AUTHOR: JULIANA OLAYODE
GENRE: FICTION (AUTOBIOGRAPHY)
NUMBER OF PAGES: 150
PUBLISHERS: THE LOVE FACTORY
YEAR OF PUBLICATION: 2017
REVIEWER: OYINDAMOLA SHOOLA
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
― Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
Rebirth, Juliana Olayode’s truth-filled biography, validates Maya Angelou’s quote above. This intriguing narrative inspires spirituality through prayers and relentless trust and worship in God, hope, hard work, and dedication.
in Rebirth, Juliana shows herself as a worthy example of moving from grass to grace — her background of poverty and financial strain, how her parents’ divorce caused emotional and physical setbacks for her and her siblings, the loss of her virginity, her struggle in the pursuit of educational advancement, and her testimony of becoming a successful Nollywood actress.
The book has the potential for sustained impact, because it showed the author’s triumph over the feeling of unworthiness of self-love, other people’s love, and, above all, God’s love, as a result of the shame from our human imperfections. She convincingly shows that freedom can be gained through forgiveness and by breaking down the walls of shame.
Rebirth also teaches forgiveness as a transformative tool for healing that anyone can acquire, if only they accept their hurt and they are honest about it. It redefines kindness as a gift that material possessions cannot replace.
The reader is made to feel Juliana’s humility, hope, and unshaken belief that there are better days ahead while experiencing her humiliation in the face of hopelessness and careless mistakes.
Importantly, Juliana’s story shows that our perception of other people is not sufficient to understand their truth. Who would have thought that the famed Juliana Olayode hawked as a child to make ends meet? On the other hand, who would have imagined that becoming famous does not guarantee instant wealth, especially in the music or movie industry with all its glitz?
Rebirth is an honest piece that defeats the shame Juliana and anyone in similar shoes may feel in bad experiences.
Juliana did not hold back in telling her truth for others to learn. This is really important.
As a writer, when I am writing nonfiction, particularly memoirs, I struggle with my version of the truth and permitting a reader into the whole experiences of my truth. For this reason alone, I appreciate Juliana’s her courage, openness, and honesty which gave her book an outstanding energy.
On a personal level, Rebirth compelled me to rethink my imagination of what life, and what our lives are in the public eye. I realized that except people tell their stories as Juliana has done, their true lives may never be appreciated by those who observe from a distance.
Words are not enough to describe the value of the life experiences that Juliana has lived and presented to the world through Rebirth, for people to learn and practice.
She is indeed a role model that people should exemplify.