On self-help

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By Stella Riunga

Posted  Sunday, December 29  2013 at  00:00

In Summary

What is your take on the so-called self-help material?


Everyone has a pet hate. A hate that makes absolutely no sense to anybody else. A hate they have nurtured and fueled quietly for years and years. My pet hate is self-help books. If I had my way, plus a little paraffin and a box of matches (proper matches, not those waxen monstrosities that burn your thumbs the second you light them) I would leave a blazing trail of destruction in my wake. I would destroy the miserable, tottering pile of cheap newspaper-print books that every hawker sells along with oranges, chewing gum, the Chinese ten-pack toilet paper (I’m not saying anything but if I were you I would stick to regular toilet paper) and various network airtime scratch cards.

10 Steps to Be Rich, 5 Steps to Success, Who moved my bogoya? I kissed hard work goodbye, How to keep him, How to make him stay, How to cope when he leaves, Men are from Mbale and Women are from Tororo, Get your sexy back, Keep your sexy on, I kissed aging goodbye, Rich Mum Poor Aunty, The Nun that sold her Ipsum, Discover the inner you, Explore the outer you blah blah blah ad nauseum.

I shiver when I see intelligent-looking people reading these kinds of titles. I cannot help it. I imagine that if you can read 5 Steps to Success written in Luglish (that curious, retarded step-sister of English) and printed on blotting-paper, by someone whose photo and life biography shows that he is more needy than you are, what will stop you from reading How to Get Up in the Morning? Or How to Think from Moment to Moment?

“Oh, yes, I read a lot, mainly self-help books” said with a confident grin. Do you know how many ‘potentials’ have been banished to the ‘just friends’ category (where there is darkness and much weeping and gnashing of teeth) just by this one line? Next time you’re out in the blazing sun and pass a neatly-arranged pile of self-help books so attractively packaged in clear plastic, just DON’T DO IT!!! Good grief, just go and read the newspaper, at the very least!