"So as I see it, destiny is our reason for being and for which we are remembered long after we depart the earth."

As he was growing up in a small village in eastern Nigeria, there was no reason to suppose that young Ogbuleke Ikebie (the author’s childhood name) would even go to school. Then the first of many small miracles occurs when the area’s Methodist Church decides to open a school, and the boy is asked to attend to make up the requisite number of students. Surprising even himself, he scores highest in his class in final exams the first year. He continues to achieve academically, and in his final year, another remarkable happening shapes his future. A team of electrical engineers visits the school and offers a demonstration. Invited to participate in a simple exercise—turning on a switch to produce light from a battery—the boy begins to shout that he wants to be an electrical engineer. This, as it turns out, is more than just a childish fantasy. With the ability for problem-solving, determination, and high grades that clearly distinguish him, he obtains his first job in electrical engineering at age twelve. That becomes a springboard for further study, employment, and education abroad, including degrees in computer and electrical engineering from Northeastern University in Boston.

But Ndukwe’s luck does not always hold. As the tech sector goes through a boom to a near bust in the early 2000s, he finds himself unemployed, even working for a while as a vacuum cleaner salesman and delivery driver. With grit and faith, he finally raises himself up from this low point. Because of this turnaround, he believes he can be an example to others.

In this engaging saga, a little boy born in poverty rises beyond the restrictions of his culture and social position, gains traction by dint of his solid intellect, and travels the world. Ndukwe offers his life’s excursion of rising, falling, and rising again as a metaphor that can encourage others, fashioning his recollections as a guide filled with practical advice gleaned from that journey. He has designed this memoir as a self-help manual. Each chapter ends with a “Takeaway”—numbered points recapping and building on the meaning of the experiences he has recounted. His writing is fluid, using slang and casual speech as well as some technical jargon. He employs both humor and pathos as he frankly describes his fortunes and misfortunes. His destiny has indeed proven to be audacious, as he illustrates with such incidents as being unexpectedly gifted a new car by a concerned neighbor and securing a loan for his first home purchase after doing what came naturally to him—kindly assisting a lame stranger trying to crawl up a set of steps. The stranger turned out to be the realtor he had come to consult. These and other striking occurrences have brought Ndukwe to the conclusion that “there’s goodness in every soul waiting to be awakened.” He also acknowledges that he has often been the recipient of “American generosity.” Today he is “happily retired” in New Jersey and has resolved to use his writing talents and his unique understanding of life’s surprises as a means to help others.

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