People idolize others for one reason or the other but mostly because the person in question must have touched their lives in a positive way.
Apparently, reading Is not a culture held so reverently in Nigeria, people will rather play games and surf the internet all day trying to keep up with the ‘keepable’ celebrities especially in an era when ‘Keeping Up With The Kardashians’ has withdrawn the senses of so many youths.
Renowned Nigerian literally icon, Buchi Emecheta who championed the cause for the African women and children through her books has just died and surprisingly, her name doesn’t ring as much bell as expected as not very many Nigerians are familiar with it.
With her books being on the national curricula of several African countries, students who perhaps were forced into reading some of her books during Literature classes back then in school possibly build up a larger population of people who actually know her.
In fact someone on seeing the news of Emecheta’s death ignorantly asked ‘who is he?’. This is to show the extent of ignorance that is obtainable especially when it has to do with glancing through a book.
It probably would have been a different ball game if it was a Nollywood star or a pop star that was reported dead.
The turn up of mourners would have been like sands in a desert and photos of the deceased would have graced more people’s profiles with each person seeking as much relevance as their counterparts.
The atmosphere in Nigeria doesn’t encourage reading and the advent of mobile phones and other modern technology has not made it any easier.
As years pass, the sad reality continues to dawn on us that the reading culture may die entirely with subsequent generations.
Buchi’s books were not only educating but an expose into the African culture which just very few writers pay mind to in recent times.
From her ‘Bride Price’ to ‘Joys of Motherhood’, anyone who dreaded Africa before reading either books will long to step a foot in the continent.
It is pathetic that writers do not get to receive half the attention and relevance given to entertainers some of whom are just bereft of ideas and just make calculated noise to pull through.
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