By Elizabeth Osayande
Faced with myriads of challenges such as the identification of self, the influence of peer pressure, and the reinventions posed by technology among other things, the Nigerian youths are challenged to rise up and avail themselves of the right logical decision-making skills that will enable them to become masters rather than slaves to the future.
This is the submission of Akin Adelakun’s latest book, “Your future is in your hands – Hard lessons learnt choosing to follow a delinquent path,” published by QuterBox Concept.
This information-packed book in clear terms discusses issues that relate to the everyday experiences of teenagers and adolescents. It is not a book that prescribes what young boys and girls should know or do as they navigate into adulthood. Rather, the author in a simple and convincing manner, gives nuggets from his personal experiences about the impatience, feeling of validity, longing for acceptance and peer pressure that characterize the life of teenagers.
The book is written in 5 chapters and each chapter relates to the other, just like each phase of a teenager’s life leads to the other.
The first chapter, “Help! What’s happening to me?” explains some of the signs of puberty young people experience and how sometimes, these signs begin earlier in some individuals and much later in others. The writer admonishes growing boys and girls to be patient with themselves and not to worry if some of the puberty signs do not begin in them as with their peers. This feeling of impatience often leads to low self-esteem, depression and peer pressure, among others. Thus, patience is one key factor that can help a child develop into a better responsible adult.
He goes on to talk to parents, guardians, teachers and older individuals around growing teenagers, to encourage and support them. It is the duty of older individuals to ensure the younger generations don’t make some bad decisions and choices, thus, adolescents should be encouraged to develop some of these skills: 1. Decision-making skills 2. Basic cooking skills. 3. Budgeting and money-management skills. 4. Behavioural skills. 5. Problem-solving skills. 6. Goal-setting skills and 7. Stress-management skills. All these skills are not gender specific; both boys and girls need to know how to cook, save and manage money, make informed decisions, etc.
The next three chapters (2-4) are devoted to cautioning young people about the attitudes, behaviors and habits they should desist from; about choosing their friends wisely and saying NO to cultism and other vices. In this age of technological advancement, young people are prone to many negative vibes. They have access to too many information, some of which are not healthy to their health. They are also prey to peer pressure, addiction, drug abuse, pornography, and bad company. The author talks from his personal experiences; he regretted some of the habits like smoking, drinking, using hard drugs and cultism he indulged in while growing up. He was rusticated from the higher institution due to these bad habits and he does not wish any young person to go through what he went through, hence, this nugget of life-changing information in “Your Future is in Your Hands”.
In the last chapter, “Believe in Yourself”, the author tells his own story, “My Story: From a Nincompoop to a Youth Educator”. He encourages young people to believe in themselves, shun bad habits and get closer to God, so that they can achieve their utmost potentials.
The book is replete with proverbs, idioms, wise sayings and Biblical allusions to guide sensible young chaps who want to make it in life. Examples include: “we start our lives as fools, but become wise through experience” Hausa Proverb; “Never limit yourself because of other’s limited imagination; never limit others because of your limited imagination” Mac Jemison (Former NASA Astronaut and first African-American woman to travel to space), etc.
This book is a must-have for every growing child, every school, every home, or religious organisation. The future of our children should be foremost to us, hence this book.