“History is the biography of great men” Cicero
“When planning for a year, plant corn, when planning for decades, plant trees, but when planning for life, educate and train men” anonymous.
Introduction to Enduring Legacies
Engr. Yomi Oladeji was committed to mentoring of the future generations through education, exemplary life style and training, a burning passion to pass to the coming generations the history of the organization and office he was privileged to hold for ten years.
In reviewing this book, we’ll use the simplify method. An easy and straight forward approach. The book has an attractive front and back cover, 8 chapters, with 227 pages, very readable with easy to read language. There are key actors interviewed, participatory reflections at the end of each chapters, very interactive, self explanatory in nature and readable for not too educated both young and old.
In Enduring legacies, the Author introduced us to the challenge of leadership in Africa which is responsible for the backwardness of the continent, both in the Body of Christ as well as in the secular, this challenge was very obvious. This leadership challenge crippled progress and advancement in Africa, corruption, backwardness, impunity and insincerity in leadership. He recommend an urgent need to reappraise leadership focus especially in the body of Christ.
The book gives various definitions and description of leadership and leadership style, and made references to previous recognized works on the subject, people that were considered as authority on the subject. The author also narrowed it down to Christian leadership. He quoted the work from Osward Sanders who defined leadership as the ability to recognized special abilities and limitations of others, combined with the capacity to fit each one into the job where he will do his best.
The train and trust concept of leadership was also emphasis and discussed in this book. The author gives a broad view on leadership not as gender biased against women. He sees women as having the same qualities and can make positive contributions in leadership, where men and women work together to achieve a common goal. One cannot but to agree with Oladeji that women have a greater leadership influence to exert both in the secular as well as in the church. We have several women that excelled in leadership positions.
The reader is to take time to reflect on critical aspects of leadership, taking a look at leadership in the African context, where respect for age, years of graduation, years of employment, marriage and experience in an organization counts before one is placed in leadership position. Also the African culture placed competence in managing both one immediate family and the extended family as a key factor in leadership. He decried the erosion of the African traditional values as a result of Westernization consequently resulting in Africa having more corrupt and bankrupt leaders than any continent in the world.
Oladeji gave the following as a biblical reflection from African leadership concept: a deep sense of call i.e a definite mandate from God by an individual to stand in an office or accomplish a given task; vision, the purpose in life.
Leadership in Scripture Union Nigeria
The book explores this chapter by going through the historical line of the formation of SU as a little vision by one man. How it evolved from a little beginning as a children mission to what it has become today. The
key individuals such as Josial Spiers, Tom Bishop, Thomas Huges, Hammond Payson and others. Each of these persons provided foundational leadership role. Nothing could be more nourishing to a reader to know the wealth and feel the richness of the SU history in Nigeria.
This section is particularly a must read for SU Nigeria leaders and would-be leader, students interested in leadership and missions, missionaries , mission agencies, pastors, head of ministries in Nigeria and beyond. Also for university scholars interested in the study of indigenous Christian organization in Nigeria and the general public.
Key Leadership Personalities in SU Nigeria
As noted earlier, these chapters 3-7 gives a detailed account of the various key persons that held office as GS/GD. I find it unnecessary to do chapter by chapter review, I rather did a comparative review. Oladeji gave a insightful commentary on the individual profile their achievements and challenges. The common denominators are: they all rendered a service to God in humility, sincerity, selfless and in sacrificing all for the advancement of SU work in Nigeria. It was not the intention of the author to criticize his predecessors in
office or to run down their administration rather and this much was clear. He gave an objective account of the various tenures before him.
Recommendations for further work
This book is limited to the extent that it is for the purpose of passing information and knowledge on the various personalities that have held the office of the GD in SU Nigeria. It therefore focuses less on critical analysis. The
book does not provide evidence of errors in the course of duty of previous leaders, and how such can be avoided. All the people interviewed seemed careful to avoid negative comments against their leaders, thereby presenting those men as PERFECT AND SAINTS that do no wrong. This in itself, is limiting.
The author did a thorough job in writing this book. He has given us a guide to whoever aspire to leadership not just in SU Nigeria but elsewhere, he brought out the key legacies of all the personalities that held the office of GS/GD. The effort must therefore be commended highly.
Book Review by:
GODWIN OLUWADUROTIMI OLUWAFERANMI
B.A (Hons) History; M.A. Public Administration; M.A. Law & International
Relations. Pioneer TS SU NG Ikeja Area( 1999-2002); TS Abeokuta Area
(2002-2005);Pioneer TS Jos Area(2005-2010); TS Abuja Area (2010-2011).
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