Some years ago, I traveled to visit my parents. My Dad told me a story that made me laugh so hard. It reiterates the popular belief that if you want to hide anything from an African, you hide it in a book. I hope the new generation of Africans will be those from whom nothing can be hidden in a book.
It was 1978. He had graduated the previous year from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria and was doing his National Youth Service (NYSC) at Gombe which was then in Bauchi State.
On a fateful day, the Youth Corpers had gone out for community service and upon return to their residence, they discovered to their chagrin that they had been robbed in their absence by a pseudo-corper who had claimed to be one of them. This was quite tragic as most of the corpers had just received their “allawi”- allowance of Two hundred naira (N200) that same day which was quite a sizable amount of money in those days.
Most of my Dad’s colleagues bewailed their loss bitterly but he lost not a dime despite the fact that the hoodlums had ransacked his place thoroughly and overturned all the clothes in his bag. His allowance of N200 was safe and untouched. Why? Because he kept it in between the leaves of the novel he was reading before he left. The unwelcome visitors had flung the book aside and never bothered looking in between the leaves. Thus, was his cash preserved.
If the new generation of African Youth, the future leaders of the continent, are going to rise above bad leadership, mediocrity and poverty that has ravaged the continent for centuries, then we must become a reading people for READERS ARE LEADERS.
The industrialized nations of the world are global leaders, because of their wealth of intellectual capital. They have and acquire the best in every field and area of knowledge whether Science and Technology, Finance, Military, Business and every other area. So naturally, they lead the world. Africa MUST INCREASE ITS INTELLECTUAL CAPITAL to grow to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
Let’s go beyond reading compulsory work and school stuff that you must study for exams to reading wide and voraciously. My primary area of training is Medicine & Surgery but my private library includes hundreds of books which cuts across several areas like Shakespeare, Management, Entrepreneurship, Spirituality, Personal development, History, Fiction Novels, National Development & Nation Building, Technology, philosophy, psychology and of course Medicine & Surgery and much more. No knowledge is a waste.
A piece of information from British history I had known for about a decade came in handy in my final exams in surgery. My examiner fancied it. In my Public speaking & writing career, some piece of information I gleaned a long time ago, sometimes come in handy in front of an audience.
I invite you today to join me in a lifetime of consistent Personal development. Make a commitment to be a great READER, hence a great LEADER. Equip yourself for the great future God is taking you to. Join the ranks of Africans who NOTHING CAN BE HIDDEN FROM IN A BOOK. Your future is great so you’ve got to Keep Hope Alive!
Action Plan: Read at least one book every month to help you grow. If you do this, you will read at least 12 books in a year. This is quite significant, considering that 80% of your peers do not read a single a book in a whole year. Keep Hope Alive!