NonFiction Monday is hosted today by Apple with Many Seeds. Check out the other contribution for the day.
Mighty Men is a compilation of nine heroes, who helped make a difference in the lives of many, including Singapore. It is not a mere story book nor is it a boring history text; on the contrary, it is wonderfully written by Low Jat Leng.
The nine heroes come with background information about their lives that we have never heard of before, besides their successes. Aided with the quirkily refreshing illustrations by the talented Lui Yiling & Budi H. Heru, the illustrations add life to the stories of these nine intriguing and amazing men.
While Gandhi, Stamford Raffles and Munshi Abdullah appear as no surprise additions to the list, Joseph Conrad and P Ramlee do. Joseph Conrad immortalized Singapore in his novels. How interesting is that!
My personal favourite is Munshi Abdullah. I never knew until I read ‘Mighty Men’ that Sir Stamford Raffles had favoured and hired him at the tender age of 13. It is fascinating to read about he could engage in many discussions with Raffles at such a young age. How big an impact did Munshi Abdullah have on Singapore? Well, he has a street named after him, how about that?! He was one of the favourites who authoritatively described Stamford Raffles and has own written works treasured within Malay literature.
Just like Munshi Abdullah, the other mighty men used their talents as weapons to make a difference in their lives and their countrymen. For instance, there was Jose Rizal, who united the people with his words and wrote the truth about his beliefs to fight for their rights. Then there was King Chulalongkorn who protected his country and gave the best he could to his people, namely peace and independence.
Yet another golden nugget was the information on the multi-talented P Ramlee. P Ramlee’s films are still being shown every week on Malaysian channels, which makes him more ‘alive’ than the other men. There were so many interesting details about his life, including the Indian producers’ influences on his early films – details that I had never known before. This made me watch his films much more closely.
Every tale in this collection of great heroes is bound to touch a part of the readers’ heart. With all of them somehow connected to Singapore and her history, it shows how much we owe them for their hard work and determination, molded by their dreams.
The book is light, engaging and appeals more to pre teens who are about to be introduced to history in the secondary school years. That it has a hard cover makes it appear like a child’s fairy tale book except that they were all real men.
Definitely to be recommended to all.
Quill Junior Contributor
Nurul Iiman Bte Said,
15 years old from Hougang Secondary School, SingaporeMany thanks to Janus Education, Carlo Venson and Catherine Khoo for making this possible.