- Certain books should not lack on bookshelves of top executives or successful entrepreneurs.
- BDLife spoke to one CEN and a doctor on the books that have shaped their career path and those that give them an emotional escape.
Certain books should not lack on bookshelves of top executives or successful entrepreneurs.
BDLife spoke to one CEN and a doctor on the books that have shaped their career path and those that give them an emotional escape.
Geoffrey Monari, CEO Universities Fund
What kind of reader are you?
I am a passionate reader of non-fiction books.
Which book(s) are you reading currently?
Self-help, memoirs, and autobiographies.
What’s your take on the reading culture, literature scene, and Kenyan/African authors? How have these affected young readers?
The reading culture among young readers is not very encouraging. It is said that if you wish to hide anything, hide it in books, especially for Kenyans/Africans. We need to start encouraging young readers to read more. We need to reward the reading culture by giving scholarships and other opportunities.
This will help build their vocabulary and also learn about the different cultures across the world. Reading will encourage more Kenyans to write books and share personal experiences.
Reading books by Kenyan writers will not only increase income for the writers by also teach Kenyan/African culture to the young readers. Good books have a way of influencing our lives long after we have closed them and moved on to read several other books.
What was your first interaction with a book?
Secondary school when reading setbooks such as ‘Things Fall Apart’ by Chinua Achebe, ‘Kinjeketile’ by Ebrahim Hussein among others.
Kinjekitile reminds me of the Covid-19 situation we are in currently. The vaccine has been rolled out but the uptake is low due to myths.
Is there any book that speaks to your personality, either who you are or the person you aspire to be?
‘Be A People Person’ by John C. Maxwell. Being a leader means working with people and that’s not always easy. That is why I aspire to be a people person and develop skills in tapping the most precious resource which is people.
How can the universities fund help young readers find passion in not just reading books?
One of the key responsibilities is to develop a robust funding model to facilitate sustainable funds for universities. The Universities Fund can develop issuance of competitive grants to universities targeting young readers in universities.
This will encourage universities to ensure they equip libraries with books/e-books for them to gain access to funds for the best universities that meet the criteria to be agreed upon.
Given your busy schedule, how do you carve off time to read?
I have a book next to my bed. I read several paragraphs every day. I always carry a book to read in waiting areas at airports, flights, etc.
Any must-read books you can recommend to our readers?
‘Be A People Person’ by John C. Maxwell
Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done by Lawrence Bossidy and Ram Charan
‘Leading’ by Alex Ferguson and Michael Moritz
Dr Vitalis Okola, an Obstetrician-Gynecologist
We’re in the second quarter of the year, have you achieved your reading targets?
Yes. I had planned to read ‘The ABCs of Real Estate Investing: The Secrets of Finding Hidden Profits Most Investors Miss’ by Ken McElroy and ‘The Family: The Real Story of the Bush Dynasty’ by Kitty Kelley. I finished reading them.
How did the pandemic alter your reading habits?
2021 has been a welcoming relief compared to 2020.
I have however gone real deep into reading any new information about Covid-19, whether it’s about the mode of spread, prevention, virus variants, treatment options, types of vaccines, and the latest trials.
Which book(s) are you currently obsessed with?
I have just completed ‘Simeon Nyachae: Walking through the Corridors of Service’ an autobiography by Barrack Muluka and Robert Greene’s ‘The Laws of Human Nature.’
I’m currently reading ‘Consent to Kill’ by Vince Flynn.
What was your first interaction with a book?
My big brother Wycliffe was a good mathematician and whenever he had done well in school, they would gift him a book with figures of human warriors telling a story.
However, the characters in the book had no colour and since I loved my crayons, I would colour them to life. At the time, I hadn’t started school yet but I could see through the characters, a storyline.
Is there a book that speaks to your personality, either who you are as a person or aspire to be?
Yes, Tony Robbins unshakeable creating peace of mind in a world of volatility.
How do books make you emotionally intelligent?
The mind is a fascinating bag of creativity. It however has limitations depending on how fast you consume knowledge.
The faster you can do it the faster you unlock doors you never even thought existed. How you relate with and interact with every human being, is also heavily dependent on the knowledge you acquire.
One book that you’d recommend to our readers that they must read in their lifetime?
‘Seasons of Hope: Memoir of David Musila.’ He is a former Provincial Commissioner and Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly. It puts into perspective, how far a common Kenyan can rise from challenges and how to relate to peers and seniors. It is a very inspiring book.