Insight Middle East and Africa is delighted to speak with Sonny Zulu, the Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer at Standard Chartered Bank, Zambia, and the author of “Eccentric: Thoughts Unraveled.”



Sonny, what inspired you to write “Eccentric: Thoughts Unraveled” and explore the potential of the human mind?

I used to speak at many conferences and workshops, and people would ask me to repeat what I shared. However, it would never be the same. There were a few key underlying principles that would always hold, but after my speaking engagements, I always had to deal with the pain of trying to reconcile my three speeches. What I intended to say, what I actually said, and what I thought I said. On most occasions, I would wish I had said a key point I had prepared, but we all know what happens when you stand on stage. So, I decided to take time to thoroughly think through the central themes of my thought process and share them with the world. Since I had the opportunity to review the book many times, I managed to reconcile what I intended to say and what I actually said. I only hope the readers will also understand and hear exactly what I am saying as they read through the pages.



In your book, you mention great minds who were written off as madmen or eccentrics by society. Can you give an example of one of these individuals and explain how their unique perspective benefited humanity?

There was one man named Mr. Waka whom I knew when I was very young. Most people considered him partially insane, and they never took him seriously. He was very odd. He spoke with a very soft voice and very slowly. Most people would imitate and make fun of his slow speech without even paying attention to what he was saying. One day, my mother and I were walking a long distance with some luggage, and this man came to our aid. I recall we got soaked on that day as it was raining heavily. When it stopped raining, we kept on walking, and that is when I had a wonderful opportunity to learn from this man’s wisdom. In that moment, I wished the whole world would just stop to listen to this man’s different point of view.

What do you think is the role of education in shaping our thoughts and ideas?

It depends on what we call education. In chapter 5 of my book, I quoted George Bernard Shaw, who said, “From a very early age, I’ve had to interrupt my education to go to school.” So, if we think of education as only sitting in a classroom, then we have not learned much. Life itself educates us every day. I encourage people to get involved in several activities and events that happen in our daily lives, like organizing farewell parties, funerals, weddings, writing minutes, making presentations, etc. The education we get outside the classroom is probably the most impactful in terms of learning how to navigate through the maze of life.

How do you hope readers will apply the lessons and insights from your book in their own lives?

Do not be afraid of new ideas. Do not be afraid to challenge and question widely accepted views and norms. For example, people say, ‘Whatever goes up must come down.” It sounds right, and we often all believe in such statements. But who said it was true? I can think of so many examples of things that can go up and will never come down. I have addressed a number of common beliefs in my book that are not proven, and they often hinder creativity. I hope readers will step out, experiment and test what they personally truly believe in without any fear of being ridiculed. If we only conform to what society does and believes, we will end up like everyone else in society.

Can you tell us about any challenges you faced during the writing and publishing process of “Eccentric: Thoughts Unraveled”?

The first time I made an attempt to write, I lost my entire script. My laptop crashed, and I never had a backup. That was over 9 years ago. On my second attempt, I took advantage of the COVID period. However, I still had to spend a lot of time away from the family as I kept on writing and rewriting. Finding a good editor was another challenge. The first editor started well, then the standards just went down halfway. I hired another editor who also did exactly what the first did after making full payment. I finally got the best on my last attempt.

Your book has already been read by over 50,000 people. How does it feel to know your work is resonating with so many people and helping them to understand and embrace their own uniqueness?

I am extremely honored and grateful. However, as I maintained in my book, I am never moved by the numbers. At an individual level, I am hoping each of the readers will find their revelation and run with it. Corporately, I hope one or two individuals will rise to the challenge of being the trailblazer to chart a new path for the world. It’s never easy to change structures and systems that have been accepted as the only facts for years. Almost everyone who started a revolution faced opposition. We can celebrate their success stories today. However, if we look further into their stories, we will see the scars of their struggles. So, I am not expecting 50,000 people to champion a revolution. I am only hoping for one or two bold souls.

As a debut author, what are your future plans for writing and sharing your ideas with the world?

I wish I could immediately start writing another book. However, my life has been very busy. I am CEO of an International Bank in my county, I am pastoring a church, I am pursuing my Doctorate, I am running a family business, I am also running my own portfolio of real estate, I am slowly pursuing another study in the School of Ministry, and I am, of course, a family man. Writing another book is definitely not on the cards immediately. Having said that, I am jotting down ideas as they come. I will get back to them one day. In the meantime, I share a lot on my social media pages.


About Eccentric: Thoughts Unraveled

“There can be no progress if there is no original thinking. And there can be no original thinking if you stick strictly to the known.” ― Abhijit Naskar; Author of Lives to Serve Before I Sleep

Eccentric: Thoughts Unraveled is the best of personal growth books, providing lessons in critical thinking and professional development. The author, Sonny Zulu, shares his personal experiences to teach his audience how to be successful in life by preserving their originality and authenticity.

Real genius lies in our uniqueness. Despite living in an age of tech and innovation, the corporate world has stripped us of our originality and uniqueness. Companies have introduced many policies to promote diversity in the workplace, yet they refuse to benefit from their employees’ individuality. Our society has also bound us by standards and policies, forgoing originality and new ideas in favor of conformity and acceptance. No good has come out of a collective thought birthed by herd mentality; it impedes our intellectual growth and forces our genius into something plain and ordinary.

Discover your true potential and genius with Sonny Zulu. In Eccentric: Thoughts Unraveled, you will learn to value your unique views and thoughts, despite the social ridicule and critique. Author Sonny Zulu reveals the conspiracy against human genius in a straightforward and logical narrative. He shares his personal experience to put things in perspective for his readers and emphasizes the importance of accomplishing goals in the face of change and how you can work on empowering yourself through authenticity.

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Eccentric: Thoughts Unraveled is available on Amazon