Success is not Served A La Carte, Azuh Arinze, 2020, pp. 299
Great interviews are only done by great journalists. The ability to ask thought-provoking questions and receive stunning responses is uncommon. Azuh Arinze has been around for two decades as a high-flying entertainment journalist, which has seen him interview the high and mighty.
In Success is not Served A la Carte, he offers to posterity some of the greatest celebrity interviews he has ever conducted in his journalism career in different fields of human endeavour. From football greats like Kanu Nwankwo and Jayjay Okocha to technocrats like Christopher Kolade and Tony Ezenna; actors like Pete Edochie and Olu Jacobs; comedians like Ayo Makin and Bovi Ugboma, and countless others, the author offers us an inexpensive pilgrimage into the lives of these great Nigerians and, above all, their recipe for success.
Arinze’s interviews are a mixture of entertainment, education and inspiration. The beauty of this collection is that those who initially missed the magazine editions now have a second chance to immerse themselves in these revelatory interviews. It, among others, enables readers to tap from the versed experiences of these successful men and women from diverse backgrounds in their own bid to climb the social ladder or better their own records.
Dr. Christopher Kolade, the former MD of Cadbury Nigeria Plc, advises us in Arinze’s interview with him that “if you want to succeed in life, you have to seek the face of the author of life… That’ s the first secret of success…” and “you must work very hard, you must work so hard that there is no space that somebody can say that you didn’t do this, that’s why you didn’t succeed.” Again, you must be ready to learn, because this world changes everyday.
For Tony Ezenna, good things don’t come easy. In the author’s interview with him, the Orange Drugs Chairman emphasises that perseverance is key to success: “What gives me joy is the fact that I can think out an idea and people will tell me it is not possible; it can’t work. And I have the conviction that it would work; at the end of the day, it works and they say, ‘You are too much.’ So that is success.”
In this book, we learn from Apostle Anselm Madubuko on his greatest achievement in the clergy as being able to touch lives in places where no African has ever broken into. “Seeing old Russians accept Christ; 80-something year olds, 90-something year olds, giving their lives to Christ, crying. It has changed my life,” he discloses.
Joe Odumakin, the intrepid rights activist, defines activism as the ability to change, influence, either consciously or unconsciously. From Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, we learn that “what makes a good lawyer is diligence; a lawyer must be hardworking, you must have passion for the profession, the capacity for discovery; you must have the mind to go the extra mile.”
Football fans reading Arinze’s book will enjoy his surelyenjoy his titillating interview with former Super Eagles striker, Kanu Nwankwo (Papilo), regarded as Nigeria’s most decorated footballer. “Football is my talent. God gives people different talents so that they can use them. And I think what I have now is football and whatever I have today, I got through football,” he tells Arinze.
Austin Okocha is another big fish captured by Arinze in Success… In this fascinating interview, the dribbling wizard says his most memorable goal was the one he scored against Frankfurt, “because it became the goal of the century, and people will remind me of that goal.” His best for the national team, he says, was the free kick he scored against Algeria when Nigeria was a goal down in the 90s. Perhaps his greatest disappointment was not winning the African Footballer of the Year.
One of the fascinating interviews in this book, from a journalistic perspective, is the one with Simon Kolawale, Founder/CEO, The Cable, who says, among others, a good story “is the kind of story that goes beyond ‘he said… he said’…. A story that tells us more, that puts things in proper perspective….”
Arinze’s Success is not Served A la Carte is recommended for students of journalism and practising journalists. It will also make an interesting reading for the general reader looking for role models shape their horizons. The author, Arinze,is the Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of YES International magazine.