When last did you pick up an actual book with the intention of reading for leisure rather than compulsory study? Well, let me attempt to convince you why this is of great importance for not just you, but all of us. Books are great sources of information. As we all know, information is power.
Missionaries Introduced Kenyans to Education
This power was offered to us by missionaries who, for reasons better known to them, decided to share with us the Africans. Kenya was one of the first beneficiaries of education by missionaries who settled in the country by the year 1557.
This was the beginning of a journey to the reading culture that we are now trampling on by prioritizing the digital way of accessing knowledge. Today, people prefer venturing into the virtual world where anything is possible. But let’s not forget that it is in the same physical books that stirred our imagination and love affair for stories.
From the moment one flips through the first page of a storybook, an undeniable sense of excitement overwhelms the reader. The reader is guaranteed smiles, tears, confusion, uncertainty, and finally an ending that will either satisfy or leave one asking more questions.
Society Has a Role to Play
Why should we discard such a culture for an easier way out? Parents, teachers, and governments have realized this and begun finding solutions to reviving the younger generations’ urge to slowly but surely find pleasure in picking up a book and reading it for knowledge and mental nourishment
Africa is one of the continents that has produced exceptional authors such as Ngugi Wa Thiongo, Chinua Achebe, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, to name a few. These authors are the epitome of seasoned writing not only for their fellow Africans. They have taught us to read, understand, and be successful through literal expression. The world is in full support of Africa and its authors, hoping for more engaging efforts to pull Africa into the reading culture.
As much as we are encouraged to be conversant with the ever-growing world of the Internet, we should also encourage with equal effort our first love, which was, and for some of us, remains books.
Nurturing Tomorrow’s African Writers
Our children should learn how important it is to express themselves through pen to paper, not through typing and getting enslaved to screens that eventually degrade our minds rather than empower them. Gadgets should be put down in cases where children are in their formative years and books picked up. We know that a child will always opt to do what the parent does, rather than what he or she says.
Charity Begins at Home
The next time you pass by a bookshop, get in and explore. You will definitely rekindle and spread the good news of how books were part of our past.