Title: The Flavor of Favor: Quest For the American Dream. A Memoir
Author: Emmanuel Olawale
Reviewer: Deba Uwadiae
America is regarded as “A Land of Opportunities” and it is true but what many do not consider is that there are efforts, events and processes that lead to these opportunities. These activities are mainly characterized by hard work, determination, conviction, luck and sometimes subtle aggression.
All these are qualities that come to play in the memoir, “The Flavor of Favor: Quest for the American Dream. A Memoir.”
Every immigrant to any part of the world always has a drive and a purpose for immigrating and could be self-driven or events such as political and economic challenges or career. And for Emmanuel Olawale, the author, it was “The American Dream” which to many in Nigeria, the country of his birth, and Africa where that 'Dream” is “Prosperity” as practically displayed by instant acquisition of American Dollar, cars, houses and all the trappings of wealth and exuberance in the Land of Opportunities.
Though, America surely could be regarded as a Land of Opportunities where as narrated by Emmanuel in 'Coming to America': “I'd thought everyone in America was rich and had more than enough to eat and wear,” it is still an evolving nation pursuing the dreams of the aspirations of the founders.
The Flavor of Favor is set in two continents, Nigeria, Africa, the land of birth of Emmanuel Olawale, who in his early 20s immigrated to the United States of America to pursue the American Dream.
The first eleven chapters are birth and childhood experience in Lagos, the former capital of Nigeria. Growing up in a polygamous home, he realized the importance of hard work and excellence to survive in such a competitive milieu. He enjoyed love and at the same time, outright envy and injustice as a child growing up. As a teenager he craved for his independence and respect for his opinion and decisions, even when it hurts. His academic brilliance created a path of endearment and recognition for him amongst his peers and even those who hated his guts. In spite of his endowment that could have ordinarily made Emmanuel a mummy's baby, he chose to work odd jobs on the riotous and sometimes dangerous streets of Lagos to provide for his needs.
His coming to America in the fall of 1997 was like an escape from the vicissitudes that plagued the Lagos terrain of survival. As Emmanuel Olawale settles down to life in America, securing a job and a home of his own, he soon realized that all was not gold that glittered. America also shares its own peculiar problems – envy, ignorance, injustice and racism. He had two options, and they were to either be sucked in by the America he was experiencing through those he came in contact with or the America of his Dream and the Dream of many who have made a Change in America as well as that of the founders.
Through the right mix and influence he chose education and the law profession. As he worked through education and the Law School he refused to surrender to despair in the face of sufferings and frustrations. Encouraged by loyal friends and wife who believed in his qualities and potentials Emmanuel Olawale was able to pull through; and became a qualified lawyer and sworn in into the Ohio Bar on November 7, 2005. In the Epilogue, Emmanuel had a chance to contest for the post of a Judge in Delaware County, Ohio in 2014. Though he lost the election it created a base for future elective positions for a man that came to America, with virtually less than a dollar in his pocket but has worked up to the comity of renowned Americans.
A well lay-out book with very friendly typography. The Flavor of Favor: Quest For the American Dream. A Memoir is easy to read and compelling with its very descriptive narrations. It is difficult to put down once a reader begins to read. It is vital to those that strove for the American Dream and an inspiration to the weak and the dejected.