A Book for the School of Life

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Yinka Olatunbosun

If you are in search of an inspirational book this season by a Nigerian author, you may want to try Mr Somi Uranta’s “Contradictions: Lessons from the School of Life.” Like the writer’s first book, “A Date With Failure: The Art of Art of Standing Up Again,” this new literary effort breaks the author’s 16-year break from book publishing. It is common knowledge that the process of book publishing in Nigeria is as difficult as passing a camel through the eye of the needle. In spite of these challenges, Uranta took a bold step- collecting materials for this book. His interlude on the literary scene may be connected to his aspiration for higher studies at the University of Lagos. Still, those years were not devoid of moments of self-interrogation and self-conversations. In the end, he examined some of the questions that life, inadvertently, throws at a deep thinker.

Between his time as Chief Executive Officer, Somi Steam Car and his bookworm moments, he wrote several pages that would later form a body of human wisdom made by life’s varied experiences.

“After pausing to ponder through all the questions that arose from the former and attempting to proffer answers to them, eventually leading to more unanswered questions, I decided to share my thoughts with regards to the paradoxes, endless contradictions which seem to be the reality of man’s chequered mortal existence,” he began.

“For example, how does one resolve the intrinsic contradictions in the widely acceptable, yet erroneous lines that “life is not a bed of roses, while in reality, life could actually be likened to a bed of roses, because when you see a bed of roses, looking so alluring and beautiful on the surface, just beneath the blooming and alluring surface are thorns. It is these thorns that actually give impetus to the external beauty that captivates the passers-by.”

Uranta added that everyday experiences come either as lessons or blessings. “Depending on which comes first, we must prepare for the other, for they follow one another, like the night, the day. ”

The book is quite instructive and makes an interesting read, equipping the reader-like a guide does to a tourist- in order to navigate better through life’s vicissitudes.

The book, published by SPW Publishing and Company has its forward written by Professor Chedozie Okoro of the Department of Philosophy, University of Lagos, Akoka.