By Omotayo Yusuf
To describe “Brand your blindness” as an autobiography will merely create an incomplete impression that it is a personal sojourn of the author through the transition from being sighted to being blind and then “seeing through blindness”. To refer to it as a motivational book might create the impression that it is an instructional book on how to be successful. Perhaps the safest way to describe it without putting it into a box or complicating issues is to see it as an engaging discussion between the author and the reader in which the latter is expected to ponder on some of the questions the book is asking.
The book is divided into seven chapters but there is a fluidity that connects one chapter to the other. It symmetrically engages the reader through the “eye” of the author on his blindness during the period he could see to the critical point of his inability to see up to the discerning point where his blindness leads him to seeing with his vision.
It will be fair to employ the same conversational style that is used in the book in this review as it bridges the perceived gap between the author and reader.
The words “blindness”, “seeing”, “vision”, “disability”, “perception” and “visually impaired” are words that we are familiar with but they have been carelessly overused that the in-depth meanings are lost. The book gives a new dimension to some of the things that we know but not consciously aware of. Imagine being told that you are disabled. What comes to the mind is stern disbelief because you feel with the ability to see, hear, talk and move without help, you shouldn’t be considered disabled. The book however gives a simple, yet strong analogy of a pot-bellied person who is unable to bend and pick something from the floor. The inability to do that means he is disabled in that aspect. This is not a problem according to the book as the inability to visualise with the mind a means to achieving this goal is where the real problem lies.
That everyone is disabled is not a fallacy “Brand Your Blindness” however is sternly against giving or asking for pity because of your perceived disability. Rather, the book focus is how a disabled person can benefit and also benefit others through empowerment. You are only blind if you fail to use your imagination and vision to succeed. This success is a result of hand work that leads to specialisation so that when people think about something or a problem, your name is immediately associated with it or as the solution.
One fascinating thing about the book is its simple way of communicating problems and achieving success through that perceived problem. The practical examples and real-life experience that the book guides the reader through creates a sense of “I- will- do” optimism. The selfless path to achieving success through the synergy of receiving empowerment and empowering others repositions the book from just a vague construction to a realistic and practical journey. In other to stand out, you must create a brand of yourself and with a sense of humility, pursue and develop you strongest in-built asset and the more it continues to empower other people, the more success it will bring to you.
One disappointing flaw about “Brand Your Blindness” is its brevity. Although the message is clear but a book as inspiring and engaging as it is should exceed 100 pages. Perhaps I am taking from the point of view of a person who reads a lot. However it is not the number of pages that matter but the life changing engagement that the book takes the reader through.