Author Canvasses Need to Promote Reading Culture
A poet and author, Nnamdi Agbakoba, has stressed the need for Nigerians to promote reading culture, saying that it is an important component of developing a progressively developing nation.
He said no discussion can be too much today about the importance of rediscovering the lost culture of voracious reading in an age of the internet and social media.
According to him, “Books like the Bible or the Koran or other spiritual books, are food for the soul and spirit, while entertainment programs, books, or comedy shows are food for the heart. We need to read good books that will build the mind, body and soul. We must strive to break away from reading only books to pass exams. In the 1950s, 60s and 70s, novels of the James Hadley Chase series, Mills and Boon, the Sidney Sheldon series and a host of other good novels were very popular with the youth and students. We need to revisit those glorious days when youths and students always had a novel in their school bags.”
The poet described education as the greatest weapon with which we can use to change the world, while quoting from popular saying from Nelson Mandela; “A child mis- educated is a child lost, John F. Kennedy; and Tai Solarin: “If you are planning for one year, plant rice, if you are planning for five years, plant trees, but if you are planning for the future, educate your children, because education is the ammunition the youths need for their future existence, and also the life wire of every successful society.”
Analysing one of his books ‘Deep Secret’, Agbakoba said, “Deep secrets is written as a conversation which turns out to be a confession to sinister cult-related activities between the protagonist, Okechukwu, and his godfather, George who describes Okechukwu this way, Okey was a godson I wish I never had. All he had to offer was trouble of all sorts and exams he had to re-take again and again before passing. He was a thorn in everybody’s flesh.”
The novel shows how terrorism, cultism and student restiveness can be combated via peace, education and the literary arts. A cross-breed between prose and poetry, the book talks about family unity and bonding including the effectiveness of the legal system in tackling social menace in Nigeria and the world. The use of irony and suspense is well employed by the author.
Deep Secrets is a book based on a true story that took place in one of Nigeria’s top universities, and the author spared no words in an attempt to use the power of literature to deter students and youths from becoming cultists and terrorists.
The eight-chapter book with 115 pages is garnished with over 10 poems related to peace and education.
Other books by Nnamdi Agbakoba include; ‘ Terror of War’, ‘Esther Amina and Harmony of Brotherhood’.
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