THE FUTURE BELONGS TO AFRICANS WHO READ

“Show me a family of readers, and I will show you the people who moved the world” (Napoleon Bonaparte). Hide a thousand dollar note inside a book and throw it at an average African man, he would only look at the cover; front and back and then toss the book back at you. Why? Because he has not come to understand the treasure that lies in books.

The trend in which we are operating these days will not bear great leaders simply because we are not readers. Don’t let us talk about the country whose President does not have a secondary school leaving certificate not to talk of a college or university degree. Damn! How do you expect such a country to progress? The holy book says “Woe to you, O land whose King is a child and whose princes feast in the morning”. A child is someone who does not have the fundamental knowledge about life, who can be tossed here and there like a piece of paper. Paul the apostle in the holy book also said ‘Choose leaders that have grown in spirit and WISDOM’. What gave Paul a greater landmark above every other apostle was his accumulation of knowledge and understanding.

When talking about reading, you are not streamlined to the academics alone. Africans have a mentality that reading is all about acquiring education, no, it’s far from that. I am not even referring to an educational system that has been commercialized, all what the system is after is how to amass wealth and by so doing develop an adroit way to do that.

As an African, I unequivocally believe that our modus-operandi in Africa is money, fame, sex and extortion. Have you ever wondered why African nations are crawling instead of soaring high? The manual needed for a successful job has been abandoned. Why won’t there be a high rate of extortion, fast crime, rape, terrorism, and other vices? It’s because ignorance has eaten deep into our system and as such we carry out some ridiculous acts because of our low level of understanding.

I was surfing the internet this morning when I saw a headline ‘Some graduates can’t recite the English alphabet’. After reading the news, I was in a quagmire of ignominy. Imagine a graduate of 4-5 years in a university who cannot recite the English alphabet; that is a slap, in fact, a blow to such a country. No wonder countries outside Africa consider our educational system low-grade, el-cheapo and crappy. Though most of our institutions teach in the English language, an IELTS or TOEFL exam is a prerequisite for you to apply to a foreign school because of our substandard level of education, they simply don’t trust our contents.

Some time ago, some big ignoramus condemned the act of a first-class King for kneeling in the presence of his creator who can demand his life at any time. I consider that preposterous. The so-called King is vast in knowledge and therefore knows the power of reverence, he spent most of his life outside the shore of his native country and thereby exposed to some fundamental knowledge about life.

Africans who read would know the importance of voting: I worked as an Ad-hoc staff for the 2019 election and was shocked at the number of people who came out to vote. Few out of all the registered voters came out to vote and we as ad-hoc staffs started a reach-out campaign, calling on the people to come and vote for their beloved candidate and save their country from impoverishment. A country where the masses are crying of unemployment and hunger but yet could not use the power of their vote to provide change. If people are well educated and oriented, they would have known the importance of choosing the right person to vote for.

Its high time Africans brace up and get themselves educated to have a UNDER for their STANDING. Government should invest in education to the point of sending their children to schools in their country rather than schools abroad. Youth should cultivate the habit of reading because that is the passport out of obscurity and reproach.

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Adefemi Fagite

Adefemi Fagite

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Adefemi Fagite is an author and writer whose work has featured in anthologies, blogs, and magazines. He is the Senior Manager at bookstomydoor.com.