"One must however keep in mind though that Nigeria’s “book” or “reading” challenges extend beyond the availability of books or the existence of a flourishing culture of book production and distribution. At the root of the matter are two basic issues: economics, and literacy. In a country where more than half of the population is estimated to live below the poverty line, and where a paperback will consume a chunk of the average monthly income, book-buying remains a luxury, and piracy a major problem."Extract from Tolu Ogunlesi's article on Publishing Perspectives
Well, there seems to be a lot of insincerity happening. It is not rocket science, feed the people, maybe they will think of feeding their minds. Till then, we are on a long thing...people will keep chasing the basics of life rather than the growth of ideas that will enrich their minds.
President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, there is a lot that can be done instead of sinking money in a one-day event which turns out as part-political campaign, part-musical concert, and part-book reading (that's a small part!). Give us power. Set up an arts grants (and don't put politicians or any untrustworthy art person as its head!). Fix the publishing industry. Fix the book distribution chain (same works with Nollywood and music!) and there is huge opportunity to make money here. But our government would rather organise flash in the pan events. I want change. Not promises. I forget, he may never read this...and maybe his many aides would google GEJ and find this. The issue is ideas are dying by the day...writers are ignoring the power they have to change things because they have to eat. Methinks, it's time for sincere change.
So sorry to start the week with a rant. And forgive the errors. Have a great week people!