Thursday, August 19, 2021 9:09 pm
Rivers branch of Association of Nigerian Authors spearheads reading awareness campaign in Port Harcourt.
Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
Rivers State branch of Association of Nigerian Authors, ANA, held its annual reading awareness campaign aimed at reviving reading culture at Olobo Premier School, Choba, Obio-Akpor local government in Rivers State
The Association also used the event to appeal to public and private individuals to partner with it to create awareness about reading culture.
Speaking exclusively to this magazine at the sidelines of the event, Rivers State Chairman of ANA Authors, Adi Wali, also who is also a journalist said the annual event is aimed at using literature to revive the already dying reading culture among children and youths in State.
“The essence of today’s event is encourage reading culture among our children because we found out that people no longer read. They spend more time surfing the internet than reading books. This is affecting Publishers and the society. As longer as people no longer read books, they wallow in ignorance and society is literally dead. If we produce books and readers don’t read, we in trouble”.
“When you check the reading index in Africa, Nigeria is nowhere, while a country like Egypt tops the chart despite the fact that we have the largest population of young people.”
He revealed that the ANA in Rivers has been holding the awareness campaign courtesy of a benevolent lawyer, Yusuf Ali, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria,SAN, from Kwara State, who has been sponsoring the event for the past 10 years because of his concern that the reading culture in Nigeria has dwindled drastically.
The Chairman of the occasion, Samuel Egbunolu, who is the head of National Library branch in Port Harcourt, commended the body of authors for its aggressive campaign to reawaken reading culture among children and Nigerians generally.
He pledged to partner with ANA in keeping the reading awareness campaign in the front burner. In furtherance to that, he said the National Library will be hosting reading culture campaign in September and will also be willing to partner with schools and equip their Libraries.
Also, the Special Guest of honour, Venerable Dr Fynface Akah, Chairman of the Rivers State Universal Basic Education Board, commended, ANA, for the initiative. He said the habit of reading is paramount because to be able to understand even Mathematics or the Sciences you must have developed the habit reading.
As part of the awareness campaign, the Association organized an impromptu reading competition among selected Secondary Schools, which were; Mgbodo Model Girls Secondary, School Aluu,in Ikwerre local government area, Rockbase International School, Choba, Obio-Akpor Local Government Area and Olobo Premier School, Choba.
The contestants were six students,(all females ), with two of them representing each of the three Schools. Professor Mrs Ibiere Ken- Maduako of Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, Port Harcourt, led the panel of Judges.
The Contestants were asked to read selected pages of a novel: ”Tears Of The Bereaved” by Adi Wali.
At the end of the competition, Miss Princess Okpara Ibea of Mgbodo Model Girls Secondary School, Aluu, won, and was presented with the latest edition of Oxford English Dictionary and a Certificate, while Miss Peculiar Ogbonna of Olobo Premier School, Choba, came Second.
Highlights of the occasion include recitation of poems and the presentation of a short gripping drama by the Drama Unit of the Olobo Premier School.