Smoooooking!

I’ve been on a high for the last two weeks.

One word to describe this, is ‘Smoooooking!’ Judging from that one word description, you probably know who I’m talking about, right? None other than Jeff Koinange.

It all started when I picked a copy of his book, ‘Through My African Eyes’ at a friend’s house. My couple friend had just gotten married and Reina and I had to watch their house as they checked into the hotel that evening ready to kick it at the evening party and later head for their honeymoon.

Like me, the newly bride has a bookshelf where I sifted through and landed my hands on the book by Jeff. My first instinct was to see what the hype is all about. Jeff tends to be dramatic, you watch him on air and you immediately realize if it wasn’t for journalism, he’d equally forge a career as a great actor on a world stage.

It didn’t take me long before realizing I was in for a treat. A few pages in, I seriously contemplated skipping the evening party to read the book instead. The book lives to the hype, better still, Jeff really outdid himself on this one. It’s a narrative spanning over four decades telling his African story as a journalist. About his family, being raised by a single Mum immediately after his father died from a heart attack. The hustle and toil his Mum went through to put them through good schools, his first working years and how he landed a flying job with a then crumbling airline, Pan Am. His interactions with child soldiers, warlords and African Heads of State.

But you know what, this review is not a summary of the book. It’s a huge disservice to allow you get away like that. Find the book. Read it and you’ll know what I am talking about.

For two weeks I couldn’t put this book down. It’s surreal that someone can go through so much adventure in the first half of his life. And to be honest, I often found myself questioning, ‘Ai! This is too good to be true.’ And just when my doubt almost escalated, I’d turn the page and view a picture of Jeff backing up the story. The pictorials definitely add to the narrative.

Footprints Press really did a spectacular job on publishing this gem of a book. And to say I look at Jeff with new eyes of reverence and acclaimed respect, is an understatement. He’s practically scaled to a role model position in my life.

I’d really want to spend ‘a day in the life’ of Jeff Koinange like he did with Joseph Kabila, the president of DRC Congo and profile him.

Jeff, if you’re reading this, make a dream come true.

Speaking of which, this marvelously written book, (who’d have thought Jeff can write so well) solidifies the belief in you that nothing, absolutely nothing is impossible if you put your mind to it. Grit is definitely required to achieve a goal nonetheless but the buck stops with you, the dream chaser. Jeff exemplifies hard work, a work ethic that’s enviable and a dedication to the course that can only produce one thing, and that’s great results.

As I came to the last pages of the book, I had a hard time letting go. But my perspective on life had been challenged and enlivened. And if there is one key take out from reading this monumental African piece crafted by Jeff, it has to be this,

‘To be the best, you have to be the best.’

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