Read all about it

Before I go into Kendrick’s surprise album…

‘The youth should read more’ – There is something about that statement that really irks me! Apart from the obvious fact it is elitist in its entirety, but also it for the simple fact that the word ‘should’ implies choice. The matter of choice states that ‘instead of not reading please make a greater effort to.’ The important fact to note is that, while the ‘economically favoured’ have the option to read or not, there is another group of people who have had the choice made for them. BOOKS ARE EXPENSIVE!!!!!!!

The last book I bought was 6000 RWF which is approximately $ 7.70, and living in one of those nations averaged to live on a dollar or less a day, a book is about 8 days of life. In addition, as of 2010 our Gini sits at approximately 51%, so the disparity between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’ is extremely wide and allows for a disconnect thus a lack of empathy; some of these people want to read but not at the cost of life.

Let me take you back take the Brown Vs the board of Education of Topeka case in 1954 that was one of the cases led to desegregation of schools in the United States of America. Linda brown was a third grader who had to walk 6 blocks to her bus stop and take a 1.6km bus ride to school when there was an all white school 7 blocks from her house. We can also look at the Little Rock 9 1957, who were the first 9 students to be enrolled into an all white school in Arkansas. The fear for their safety was of grave concern that President Eisenhower had to send The National Guard to walk (with guns and helmets) them to the school. Even after their enrollment, they were bullied and tormented throughout. Now, most white schools were not only easier to access (transportation wise) but also had better facilities as well as educational materials. When do you have time to read a book when you are just fighting for opportunities to fair and basic education?

Lastly, we are in a time where the exhilaration of fame and money rule the minds of the youth, why should we read when no one ever tells stories on how they became rich from reading? We all know/assume that these Millionaires and Billionaires read, but most attribute their financial success to hard work, opportunity and luck; as opposed to knowledge. There is a saying that is now made popular- it is not what you know it is who you know. Less credit is given to knowledge more to chance. We don’t even know exactly why we should read…

AND ON TOP OF ALL OF THIS, what is it that these Elitists encourage the youth to read??! Tales of Henry the VII, the Spanish Armada, the Cuban Missile crisis, the frightening fallacies of a John Grisham book or the tear jerking tales of a Nickolas Sparks novel?? Even though we have well accomplished authors such as Chinua Achebe and Chimamanda, most of their accolades hail from the other side of the world!

The other day, someone tweeted that we [Rwandese] are need to start telling their own stories, but what is being done to give us that platform to do so???

Anyways…

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