The immediate past Executive Secretary of the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Prof. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, has called for an improved reading culture in Nigerian.
Ayakoroma, who is currently the Coordinator, Post Graduate Programme, Department of Theatre and Cultural Studies, Nasarawa State University, made this call in a keynote lecture he presented during a special programme tagged: “The Sit Out with Literary Minds”, packaged by 1402BookLounge, and held at Trendy Event Centre, penultimate Thursday, in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital.
Speaking on the theme: “The Power in the Book… The Power OF the Book”, Ayakoroma, an accomplished theatre director, playwright, film and cultural management scholar, decried the fact that the nation is presently experiencing an alarming decline in reading culture.
He noted that a man that had the right information holds the power and the right information that gives a man power was in the book.
According to him, the answers to all human problems, challenges and quests are in books.
He, therefore, charged Nigerians to improve their reading culture for them to be well-informed because a man who is not well-informed is mentally and socially deformed.
He also warned on the dangers of unwholesome usage of the social media especially by youths, which has affected their writing skills, stating that people prefer jokes and other immoral contents rather than intellectual issues; and that the internet and other social media platforms are not bad but that it is the way we use them that will determine whether they are salutary to our daily lives or not.
Ayakoroma, an erudite scholar and dramatist, who has three of his plays in the approved Bayelsa State Secondary School Syllabus currently, urged Nigerians to improve on their reading habits by also writing books because of the power in the book which is the ingredients (knowledge) that could be harvested from books and the power of the book which is the benefits (dividends) of reading and writing books.
The 1402BookLounge is a distinctive book resort, a place that offers refreshing fun, exciting and pleasurable book reading activities and experience in a beautiful serene and comfortable atmosphere; it is not just a Library but a premium relaxation spot for book lovers.
Earlier, the Founder of 1402BookLounge, Annette Ekineta David-West, in her welcome address, explained that the resort is something different from present day Libraries, as it, in addition, offers people what will make people relax while reading and following a story like taking tea, coffee, snacks, soft drinks and playing Chess or Scrabble.
Dignitaries at the event included, celebrated award-winning poet, Chijioke Amu-Nnadi; Prof. Onyanye Kunle Olowu of the College of Medicine, Niger Delta University, Amassoma; former Commissioner for Information, Bayelsa State, Mr. Iniruo Wills; celebrated poet, novelist and former speech writer to late former Governor DSP Alamieyeseigha of Bayelsa State; Mr. Nengi Josef-Ilagha (Pope Pen I); Mr. Esueme Dan Kikile of Nigerian Content Monitoring and Development Board (NCMDB); and Timi Ama Willis of Niger Delta University, among other guests from all walks of life.
The event was not all about speeches, as there was a dance performance by Bayelsa State Cultural Troupe, several poetry renditions featuring Chijioke Amu-Nnadi, Nengi Josef-Ilagha and other budding poets, as well as a special performance by a nine-year old saxophonist, Samuel Tokoni Okoya.
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