The power of books

Reflecting on journalism in Africa

Over the past few weeks, I have found the time to do an awful lot of reading. I’m not entirely sure how this has happened, given everything that is going on at the moment, but there we go. Perhaps it has something to do with the need to escape the stress of day-to-day life through seeking refuge in literature.

The two books that I have been reading have been very different.

The first was entitled Into Africa by Martin Dugard, and chronicles the epic story of Henry Stanley’s intrepid voyage into the heart of Africa, in pursuit of Dr David Livingstone. Written in eminently readable form, it was definitely a real page-turner. If you want an idea of what good journalism is, then this was it. Certainly the scoop of the century and quite possibly the scoop of the millennium.

The book was inspiring on two counts. Firstly because I love journalism and secondly because I love Africa. After finishing the book, my head was awash with scoops that I could break, and I vowed to redouble my efforts to dig up some hitherto unreported stories when I once again enter the world of freelance at the end of this month.

The second book that I picked up, and which I am currently half-way through, is of an altogether different character. It is the autobiography of British entrepreneur and business tycoon Richard Branson, who set up Virgin, and is entitled Losing my Virginity.

This book is also a terrific inspiration, since there are definite parallels between what I envisaged for City Trail Publishing when we set it up and what Branson envisaged for his company – and what it eventually became.

The book has thus inspired me to redouble my efforts to make City Trail Publishing a success, thoughts of earth-shattering scoops slipping from my mind.

Two books that have inspired me in quite different ways, concerning two very different things that I am passionate about. It is just very hard to tell at the moment which of my two interests is eventually going to win out. Right now, it appears to be the one that relates to whatever literature I have most recently been reading – which I’m not convinced is the best way to plan one’s life.

I still remain very torn between journalism and managing a business. I love both, but it is difficult to see how I’ll ever be able to combine the two jobs.

It is interesting to note that, when he was at school, Branson wanted to become a journalist and, because of this his first successful business enterprise was a student magazine.

Eventually, though, it was his love of business that won out.


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One Response to “The power of books”

  1. William Says:

    Reading? The picture looks more like you’re sleeping 😉

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