Arthur Marara has just published an Advanced Level Divinity textbook titled A-Level Divinity: The Old Testament through Questions and Answers, a ground-breaking text in as far as it brings the Old Testament closer home through the use of local circumstances especially on the subject of prophecy.
Report by Phillip Chidavaenzi Senior Features Writer
Marara, known primarily as a motivational speaker, is many things folded into one. He sums up the different strands of his occupations in one line: “I am a lawyer by profession, a speaker by passion and an author by calling.”
The latest book is part of the Shine Series, which includes A Level Divinity: The Four Gospels through Questions and Answers, A Level Divinity: The Apostolic Age through Questions and Answers, A Level History: The History of Tropical Africa (1855-1934) through Questions and Answers, A Level History: European History (1789-1964) through Questions and Answers as well as Keys to Academic Excellence: Practical Tools for Examination Preparations.
Marara said he was inspired to pioneer into text-book writing while still a student at Mucheke High School in 2003, where there was dire poverty of educational material, and started working on it a year later while working as a relief teacher in Masvingo and later, through the university years.
“It was when I was in Form 5 that I decided to come up with the material, but I started working on the idea in 2004. I wanted to come up with a book that talks to, and inspires students. Most books don’t talk,” he said.
He was among the first pioneers of A Level at Mucheke High School in 2002 and is the first lawyer from that school. The rather checkered background inspired him to write the series of books which he believes will make life easier for many a student across the country.
Marara, a law graduate from the University of Zimbabwe, explained that his books opened with an author preface meant to put the student into perspective and establish ways on how to approach the subject.
Happy with the achievement of his dream, the young attorney said his happiness will be fulfilled if his book reshapes someone’s destiny.
“I am trying to give back to the community by writing this book. If I can change the destiny of just one student, I will be happy,” he said.
Marara said his calling went beyond his legal occupation because, when his life is looked at in retrospect, what would count most is the difference he made in other people’s lives. Marara said being a life coach did not necessarily imply that he was a master of everything but he was also on a continuous learning curve.
He said in the course of his calling, he has spoken to people who are probably more experienced, older and wealthier than him.
“What gives me confidence is that I have been given the opportunity to see something in me which can help someone regardless of their circumstances,” he said. “Money is a narrow definition of success. Success, for me, is when you are at peace with yourself.”
He added that no one had monopoly on knowledge and a wise person was one who continuously learnt new things every day, including learning from other people’s foolishness.
He said God had given him “a certain level of wisdom” to help people who are in situations that he had never been, but that did not make him “a miracle worker”.
“I have spoken to people who are married but I am not. I get calls from people of all backgrounds. I refer them to the word of God which points to the answers,” he said. “I am not a miracle worker. I just do the human part and God does the divine part.”
Marara speaks at conferences, schools and many other places but years back, he never thought he would speak in public.
As a Christian lawyer, would he defend a client up for murder?
“If someone openly confessed they murdered someone, it now depends on your values as an attorney. Personally, I am uncomfortable with that. People can do anything for money, but it’s different for a Christian lawyer – this is more about what you do than what you say. It’s not enough to just put verses on your letterheads,” he said.
Marara said there was need for lawyers of value who could assist the courts in their decision-making.
Practising law, life coaching and book-writing would be a herculean task for any human being with only a 24-hour day. But Marara has his ways of beautifully blending the three separate strands.