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There is a parade misconception of the general believe that engineers statements like ‘no human is above

mistakes’ or that ‘everybody makes mistakes’. One single truth that is often misconstrued, misinterpreted and in most cases misrepresented.

Let me arrive properly with a popular history!

Since prehistoric times, mistakes or errors have been part of man and good processes of learning, for example, in 1879 Thomas Alva Edison although could be said to have created the first commercially practical incandescent light, but he repeatedly failed his 999 times and was only able to give us electric bulb or light that we now enjoy today at the 1000th time of his errors and trial. But he didn’t try to conceal his many defeats and many shortcomings after his success for they are the plan to his success and more importantly, he didn’t stop simply because he has failed that too many times, but kept going and he was right.

It is evident that in life we all at one point or the other commit errors that may never be erased for a long time in our memories and the perception it creates in the minds of those who are aware of it; not forgetting the overall image it builds. But for so many good reasons, it is much better to attempt at something and encounter or commit those said errors than not try at all which is totally villain in nature and not my thing.

News penultimate month got the internet and social media buzzing with grievous reactions to the apparent errors encountered while reading book written by a very popular and famous model and actress Bonang Matheba.


(Bonang’s new bestselling book slammed over bad grammar and mistakes. 2017-08-04 10:12. Channel24)

My point is that the charade that the book publisher reportedly explained and took the blame alone is indeed a deceitful and shenanigan television internet game show and worthily, a PR for babes. Bonang had every time she needed and should have made sure the publisher entered very well correctly and neatly what she wrote in her manuscript by simply proofreading before the hasty publication and book launch.


Secondly, i am not trying to be critical of Bonang and the book nor in any way reprimanding or attacking her works for she is beautiful, elegant, sweet and a talented model. To be fair I have not read the book myself, and do acknowledge my own mistakes over the time, as a matter of fact, I just ordered my copy of it and will read through when I get it, but before that I am going to give below six (6) pointers, instances or conditions that can lead to unavoidable errors as big as Bonang’s and it’s when you:

  1. DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING OR LACK EXPERIENCE – If you have little or no experience in doing a thing mistakes could come. But the learning over time- shortcomings, improvements and achievements equals your experience. You are bound to witness or make mistakes when you do not know in detail or very well what you are doing at a particular time. It could also happen when you’re new to it or unsettled. Everything takes time for humans to get used to them. So I recommend taking the time to know the field; study it hard and you will become perfect in it though only with time and some regularity.
  2. DON’T KNOW HOW TO DO – Book writing is an art and just like modelling and any other form of art, deserved some good attention and  bits of knowledge and some necessary skills. Mistakes are bound to occur when you are short of ideas or not used to system of things in whatever you are doing. You should try to know how things are done properly in any industry that you want to venture, wherefore there are written procedures and methods.
  3. UNDER PRESSURE – You make a lot of mistakes when you put yourself or are put under any kind of pressure or are unsettled by an unexpected event. Though some may tend to also get the best out of themselves when under pressure, but the stress and imbalances that occurs naturally induces strain that leads to mistakes. Any quality stuff takes just about enough time and planning; any kind of rush-rash or trying to beat some set deadline can lead to immense pressure leading to huge mistakes as often seen in work places, media or in politics.
  4. LACK PATIENCE – Patience is a virtue they say and not all can have it. It takes understanding and experience to have patience. Having patience in this regard does not in any way imply procrastination. Even worse! But it is a call to learn to wait for the right time to do anything, it is the where and when.
  5. WANT TO IMPRESS – Whenever you have an original plan to impress the public in any form, huge mistakes are let out. Simply because you cannot impress everyone. Notice whenever you try to, you get into trouble or unnecessary pressures and even criticism.
  6. ABOUT TO ACHIEVE – Anytime you are about to achieve a milestone or accelerate to greater heights and altitude, you may make mistakes because it takes great efforts- hard work and certain necessary skills to get at whatever you are attempting. In his response Edison mentioned earlier replied, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.” “Great success is built on failure, frustration, even catastrophe.” The errors may not be intentional, could be even omissions and stuff, but because certain sensitives things must happen simultaneously when certain things are happening and mistake could be one of them if enough care is not taken during the process, mistakes follows.

In my opinion the noble thing for Bonang would have been to proudly admit when her errors were found out that she and co made a mistake and if possible revise the book after and believe it or not, it’s not belittling or humbling in any way. Bonang should not feel or be too big to admit to such a disastrous mistake and should therefore publicly accept the blame and apologize for the later cover up or at least take the blame alongside the book publisher.

Thank you.

Peter Okafor/ExpressBlogger. Email: peterspiff@gmail.com

Phone: 0781325225

Peter Okafor is a final year student of Public Management at Central Technical College, Cape Town. 




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