By Oludara Ogunbowale
During my Secondary School and University days, when examinations were around the corner, these groups of people emerged everywhere; the fast readers who wanted to cover everything they had been taught in three months, in just three hours before the exam; small groups of reading partners explaining in a hurried manner, answers to personal mock exam questions; and those who seemed as though they were reciting something that only spirits can hear. This was a form of cramming and holding on mentally until the time came to pour all out in exams. But some of us read to ace our exams!
I am not going to give credibility to the person who said “if you want to hide anything from a black person, put it in a book. I have said this in this letter but never worry, they would not find what I wrote here because they don’t read.” Lucky thing we proved them wrong, because we found it! This saying has been attributed to a few persons who have later denied that they ever said it, but if you know who said this for sure, please I would like to know.
Even though I had inferred from this statement that the author thought little of blacks, I know the Information age that we are now in has proven that access to knowledge and information is growing beyond every ounce of any digital divide you may find in seemingly poor communities where people would ordinarily not be able to afford data. And this is helping the knowledge base of people and also giving the right exposure via the internet. I am happy now that we all have information at our finger tips, except that we may be unaware of the potential opportunities that the digital age presents to us.
At the end of last year, Google released the most searched words in Nigeria and they ranged from music and Film celebrities, food, diseases, Gadgets, daily happenings and more. This data can be interpreted to mean that Nigerians read and research a lot. However, the question remains, is it just to fulfil our most immediate needs, just like some of us read to pass examinations?
Reading and the acquisition of Information should surpass the urgency of meeting our needs. We need to read for personal development, for knowledge of history that would equip us for handling the future. We should read for connecting the dots; a line or graph that may help us discover something that is intricately our story. Maybe future developmental initiatives that would make Nigeria a giant that she rightly is, is still concealed waiting to be understood and applied.
Nelson Mandela once said ‘’Education is the most powerful weapon with which we can use to change our world.’’ Having an education is not about having degrees. The origin of that word is Latin and the interpretation of having an education is being explained in continuous tenses. A one-time, two-time or three-time degree does not suffice. We all have to keep reading, keep knowing, keep applying and also keep growing. It would most definitely reflect on our nation and in anywhere we go.
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