Title: To My Girls, With Love
Genre: Self-Help Book
Author: Iyerusalema Gebrekidan
Reviewer: Rumona Apiyo
Available at: Text Book Center KES:1000
To My Girls, With Love is a mother’s earnest well-thought lessons from different dimensions of life. Iyerusalema Gebrekidan sums up in finer details like precious diamonds lessons that have worked for her in relationships, work, and society in general.
This is essentially a how to live your purpose intentionally book. The words in this book emanate from the heart to caution, correct, and guide daughters on how to live in this generation that is full of corruption, erosion of mannerisms, an immoral landscape riddled with prejudice, and, even more disquietingly, people who are willing to sell their souls for anything.
This is a book written at end of the author’s tether. It has gone beyond the normal advice women give to their daughters, ‘work hard so that you have money of your own; a woman should speak or dress this way or that way,’ and so on and so forth. It is similar to what Solomon does in the books of Ecclesiastes and Proverbs. It is the work of a woman who has finally found the right words for her daughters after a vast experience in her sphere of influence.
It is rare to find a woman who addresses the very horrors that we face with such boldness yet with a voice that is entreating young women to walk in uprightness in case they want to be people who will be remembered like Wangari Maathai, Wangu wa Makeri, Prophetess Moraa or even Mekatili wa Menza.
To My Girls, With Love opens with the sentence, "In life, it is important to ask questions," a clear indication that throughout the book, we will have to ask ourselves difficult questions that may embarrass or applaud us. It also means that we will have an aesthetic distance to appreciate the baroque twist and turns life shows us.
Iyerusalema’s answer to whether she loved her neighbours as herself will be, as far as she can recall, she has touched numerous lives with her gifts, finances, encouragements and compliments. She tells her daughters that selfishness, pride, laziness, impatience, and unforgiveness are not in sync with nature. She encourages them to find their purposes in life and live in them fearlessly with no regrets.
She shares the story of the Ethiopian Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed Ali who, as from the age of seven, knew he would become a king because his mother told him. She calls it living a life with a vision. As a mother, she labours to teach her daughters how to live a simple yet fulfilling lives shunning all that looks popular and good but in the end leads to self-destruction.
Born in Ethiopia, Iyarusalema loves to listen and discuss spiritual matters which is evident in this book. Despite having a flourishing career with the African Development Bank, she volunteers as a Sunday school teacher at her local church. Hers is a vibrant call to young women to step up and be noble.