launch of her first novel, From an Orphan to a Queen; Esther, and how he stayed awake reading the masterfully crafted novel. He says, knowing Titi, who always seeks to better herself, her new novel Influence of a King promises even much more.

As the event drew to a close, Influence of a King, Horsfall’s newest novel, was unveiled and formally presented. In a toast to two great literary works, in commendation of dedication, commitment and hard work; in appreciation of tastefully delivered works of fiction, From an Orphan to a Queen; Esther and Influence of a King, guest rose at about 7pm for the closing and rendition of the National anthem, networking and refreshments.

The Novels

Influence of a King spans the globe during a time of harrowing worldwide events – the Great Depression, the droughts of America’s Dust Bowl years, World War II and post war development – and captures the essence of faith, fate, and the power of choices.  Set in England, America, and Nigeria, this sweeping love story delivers an active perspective of tumultuous historic events, as well as the human interplay in interracial harmony and religious identity.

Book Reading at Terra Kulture Lagos1

This love story, set during World War II, also underscores the influence and indirect impact British royalty and colonial rule may have had on the lives of the privileged and seemingly unknown individuals in unrecognizable regions of Africa. It points to the complexity and connectivity of the human race.

“Titi is a gifted writer who, with seeming ease, uses elegant prose to bring history to life. She achieved this beautifully with her first book, and has done it again with Influence of a King. In this book, Titi strings together facts in a fictional setting, in a plot spread across three continents, to create a fascinating tale of power, passion, and purpose. Influence of a King reminds us that God is at work in the affairs of men today as He was yesterday and will be tomorrow.”

Koko Kalango, CEO, Rainbow Book Club; project manager, Port Harcourt World Book Capital 2014

From an Orphan to a Queen; Esther

“Titi Horsfall, with the novel, From an Orphan to a Queen, has gained a firm position among some of the good and upcoming creative writers emerging in this country.

The novel is the story of Esther the Jewish beauty, an orphan who rose to become the Queen of the Emperor. Soldiers had brutally murdered her parents and made her and other Jews captives. Even in captivity, she held on faithfully trusting the Jewish God as her guiding light and protector, unswervingly. This eventually paid-off in the events and circumstances which singled her out of captivity to become the Empress of the Emperor whose soldiers had captured her and other Jews and made them prisoners of war.

Titi Horsfall with her fictive narrative skill has brought to life and relevance centuries old biblical story to lovers of good literature.

I wish Titi Horsfall a most successful writing career which this her first novel certainly portends.”-    Dr Gabriel Okara; Novelist and Poet

  

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About Titi Horsfall

Following several international trainings on writing and communication, a bachelor’s degree in marketing, masters in banking and finance, and an MBA in oil and gas management from the Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, Titi Horsfall has built a career in corporate communications and is the Head of Government Relations in a global LNG organization. She is also, the acclaimed novelist of Influence of a King, and From an Orphan to a Queen; Esther. Her poetry collection; Reflections is an approved and recommended text in some secondary schools.

She is the African Achievers Awards Honoree, and recipient of the 2016 African Literature Prize. Titi Horsfall is enlisted in the Coat of Many Colours; an anthology of Nigerian authors, received the Deep River Books (DRB) Merit Award, was DRB guest author at the 2013 ICRS in St. Louis Missouri, USA and 2016 ICRS in Cincinnati, Ohio USA. She was a featured author at the 2013 Port Harcourt Book Festival, co-editor of the 2014 UNESCO World Book Capital project: 100 Years around Port Harcourt, and an international author at the London Book Fair 2016.

Known from her youth as a gifted child, for her creativity, enterprise, and dedication to service, she has received other commendations, awards and recognition; including a UNICEF commendation for an NYSC water project, the MD/CEO Business Award in her corporate organization, as well as the 2015 Garden City Advancement Award as role model of the female child.

Titi Horsfall is a wife and mother of three boys, who besides writing, loves traveling and carrying out historical research.

 

9TH FEBRUARY 2016 BY TITI HORSFALL

The Best Valentine’s Day Gift

Valentines-Day-Hearts-Pics

No matter the array of gifts, there is nothing more fraught with pain, than the uncertainty about how the other person feels. Worse still, is the torment of unrequited love or a commitment that is not mutual. Despite how few your words of love may be, they are all you need to profess your feelings, reassure, keep the channels of communication open, and commit as if undertaking a vow. If true love propels you to buy a mansion in Beverly Hills or Banana Island, all well and good!

While the appropriateness of any gift is based on myriad of determinants, one gift tops the list, as the very best Valentine’s Day gift, by a wide margin.

What is it? Words! Especially, those three words. When you look into the eyes of your loved one, and you can hold her stare, take her hands in yours, and tell her with every certainty, “I love you”. That seals the deal. From my novels, I have extracted some heartfelt verbal expressions between people who loved themselves, beyond a shadow of a doubt:

Influence of a King

Kanyam: “Chad, Chad!”
She called his name like a chant. Tears poured down her cheeks.
He held her face in his hands and thumped away her tears.
Chad: “I love you, Kanyam. You are special. So special that God caused global events to align with His plan and purpose for us to be together.”
Kanyam: “I love you, too, Chad!”

From an Orphan to a Queen; Esther

King Darius: “Esther, my beloved, think not of the moments we do not share but of those few times we do share. They have always been memorable. Four years have passed since I made you my wife and queen. These have been the best four years of my life.”
Queen Esther: “My king, my love for you grows with each day.”
King Darius: “I know for certain that your heart pants after mine. I would seek ways to remedy my absence.”

Tell that special someone; how truly you are in love.
Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

 

 

CODE OF CONDUCT

A code of conduct is a set of rules outlining the social norms, religious rules and responsibilities of, and or proper practices for, an individual (Wikipedia).

The first code of conduct issued to mankind, was to Adam and Eve, in the Garden of Eden.

I have always been fascinated with Adam and Eve’s story, particularly how they made their decision in abiding by the set rule.

What rule where they tasked with? See Genesis 2.

And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

It is common knowledge, as to what transpired eventually. The devil, through the serpent, tempted Eve to eat of the only tree for which she and her husband were forbidden from eating- the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Yet, at their convenience, was the tree of life, which awaited their interest. Clearly, the forbidden attracts. It sends a wild sense of adventure and temptation. They had the choice to choose either life or death. The temptation was much than they could contend with. Based on their attraction to that which was forbidden and had obvious dire consequences, they invariably chose death. Thankfully, Jesus has erased that to offer eternal life.

At the basic level, abiding by a set code of conduct acts as a guide in life or professional practice. It seeks to steer you in the right direction upon which you would build your mark and imprint on life.

A code of conduct is like a measuring scale that weighs you to determine your placement. Those who are comfortable with the prevailing code go steps further to establish their personal or family values; values that would ingrain a standard for their lives and behaviors.

Take interest in the code of conduct around you … at home, in the work place, public places etc. They are not meant to be restrictive of suffocating, but rather serve as a compass to guide you. If the forbidden looms large, do well to note the temptation and take heed!

God bless!

Titi Horsfall

TRUE SELF-EXPRESSION

At the onset of my literary journey, was a burning desire to express my thoughts and self. Wasn’t much of a talker, but found great ease in writing. I turned to poetry.

I read a lot of old English poems. By old, I mean 18th/19th century writers. I loved John Keats and Lord Byron. I fell in love with Jane Austen’s works; witty, clever banter and lovely exchanges amongst the characters. I read Shakespeare and adored the archaic English with its heady dose of figurative language. In the background, I was reading psalms and singing hymns in our local church. For the latter, I was amazed at the poetic ensemble!

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Why We Need More Women Leaders Pt. 2

I join women the world over, to celebrate the International Women’s Day. Keying into the pledge for parity, I pledge to help women and girls achieve their ambitions #IWD2016.

In Part 1 of this topic, I explored the myth regarding women’s roles. Now, it is time to face our reality.

Profile and Reputation

Selecting one to run for either the exalted office of the president of a country, or the position of an office clerk, requires background check. When applying for a job, assessors want to know where that person has worked or been, and the backlog of experiences. Some visa applications require evidence of past travel, financial history, employment status, family records etc. Exam records are reviewed in selecting candidates for academic admission. With appropriate records, opportunities surface for attention. The apples become quite low hanging.

With the required profile in place, any woman can aspire for greater things.

Leaning In

In Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In: Women, Work and The Will To Lead, she encourages women to overcome the “anxieties and preconceptions that stop women reaching the top- taking a place at the table, and making yourself a part of the debate.”

I totally agree, and would emphasize that when a woman seeks to be heard, it is not within the ambits of combat, defying status quo, nor arrogance. A woman leaning in, should seek to project & share opinion, listen, converse and exchange ideas.

The greatest barrier(s) that women have to face are the misconceptions and stereotypes that are thrown their way.

To be seen and not heard.

To live without purpose.

This notwithstanding, there are women leaders who have blazed several trails; and many women require their mentorship. Some unknowingly, take for granted the open doors now available to them. Sandberg states, “We stand on the shoulders of the women who came before us, women who had to fight for the rights that we now take for granted.”

Let me leave you with a quote by the First Lady of the United States of America; Michelle Obama.

“When you’ve worked hard, and done well, and walked through that doorway of opportunity, you do not slam it shut behind you. You reach back.”

To our female trail blazers, please reach back and support women who desire to take that small step of faith into dignified womanhood.

I pledge to help women and girls achieve their ambitions.

#IWD2016

WORLD BOOK DAY 2016

 

Thursday, 3rd March 2016, is World Book Day.

“World Book Day is a celebration! It’s a celebration of authors, illustrators, books and (most importantly) it’s a celebration of reading. In fact, it’s the biggest celebration of its kind, designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and marked in over 100 countries all over the world.” (www.worldbookday.com)

In the course of the first week in March, several activities have been lined up by schools, libraries, and organizations to encourage reading. On the 5th of March, Terra Kulture, Lagos is organizing a Book Reading.  I would meet with the Association of Nigerian Authors (Lagos State Chapter) for the reading of my novels; Influence of a King and From an Orphan to a Queen: Esther.

What are your plans? To get the celebration going, I have complied 25 memorable quotes on books. Enjoy.

  • “There is more treasure in books than in all the pirates’ loot on Treasure Island and best of all, you can enjoy these riches every day of your life.” (Walt Disney Company)

 

  • “If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books he reads.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

 

  • “I think of life as a good book. The further you get into it, the more it begins to make sense.” (Harold Kushner)

 

  • “There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.” (Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis)

 

  • “Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.” (Maya Angelou)

 

 

  • “There are perhaps no days of our childhood we lived so fully as those we spent with a favorite book.” (Marcel Proust)

 

  • “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” (Oscar Wilde)

 

  • “A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading.” (William Styron)

 

  • “You know you’ve read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend.” (Paul Sweeney)

 

  • “If there is a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, you must be the one to write it.” (Toni Morrison)

 

  • “I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.” (Jorge Luis Borges)

 

  • “I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of anything than of a book! — When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.” (Jane Austen)

 

  • “Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” (Charles William Eliot)

 

  • “In a good bookroom you feel in some mysterious way that you are absorbing the wisdom contained in all the books through your skin, without even opening them.” (Mark Twain)

 

 

  • “Many people, myself among them, feel better at the mere sight of a book.” (Jane Smiley)

 

  • “Reading was my escape and my comfort, my consolation, my stimulant of choice: reading for the pure pleasure of it, for the beautiful stillness that surrounds you when you hear an author’s words reverberating in your head.” (Paul Auster)

 

  • “That’s the thing about books. They let you travel without moving your feet.” (Jhumpa Lahiri)
  • “Books are my friends, my companions. They make me laugh and cry and find meaning in life.” (Christopher Paolini)

 

 

  • “It doesn’t matter. I have books, new books, and I can bear anything as long as there are books.” (Jo Walton)

 

  • “A house without books is like a room without windows.” (Horace Mann)

 

  • “Once you have read a book you care about, some part of it is always with you.” (Louis L’Amour)

 

  • “Be awesome! Be a book nut!” ( Seuss)

Why We Need More Women Leaders Pt. 1

The myth about women’s roles

We have grown up with stories such as Cinderella, Rapunzel, and Sleeping Beauty- all portraying the beautiful, helpless girl who is rescued from an uncertain future by a dashing, fearless and very handsome prince. He sweeps her off her feet, they fall heads over heels in love, and they live together happily ever after.

I love a good, sensible love story, but would we not be stretching it too far, if in reality, we expect all females to be clueless as to how to build their future? Should we admire the female who cannot see past the flutter of her eyelashes and then, brandish the opposite a feminist? Why should parents dedicate themselves to having their daughters educated, and in expectation, should expect NOTHING?

Elizabeth Gilbert stated, “I was not rescued by a prince; I was the administrator of my own rescue”. The animated movie Brave appears to be an attempt to deviate from the image of the fairytale stereotypical female.

 Today’s Woman

More females are taking up critical roles in society and in the boardroom. Young girls deserve to have more of these role models, to inspire and encourage them in their own growth and development.

Picking up a copy of the Harvard Business Review, the cover of a silhouetted female looms, with the caption:

Emotional, Bossy, Too Nice

The biases that still hold female leaders back- and how to over come them. If there is a single barrier that affects all women, its exclusion from networks and conversations that open doors to further development and promotions.

 Below, are some quotes from the magazine:

 

“I was often the only woman or Asian sitting around a table of senior executives. I experienced plenty of meetings outside my organization with large groups of executives, where people assumed that I couldn’t be the boss, even though I was.” – Andrea Jung (Former CEO of Avon).

“My mother was one of eight children. She used to be a very brilliant student, and when the time came to go to college, she wanted to become a doctor. Unfortunately, her mother had to explain to her that there was not enough money in the family, and that the money for college was going to the boys and the girls would instead have to marry. After hearing that story, I said I would never do anything to hurt someone based on segregation” – Carlos Ghosn

(CEO of Nissan Motor Company)

“I believe very strongly that whatever barriers race presents in the workforce, they pale in comparison to the barriers that women face when creating the close monitoring relationships that are necessary to be promoted.”- Ken Frazier

(CEO of Merck).

“Three women on the board made individual comments that were similar in direction, which I didn’t respond to. Not long after they spoke, a fourth person, who happened to be a man, made a comment in line with what the women

had been saying, and I said, ‘I think Jeff’s got it right,’ not even aware of what I had just done. To their great credit, the women didn’t embarrass me publicly.

They pulled me to the side and played it back to me. It was a learning moment for me.”- Jim Turley (CEO of Ernst and Young)

 

To be continued

Buoyed by Grace

Guess you know that feeling of foreboding, as you embark on a journey when only a few days earlier, a major accident had occurred?

When a commercial airline crashed in Nigeria killing most on board, two days later I boarded a commercial flight. At the slightest turbulence, practically everyone on board started praying. The man by my side stared at me in unquantifiable wonder- I seemed calm, and relaxed.
I nodded at him with a smile, and turned my gaze to the headrest before my eyes. If only he knew. I had asked God to literarily assign angels to the key points of that plane!

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Graceful Aging

Advancing in age, in a smooth and attractive manner.

“Her beauty, which transcended time, was shielded with her thick, white tresses like clouds cresting the mountain peaks. Her beauty was such that only the heavens could give, for the turbulent years had not drained her fountain of youth… She recalled the years gone by, the torture of hopelessness she had felt as a child, the relief of religious tolerance in her youth, and as a woman, the unexpected and inexplicable joy of falling in love…”(Excerpt- From an Orphan to a Queen: Esther).

“For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.” – Proverbs 3:2

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