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The Life of an Educator – A Review of Margaret Olayide Sasegbon’s Guided Footsteps

The Life of an Educator – A Review of Margaret Olayide Sasegbon’s Guided Footsteps

Title: Guided Footsteps: An inspiring memoir and timeless lessons in Grand parenting
Author: Margaret Olayide Sasegbon
Publisher: Jotham Publishing
Year of Publication: 2020
Number of Pages: 200
Category: Memoir

Guided Footsteps is a fascinating and easy to read memoir from one of the most respected and well known educationists in Nigeria. This enjoyable, informative autobiography is narrated in great detail. The events and influences that led Margaret Olayide Sasegbon to become an amazon in the Nigerian primary school education are succinctly delineated.

The book is divided in two parts; the author takes the reader seamlessly through two distinct phases of her life, her educational world and being a grandparent.

Through her memoir, the mother of two and the grandmother of four opens up key moments in her life: early childhood; teenage years, teaching profession, family, her experiences with grand parenthood etc.

Born in Lagos, Sasegbon was brought up in a large family. Her father played a significant and positive role in her life and sparked his daughter’s love for knowledge. Later in her life, she moves to live with her uncle and his family and we see how the young Margaret is shaped by her uncle’s religious values and providing a career path for her.

Her interest in teaching began in early childhood: she was not quite seven years old when she would call the children in her compound together to impart knowledge to them. Here we start to understand her love for teaching and leadership.

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Twentieth-century Lagos Island is seen in the background of Sasegbon’s teenage story, both in its periods of chaos and calm. Later in her life, she entered into teaching and enjoyed academic achievements.

The book’s chapters about Sasegbon’s time as a Headmistress at Corona are captivating. As the first black head of school at Corona and having served for 23 years, Sasegbon emphasised the values of enriching children’s lives, not just through core educational skills, but also responsibility, analytical skills, and building self-confidence. Not only are Sasegbon’s life and work a great inspiration, she also offered innumerable insights into education.

Throughout the text, themes and characters recur: children, parents, teachers and friends arrive and return. Her message is one of encouraging authentic leadership; to lead by example, aim for the highest standards and work hard to achieve them.

Sasegbon also devotes special attention to her memories of courting and marrying her husband. She described with great joy her happy home but when difficult times come, it hits the author hard: Sasegbon husband’s death at the age of seventy one is recalled.

The book’s second part is dedicated to grandparents or grandparents in-waiting. She draws on her experience as a grandparent to help readers be the best grandparent they can be.

Guided Footsteps closes with tributes from her students, trainees, colleagues, family, and friends and packed with photographs that show significant events in Sasegbon’s life. Life illuminating quotes were shared, too; they were separated from the main text and support Sasegbon’s takes on topics including courage, determination, passion, hard work, leadership, grandparenthood etc.

Overall, Sasegbon’s memoir Guided Footsteps is a testament to hard work that she has put in over 23 years of her professional life. Readers are sure to enjoy this honest memoir and apply the truths the book imparts.

About the reviewer
Titilade Oyemade is a business executive in a leading organisation and holds a degree in Russian Language. She’s the convener of the Hangoutwithtee Ladies Event and the publisher of Hangoutwithtee magazine. She spends her weekends attending women conferences, events and book readings. She loves to have fun and to help other women have the same in their lives. Email: [email protected] Social: @tiipree