Father’s Gift: Three Big Pillars

Lt. Col. Vince Nwafor, US Army (Ret.)

Publisher: Archway Publishing Pages: 264 Price: (paperback) $17.99 ISBN: 9781665740586 Reviewed: March, 2024 Author Website: Visit »

A grandfather offers practical advice to a grandson and others in this straightforward guide to growing-up.

In these pages, Vince Nwafor, born in Nigeria and now a naturalized U.S. citizen and retired U.S. Army officer, shares what he calls “nuggets of wisdom” garnered from having been “around the block a few times.” He organizes the advice into 23 short chapters that fall under three general headings: “Self-Empowerment,” “Building Wealth,” and “Family.” (Two other sections introduce family members, including the grandson for whom the book was written.)

Nwafor covers personal hygiene, character building, education, “belief in God,” public-speaking and leadership, as well as finding the right job and the right house, how to manage savings and investments, the importance of credit scores, and different types of insurance. He also addresses dating, respecting one’s parents, and getting along with siblings. The advice—from the mundane, such as picking a toothpaste (“The best ones fight plaque, prevent cavities…and get rid of bad breath”) to the significant, such as choosing a wife (“Be leery of controversial personalities – unless you want to spin in place and generate friction and heat until you exhaust yourself and go kaput”)—are packed tightly into paragraphs, without personal narrative or anecdotes.

Nwafor (who is a native speaker of Igbo) comments that he has a “flair” for “proverbs, idioms and riddles,” and a “penchant” for alliteration, metaphor, anaphor, and other writing techniques. Although his written English is lucid, even humorous (this on politics: “Conservatives tend to show up for fight with chain saws and liberals come with butter knives”), too often trite phrases appear, such as “their bark is worse than their bite” and “birds of the same feather flock together.”

Ultimately, the readership is limited. Nwafor’s book is meant for hetero-Christian boys (roughly between the ages of 12 and 15). Young people of other religions or genders seeking a few insights into life will do better looking elsewhere.

Also available in hardcover and ebook.

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