Plato once said that at the touch of love everyone becomes a poet. And as such everything is wonderful to the one who has been so enchanted or inspired to come and stay alive. The world of African authors is one that admits the little and the large. And in Africa’s writing, only the best of the best can stand the storms and desire amongst other things to be heard, read and listened to. In the course of my work in Africa as a service unit leader on my campus fellowship and a blogger, only a few African youth authors have captured my focus like Akwa-Ibom state’s David Isaiah.
After his debut performance as Adam in the Fall of Man on the Carol Evening at Madonna University a few years ago, this native of Nsit-Ibom has been one to watch. I am not shocked he came up with this cut-throat, mind-blowing, super refreshing book, The Hustler. When I discovered he was working on such a wonderful manuscript, I was more than convinced that this is indeed one of African’s finest who is on his way to becoming Africa’s own 21st Century Robert Kiyosaki.
The book, The Hustler, was published and launched a few months back. And I had the rare privilege of sharing a few thoughts with him:
What is David’s story and where is he coming from?
I was born and brought up in Uyo. I am the last in the family of five:I have a brother and three sisters. I did my primary and secondary education here in Akwa Ibom, and my university in Anambra.
Tell us more about your educational background?
I have a degree in Accounting from Madonna University, Okija. I had my junior secondary education at the prestigious Etinan Institute, Etinan, and then moved to Comprehensive Secondary School, |Edeobom 1 to complete my Senior Secondary- not forgetting Mfonabasi Nursery And Primary School where I learnt my ABCs.
When did you start writing?
Writing for me started when I finished my secondary school as I waited for university admission. I got so bored and I decided to put pen to paper. However, back then it was merely for the fun of it.
At what point did you decide to delve into the genre of self-improvement books?
I never planned to be an author or write a book that had anything to do with self-improvement. The book, The Hustler, came grew from an article I wrote for my school magazine about success. After writing the article I realised that the resources I gathered to write the article would waste if I didn’t do anything else with it. It also struck me that if at all I knew a lot about how to start and run a business successfully when I was a little younger I would have been a multi-millionaire by now. Judging from that, I didn’t want other young people to be in the dark. These thoughts, and a few others, pushed me into birthing my first book from a mere article.
What and when was your defining moment- that one moment when you had to tell yourself the hard truth in order to proceed?
That defining moment would be when I celebrated my 24th birthday early this year. I just realised that I was no longer a kid, and that if I fail to lay the right foundation at this point, I’ll never make it in life. In that moment I hard to tell myself the truth, ‘Boy, you need to sit up and hustle hard.’
What really inspired me to keep writing was my own struggle to be financially independent as an undergraduate. I got my hands into a couple of business ventures and this afforded me first-hand experience on running a business successfully. I also wanted to share these experiences with youths so they can learn too.
What is the gist of The Hustler?
A HUSTLER is somebody that has decided to make a difference, to chart his own cause or run a business. They call it ENTREPRENUERSHIP but I call it HUSTLING. Some people do say that luck is involved in success but I think that’s a lie. The profile of any successful person involves three things which I have explained deeply in the book, they are; Hard work, Perseverance and Self-discipline. If you work hard, persevere and have self-discipline, there is no stopping you from being successful. So ‘The Hustler’ is a book that will guide you to making this a reality.
Of what relevance is it to the everyday Nigerian?
According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the rate of unemployment in Nigeria went up to its all-time height of 23.90% in 2011. And the large number of individuals that made up this chunk figure was the youths. In other words, there are so many young Nigerians out there without jobs and probably with certificates. The book provides you with a step by step guide on how to start and run your own business without waiting for the white collar job. Its relevance can’t really be overemphasized.
Where can we find your book?
As for now it is sold mainly in bookshops in Uyo. I am also making arrangements to get it on online stores for easy access.
Expect another book but not soon.
What else takes David’s time asides writing?
My baby company- it takes all of my time.
Who are your mentors and role models?
My elder brother Pastor Ety Isaiah is more than a mentor to me. I am so proud to have him as a brother. My role model is Steve Harris, a man with a vision and a great speaker.
Who do you read and what are you reading now?
I read a lot of Donald Trump but I am not reading any book currently.
What are you listening to?
Ro James – Coke EP
What is the next big thing for you?
Making my company a brand to reckon with in Nigeria and internationally.
What is advice do you have for the youths?
Be yourself because you’re God’s original product. Don’t try to be someone else.