One Philosopher stated that ‘if you want to hide knowledge from an African, put it in a book’. This literally meant that we have a poor reading culture.
Remember early days in school, where you would be forced by teachers to read books? Many would curse it and call their teachers names for forcing them to read. For some strange reason, some people look at reading as a big burden and not seeking more knowledge.
Some people can’t even read a newspaper simply because they are too lazy and will find excuses to avoid reading. A friend came to see me recently and brought me a gift.
It was a book called Dead Aid by Dambisa Moyo. Some of my friends were shocked when they realized my special present turned out to be a “simple” book. They had expected something “bigger” than a book.
Appallingly, even people that have book shelves in their houses, books only serve as a decoration to beautify their living rooms. They hardly read or even know the names of books in their houses.
Sarah Kamanzi, a Literature teacher who prefers not to mention the name of the school she works at, says poor reading culture starts from one’s childhood.
She says several students will come up with false excuses to avoid reading even when they know it is important for them.
“They prefer sleeping to reading. Some even go as far as getting forged medical forms claiming that the cold affects them so they can’t read during morning hours,”Kamanzi reveals.
Kamanzi explains that it’s the reason why people in the west will alwaysget ahead of us in African because they value books more than we do.
“This is regrettable and something must be done,” says Kamanzi.
Anita Mutamba, a student based in Kigali says reading can only be enforced if parents and teachers read too.
“You cannot force students to read if their parents and teachers are not seen reading often,” Mutamba says.
Patrick Ndagijimana, a student, said that almost all intelligent people have one thing in common, “they love to read.”
He urged people to develop the habit of reading, be it novels, Journals, magazines or even Newspapers, inorder for them to be more knowledgeable.