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Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite
Growing Up in Africa: A Destiny Fulfilled by Dr. Benjamin Ogbonna is a moving memoir of a man who overcame the odds to become the doctor he dreamed he would be one day. A Nigerian raised by strict missionary parents in the 1950s, he faced troubled times in a civil war and grew up with very little except a dream. This dream took him all the way to the United Kingdom, where he became a specialist. Later he went to the Middle East to practice. Benjamin describes how little he had as a child, where basic necessities weren't available. Under such harsh conditions, one would think that dreams die easy, but his only seemed to flourish. He relates what he calls miracles and near-death experiences, and you really admire his struggle to overcome. He was mischievous as a boy, was sick at times, lost friends in the civil war, but no setback deterred him.
Aimed at helping readers realize their potential, this book accomplishes its goal and even though it is short, it is one of the most memorable books of this size I have read recently. I wish it had been longer. Ogbonna's life is so inspiring, and it's bound to touch readers both young and old. He believes in destiny and that some are chosen to do certain things in life. He likens the path of destiny to a maze, which may be hard to meander through, but so rewarding to reach the end. He is a believer in strong parenting and divine guidance and gives examples from his life to illustrate his points. It's sweet that he acknowledges his parents' help in steering him on the right path, and stresses the point of not giving that responsibility solely over to teachers. If you're in the mood to have your spirits lifted, or love reading success stories, Growing Up in Africa by Dr. Benjamin Ogbonna is a perfect choice.