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Official Review: Asiwaju: The Biography of Bolanle Ahmed ...

Please use this sub-forum to discuss any non-fiction books such as autobiographies or political commentary books.

Official Review: Asiwaju: The Biography of Bolanle Ahmed ...

Post Number:#1 by va2016
» 23 May 2017, 16:12

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Asiwaju: The Biography of Bolanle Ahmed Adekunle Tinubu" by Moshood Ademola Fayemiwo and Margie Neal-Fayemiwo.]

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2 out of 4 stars
Review by va2016
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This is a review of the book Asiwaju: The Biography Of Bolanle Ahmed Adekunle Tinubu by Moshood Ademola Fayemiwo and Margie Neal-Fayemiwo. This book is a biography of the influential western African leader Bolanle Ahmed Tinubu alias Asiwaju.

The book covers Asiwaju’s life in three broad strokes - Asiwaju’s schooling, his life in the United States, and as a powerful politician in Nigeria. The authors clearly mention their motivation of writing this book which is their appreciation of the political wizardry of Asiwaju that brought about the transformation in Nigeria after several military and corrupt democratic regimes.

I liked the vivacious, energetic writing style. A biography of a political person is not an easy thing to write about. The authors have made the narration anything but boring. A lot of research has gone into the writing which shows in the narration. It is good to know about the eight political survival skills that Asiwaju used. I liked Plato’s quote about democracy which says, “The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.” I also liked Asiwaju’s mother’s quote which says "whether he received the moral upbringing from Christians or Muslims makes no difference. Aren't we serving the same God?”

There are very few personal interviews of Asiwaju with the authors. A few more interactions could have added value to the book. There are too many names thrown around in the narration which leaves the reader confused. Irrelevant details like the names of the kitchen personnel in the school in which Asiwaju studied dilute the value of the biography significantly. Most of the content of the book does not deal with direct, first account information about Asiwaju but deals with tidbits of various information in a manner that’s not forthcoming as a biography. There is a lot of back and forth in timelines coverage which puts the reader off. The first 70 pages contain things like author profiles, foreword, tributes and acclaims, and sharing and testimonials about Asiwaju, etc., after which the table of contents is provided, which makes the reader wonder whether the first 70 pages are irrelevant.

The history of Nigeria has been covered in detail which provides the necessary background. A few points worth mentioning are the importance of the Lagos city and the Yoruba tribe, the legend of the Tinubu family, how banning of slavery by the British led to a change in the Nigerian economic and political systems, how the country name of ‘Nigeria’ came about, the population split-up of Nigeria, and the regime of Abacha. Of specific interest about Asiwaju himself are the narrations about the doubts about his birthplace and parentage, his education, and the incident that made his mom to send him to the USA. It is interesting to read about things like Asiwaju providing different dates and places of birth in each of his passport applications, Asiwaju doing odd jobs to survive in the USA, Asiwaju’s profession as an auditor in the USA, his getting back to Nigeria, his political success, and his important work in Nigeria as the Governor of the Lagos province.

This book has details of four speeches made by Asiwaju to know more about Asiwaju’s views and value systems. There is a summary of Asiwaju’s quotes and a chronology of events from 1990 to 1999. A committee report on forgery and perjury allegations on Asiwaju has been provided. There are acknowledgments and references which will help the reader learn about the Nigerian history.

There are several spelling mistakes in the book. A few examples are ‘slave’ spelled as ‘salve’, ‘territories’ spelled as ‘territorys’, etc. Punctuation errors, formatting errors (several tab spaces being present between two sentences), missing words, and wrong word usages are present. Spaces for the photographs at the end of the chapters throughout the book are empty. There’s a section called ‘Index’ at the end which is just empty.

I recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn about Nigerian history. This book does not meet the objective of being Asiwaju’s biography. The authors have done tremendous amounts of research but many of the details do not contribute towards Asiwaju’s biography. Several pages have been wasted with details of unrelated happenings and with details of personalities who were not associated with Asiwaju. The writing style is lively although awkward. Proofreading has not been done properly. I could have rated this book a 3 out of 4 stars giving credit to the authors’ research in writing this book but the book, for the most part, does not meet the objective of being a biography, so I rate this book a 2 out of 4 stars.

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Asiwaju: The Biography of Bolanle Ahmed Adekunle Tinubu
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Re: Official Review: Asiwaju: The Biography of Bolanle Ahmed

Post Number:#2 by Amagine
» 27 May 2017, 22:58

This sounds like a great read for anyone interested in learning about the histories of different countries. Besides that, the plot sounds extremely confusing. Maybe the author will revise the book to include less filler material and more on his own life.

Great Review! 💚
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Re: Official Review: Asiwaju: The Biography of Bolanle Ahmed

Post Number:#3 by Shreyoshi Sen
» 28 May 2017, 01:55

Awesome review. But I guess the book is not worth giving a try for me. Historical novels need proper framing and knowledge which the book lags.
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Re: Official Review: Asiwaju: The Biography of Bolanle Ahmed

Post Number:#4 by Jaime Lync
» 28 May 2017, 02:48

I have a couple of Nigerian friends so this sounds interesting. Your review is really thorough. I didn't like the quote by the mom since I disagree with her. Thanks for sharing your review.
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Re: Official Review: Asiwaju: The Biography of Bolanle Ahmed

Post Number:#5 by CatInTheHat
» 28 May 2017, 08:19

It sounds like the author misses the mark on this one. I do enjoy reading biographies but it sounds like this is one to be skipped.
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Re: Official Review: Asiwaju: The Biography of Bolanle Ahmed

Post Number:#6 by Dachozenone10
» 28 May 2017, 18:43

Nice review He is a great leader from the Western part of Nigeria...he also ensured that the entire Yoruba race is not wiped out by some Government who ruled this great country...God bless Ashiwaju,God bless Nigeria and God bless Nigerians.
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Re: Official Review: Asiwaju: The Biography of Bolanle Ahmed

Post Number:#7 by Tim 28
» 28 May 2017, 21:55

Thanks for your awesome review. Its make me feel connected to this Nigerian Leader. Great Job!
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Re: Official Review: Asiwaju: The Biography of Bolanle Ahmed

Post Number:#8 by Kitkat3
» 30 May 2017, 02:20

Really good constructive criticism! I agree that this sounds like a good description of Nigerian history but would not work as a biography. I also do not like it at all when a book has not been properly edited.
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Re: Official Review: Asiwaju: The Biography of Bolanle Ahmed

Post Number:#9 by MarisaRose
» 30 May 2017, 17:00

I can honestly say I know very little about the politics and social climate discussed in this book. I think it would be enlightening to say the least. I'm a little put off by the poor formatting though. Interesting point about the authors missing the focus of a true biography.
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Re: Official Review: Asiwaju: The Biography of Bolanle Ahmed

Post Number:#10 by Hades
» 08 Jun 2017, 06:40

Sounds a lot like what we know of the man's life ....vague. Thank you for a great review. If its Asiwaju I want to read about then this isn't the book for me.
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Re: Official Review: Asiwaju: The Biography of Bolanle Ahmed

Post Number:#11 by kandscreeley
» 08 Jun 2017, 07:30

Great review. This tells me all I need to know about this book. I love that the writing style is lovely, but it's too bad there are so much information that does not contribute to the biography. I think I'll be avoiding this one.
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Re: Official Review: Asiwaju: The Biography of Bolanle Ahmed

Post Number:#12 by Katherine Smith
» 08 Jun 2017, 15:20

I like your review and I do agree that proofreading is essential to the success of a good book. I like that the author provides a backstory of Nigeria and its political systems. I can understand how parts of the book can become confusing when random names and lengthy sections are included.
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Re: Official Review: Asiwaju: The Biography of Bolanle Ahmed

Post Number:#13 by Rosemary Okoko
» 17 Jun 2017, 14:01

I would have loved to read this book but too much irrelevant stuff in it has put me off. Nice review though.
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