NATHAN WERE: A Fifteen Year Journey of Prayer, Hard work, and Resilience
A book review:
With the benefit of hindsight, Nathan Were takes a scalpel to his past, making a thorough dissection of his grass to grace background, and takes into account the reasons for his meteoric rise.
In his honest, candid, bare-it-all style, Nathan gently walks the reader through the trials and tribulations a child of humble means has to circumnavigate to reach the pinnacle of success and accomplishment.
In the opening chapter, which he aptly names The Origin, he writes about his modest, unpretentious upbringing in Busitema, Busia, Eastern Uganda. With a tinge of humor, especially when he vividly paints the picture of his very first experience using modern amenities like the water closet and the shower, he brings to life the spectacular amazement and amusement of ‘the rain that seemingly fell in only one part of the house.’
From here, his life’s journey leads to Kenya, where he enrolls in school and has to encounter a cultural shock, as not only is the syllabus different, but also the language and lifestyle in general. At the very beginning of school he is demoted to a lower class just by virtue of his size!
He hardly minces his words expressing his revulsion at the fact that he and his siblings have to ‘hop from one school to another.’ Seeing as his father, first a trainee and later a fully fledged, ordained clergyman, is always on the move.
In the subsequent chapters, it is roller coaster as the children and their mother have to relocate to Lyantonde, back in western Uganda, to stay with a maternal grandmother. Nathan gives credit to this grandmother for the life skills she inculcates in him during this long sojourn.
At the end of his primary school, Nathan moves again, this time to Kampala, for his secondary education. All throughout his primary, and now secondary school, he has to engage in different vocations, including garbage collection, in order to make ends meet.
Along the way, Nathan is gifted with the ability to make friends, many of whom lead him to opportunities that enable him not only take care of himself, but also his siblings. He soon passes his secondary school with flying colors and joins university on merit, meaning he’s on government sponsorship.
At Makerere University, Nathan reads hard, and soon graduates, but since he has long identified education as the vehicle for his and his family’s deliverance, he goes on to enroll for a masters in Italy, which he also goes through like a hot knife through butter, graduating summa cum laude.
Armed with his Masters degree, Nathan returns to work for various organizations, never hesitating to take a leap of faith whenever a better prospect of employment presents itself. He soon meets Christine, his lifetime partner, with whom he starts a family of his own. Nathan keeps on the lookout for further study opportunities, culminating into enrolment at the prestigious Harvard Business School. This opens more doors, including joining the World Bank Group as an access to finance specialist.
In a nutshell, the author points out a few action points to the reader: always pray; finish whatever you start; take calculated risks; keep learning; help people; love your family; plan, save, and invest; retire early to chase your passion.
By and large, one can state without any fear of contradiction that there is no mountain too high to surmount, especially when one is focused and tenaciously holds onto their own self-belief, with God as the wind beneath their wings.
Nathan Were’s book will be launched on 20.10.2019 at 11am at St. Francis Chapel, Makerere University, Kampala.