Authoring Your Own Destiny

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Nilai U graduate launches self-published leadership book at SMK Sultan Abdul Samad.

"I was a very shy and reserved guy when I first arrived at Nilai University (Nilai U). I read a lot of self-development books which helped me come out of my shell," admits Nelson David Bassey, who recently graduated from the Diploma in Mechanical Engineering programme with a Distinction. "It was then that I thought I would try to write a similar book in simple-to-understand English to helpbenefit other students." David (as he is known to his friends) then approached the Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Science and Technology, Prof. Dr. R.Logeswaran  N.Rajasvaran, to help with this ambitious project. "When he approached me, he had already started on the first draft and I fully encouraged him as this was a very worthwhile effort. I know PhD holders who have not even thought of writing a book and here was a diploma holder who was keen to do so," recalls Prof Loges, the co-author.

Fast forward two-and-a-half years, the 23-year old Nigerian is the proud author of “The New Generation of Leadership: Transforming Ordinary Young People into Outstanding and Growing Leaders” and he was invited to launch his book at SMK Sultan Abdul Samad, Petaling Jaya by the secondary school's principal, Sarawasthy Narayanasamy. The principal says she hand-picked the students to attend the launch which comprised senior prefects, presidents of clubs and societies and members of the school debating team. Having read the book, Saraswathy says she found the contents to be extremely helpful and its easy-to-digest English language allowed for secondary school students to comprehend the lessons contained within. She also said that as a young author, David is a great role model to her young students and she encouraged her charges to purchase a copy.


Authoring Your Own Destiny

(L-R) David Oh (mentor to author), Prof. Dr.R.Logeswaran N.Rajasvaran (Nilai U Dean of the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Technology), Nelson David Bassey (author of New Generation of Leadership), Prof. Datuk Dr. Megat Burhainuddin B. Megat Abdul Rahman (Nilai U Vice-Chancellor), Saraswathy Naranasamy (Principal of SMK Sultan Abdul Samad) and Dr C.K. Lee (US Fulbrighter Accelerated Training International) and his daughter, Jane.


Echoing their principal's sentiments, the assembled students bombarded David with their questions and also highlighted some of the lessons they garnered from reading the book. "A leader must learn to deal with criticism and also learn how to deal with pressure. Leaders not only have a great responsibility to achieve their own dreams but also lead their team to success," says Emmanuel Yogan Lourdes, a fifth former and debating team member at SMK Sultan Abdul Samad. His cohort Ethan Gomes also said that "leaders had to first seek to understand before looking to be understood. That is the true sign of leadership."

David also conducted a workshop and a reading as part of the launch. Also present at the launch were Professor Datuk Dr. Megat Burhainuddin (Nilai U Vice-Chancellor), Dr CK Lee (US Fullbrighter, Accelerated Training International), and David Oh. The latter two have been instrumental to David in writing the book by acting as endorser and mentor respectively. There was also a taped video message from the US from self-development author and networking expert, Sarah Michel, who is also the third author of the book, congratulating David on his feat.

Nilai U's motto is 'Enrichment for Life' and this means that administrators take a holistic approach to studies. Every effort is taken to allow students to broaden their horizons beyond the confines of the classroom. David's efforts to get himself published is one such example and Nilai U is proud to have a published author as its alumni.