My New Craze

READING!

Yes Reading!

Seems to have become a lost art in our current dispensation as Africans and it is what is accounting for most of our woes on the continent.

The culture and tradition of reading has been lost on Africans so much so that it is said that when you want to hide something from the African, put it in a book. This statement has been addressed on many platforms and I won’t beat an over flogged horse.

But seriously we need to consider where we are headed to as a continent if we won’t educate ourselves by or through reading.

Our academics and lecturers will be quick to go on strike because they haven’t been paid their book allowances but how many of them churn out any new research or ideas in any given year? Oh yes! I know some of my colleagues will take me on when they read this but I have to say it.

In our primary and preparatory schools how many of the teachers force to cultivate the habit of reading into the future leaders that are entrusted into their care? Do they not give excuses that reading is a talent and if the chills doesn’t want to read you can’t force them to? What sort of mentality is that?

In my days as a teacher in one of the plush Montessori schools in Accra, I instituted a read a book a week assignment and it was tough at first. But when the pupils realized that some people were contributing in class and sharing stories, they felt left out and started reading too. There was no specifications on the books to read. Very soon it caught on and even I was having new insights into some of the books I had read.

My latest project till the end of this year is to download as many books as I can and make sure I read them all. I’m already in the phase where the insomnia allows me to read blogs. Blogs are the current info sources and personally I think they are better than books because you see the person’s raw thoughts even before the publishers put their restrictions and sometimes, more often than not, the works are unpublished.

Our leaders, because they haven’t cultivated the habit of reading, just skim through documents and sign contracts without reading the fine print. Since the ‘whiteman’ knows that the African is lazy with reading, in signing contracts they put the pleasing parts first and the clauses maybe after 300pages. Since the first part is palatable and he’s most usual ya selfish greedy leader, he signs the contract with it getting the full picture.

Moreover, does the African leader of today care about the future when (s)he’s no more in office?

Many of Africa’s policy statements, especially those that involve donors and sponsors, have been flawed because the leaders didn’t read the whole document before they signed.

Let us take it upon ourselves to make reading a priority for all Africans. In your own small way encourage a child to take up reading and when that child becomes a leader a future, that child will give credit too you for shaping their lives.

But how can you show or teach what you don’t know? Therefore the onus lies on you to take up reading yourself so you can be adequately informed of what goes on in this world of ours.

Like I always say, it begins with YOU!

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