This businessman’s rags-to-riches tale, filled with adventure, is an entertaining read.
Entrepreneur—and now author and actor—Tariku Bogale has lived a remarkable life and has enjoyed extraordinary success. His memoir, Unstoppable: Challenge Accepted, details some of his fascinating adventures, from his childhood in Ethiopia to his business career in Switzerland and the United States.
Born in a poor Ethiopian village, Bogale was able to acquire an illegal passport to cross into Tanzania and gain a proper education. His immigration status was discovered, however, and he spent many months as a teenager running from the police—and six months in jail. He escaped to South Africa, where he began his rich and varied career with his first real job at a computer repair shop. After gaining contacts in the industry, he started his own travel business, which he launched to great success, allowing him to gain further education in Switzerland and ultimately continue growing his business in the United States.
The first fifteen or so years of his life are action-packed and inspiring, but only a few short chapters detail this journey. While his adult life, too, is fascinating, Bogale appears to downplay the uniqueness of his childhood in favor of sharing where his career has taken him. His many expensive activities, such as renting an expensive apartment in New York and buying fancy cars and tuxedos, often come across as braggadocious, though it is apparent that this success is the result of the great ambition and integrity he has shown throughout his career. He often expresses his gratitude for those who have helped him and the “angels” who watch over him; he’s rightfully proud of his accomplishments but strikes a balance with graciousness.
Despite this understanding that his success did not come from his own hard work alone, he cites overly ambitious goals and hopes for his future. His belief that he lives a life of international intrigue and that film directors want to cast him as the next James Bond comes across as grandiose. Almost every woman he meets is model gorgeous and fawns over him unexpectedly—though his author photo does reveal him to be rather charming.
The writing itself is forthright and no-nonsense with little elaborate description. More physical detail of the various settings and scenes depicting his family life would be welcome. Occasional tense changes are apparent, but Bogale writes with clarity and well-thought-out structure overall.
Unstoppable: Challenge Accepted may not be met with all the fanfare Bogale expects, or that his hard work deserves, but it is an entertaining read.
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