For the longest time, we have been labeled as a people that is never interested in the seeking of knowledge which comes in books (even though ironically, one of the first civilisations was founded here in Africa–Egpyt and writing started from here).
*The Sumerians and the Egyptians around 3500-3200 BC.
Should we then be made to think that the Egyptians wrote but did not read what they wrote? Incredulous, don’t you agree?
Through my interactions with many people in the writing community and even other walks of life, I have been mesmerized by the dedication to reading by some individuals that I am always left in awe.
All of them were or are Africans and this always makes me wonder why we have been labeled as those who do not want to read.
Is it not the ridiculous prices of books that had made our forefathers and mothers, I dare add, not to embrace reading as a culture? And shall we overlook the fact that many of them were not allowed to, anyway?
The Great Library of Alexandria (Egypt) established probably during the reign of Ptolemy II Philadelphus (285–246 BC) had somewhere between 40,000 and 400,000 scrolls, perhaps equivalent to roughly 100,000 books and that it employed over 100 scholars. Thousands of readers traveled from around the world to come to Egypt to do research from here including Saul (later Paul) who would go on to write most of the New Testament in the Bible.
But maybe I digress.
From childhood, I have always loved reading and subsequently, writing (I mean evidence is here, you are reading this) and I am not alone. Millions of Africans are knowledge hungry and are always reading.
I have come to appreciate a lot about Africa through my reading escapades, traveling to the whole continent through the writings of brave men and women sharing pieces of their lives, making anyone that dares to read their work, to fall in love with Africa.
Oh the worlds in books!
The imagination of humans is incomprehensible and those that are kind enough to lend us a place in their vast dimensions through their writings give us respite, letting us spend some time in their books.
So here’s the thing, grab a book today and enjoy it!
And to the world, if you are still wondering;
Yes, we are there. Yes, we love reading.
Here is another stereotype breaking episode of the “I’m an African but…” blog chain started by Valentine Makoni and Bolaji Gelax where Africans have come together and write about how they defile the norms expected of them as African.
Rogers Wanambwa, the hardworking Ugandan man with the highest number of collaborations and blog posts in a year (within our blogging community) is the mastermind behind this educative piece. Pay him a visit on his blog HERE.
Also, catch all the other episodes of the “I’m an African but…”
3 thoughts on “I am African but… I love reading!”
Times have changed. We are no longer the people the world used to know.
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Yet stereotypes are still pasted on people. Thanks for the read!
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