Monday, 18 April 2016

Speech delivered by Dr. Ahmed Adamu on the importance of literature during the launching of a book titled Tears of Agony on 17/4/16 in Katsina.

Speech delivered by Dr. Ahmed Adamu on the importance of literature during the launching of a book titled Tears of Agony on 17/4/16 in Katsina.

Dr. Ahmed Adamu presenting his speech during the book launch
(more photos below)
Writing books is very important, and is a culture that we promote and encourage among youth. It enhances one’s creativity and enhances mental stimulation, and this builds the brain’s capacity and imagination. When someone writes a book, he is transferring knowledge, experiences and in many times good characters/lessons. By writing, one is making good use of his time, and which will earn him economic benefits and recognition.

There is a myth that says, if you want to hide something from Africans, put it in a book. This remain a myth, but to some extent it is true, because, some of our young people lack the culture of reading. You will see young people wasting time sitting on the streets or under the trees arguing, gossiping and playing games. This is huge waste of time. They should have engaged in reading  to improve their knowledge. There are so many benefits of reading and some of these benefits include:

1.       Mental Stimulation: Just like any other muscle in your body, your brain needs to be exercised, and reading makes your brain to engage in imagination of what you are reading, which enhances its strength and speed of comprehension.

2.       Stress reduction: Some young people play games when they are stressed, not knowing that reading can give them the free entertainment, as they read stories and information that may please their minds.

3.       Knowledge: the more you read, the more you learn. Always, there are things you never know about, and you can know about them when you read. So, your basket of knowledge increases once you read. And if you have knowledge, you will be elevated in society, people will respect you and you will attain higher positions.

4.       Vocabulary Expansion: Especially books written in foreign languages, e.g. English Language, the more you read English books, the more you come across new words, and you will learn how to use them and how to spell them. This will help you to develop effective communication skills. It will also help you develop better writing skills as you will get use to how words are spelled and sentences constructed. This is very important for students as well.

5.       Stronger Analytical Thinking and Skills: Stories in books are logically presented and linked, and some books are about mysteries, which the reader will have to solve by him/her self, this trains you to develop analytical thinking, which you can apply in real world.

6.       Focus and Attention: reading makes one concentrate, and this concentration eventually becomes one's natural habits. Concentration is extremely needed in every aspect of life, without it there will not be understanding and progress. Multi-tasking add more to stress, but when you concentrate all your attentions to a single thing (the book you read), you become attentive and tranquil. If you develop this tranquility over time, your behavior will change as you will become more calm and attentive, and you will begin to discover world more than you can imagine.

7.       New Skills and Inspiration: When you read books, you will read stories of successful people and how people apply different skills to achieve their objectives, and you will become inspired by them, and you will then try to emulate and apply their skills and traits in your real life.

8.       Speed in Reading: Those that developed the culture of reading tend to be fast in reading, there are people who can read an average sized book in eight hours. Assuming these are students in Universities, it means they can read the entire text books in just a day or two. They read and understand faster, and they become more intelligent and knowledgeable than their colleagues. That is why you see the intelligent students always read.

All the developed countries in the world fall within the 30 top ranked countries in terms of reading culture, and this explains why they are developed. Most of poor countries do not have culture of reading.

There is need to identify the interest of the audience so as to give them the right book. Frank Serafini once said that “There is no such thing as a child who hates to read; there are only children who have not found the right book”.  So, we need to encourage our young writers to write about things that connect and relevant to the immediate lives of our people.

This why I commend the author of the Tears of Agony (Comr Lukman Kankia) for writing about the insurgency in the North-Eastern part of this country, narrating the horror and agony the victims of the insurgency undergo. The book also explained how and why the insurgency occur, and it is important as it tells stories of those who could not tell their stories. It will also help in giving another look at the causes and likely solutions to the insurgency.

We need to have our own authors, we should not subject our readers to what other people of different cultures write. We need to write to document our cultures, norms and values, and this is necessary to tackle indiscipline and insurgency. If we don’t write, then we will then have to read about the cultures of others.

Finally, there are some solutions I proposed that will help revive the culture of reading and writing in our society; Some young people have the passion for reading but they cannot afford to buy the books, so there should be provision of free books. This could be provided by government, organisations or private individuals. I use to buy books and share among young people and then rotate the books around, but unfortunately no body finished reading any of those books yet.

Competition can be set up for both readers and writers with attractive prizes, this will encourage engagement of young people in literature. Similarly, there should be annual literary award dinner to recognize young writers and readers. There should be provision of grants to young authors, because, some young authors lack the resources to type and print their work, and as a result, they subject themselves to asking for assistance. Now with this literary grant, young authors do not have to suffer, and new authors will be inspired.  We should also encourage establishment of literary clubs and reading centers to provide training opportunity and conducive atmosphere for readers and writers respectively.

Thank you

Dr. Ahmed Adamu
Petroleum Economist and Development Expert 
Pioneer Global Chairperson of Commonwealth Youth Council
University Lecturer (Economics) at Umaru Musa Yar'adua University, Katsina

Dr. Ahmed Adamu with the Speaker, Katsina State House of Assembly,
Rt. Hon. Aliyu Muduru
Dr. Ahmed Adamu with the Speaker, Katsina State House of Assembly, 
Rt. Hon. Aliyu Muduru
Cross section of other members on the high table

No comments:

Post a Comment