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Assume our age-old collective grudge where we say ‘damn we African don’t care about reading’, ‘Damn! We lost so ample windows of hours for reading while shuttle through public transport.’ ‘Be sure that to identify an African in European metro, if the passenger doesn’t took sit with opened newspaper.’ Indeed we do have so many narratives, which expose our collective grudge over the portrayal of fellow African as numb, stupefied for curiosity through literary norms. Hilariously, it is ubiquitous to witness colleagues of a formal bureaucracy nag each other, just because they don’t give attention to the details of their intermediate official document, which could end their trivial conversation. To our dismay, we unfavorably registered symptoms of lukewarm for literary culture.
Today, we delve the series of pieces into again the facets of the fiasco which produced illiterate and lukewarm nations, as this specific take the fourth turn. Indeed, ‘Lukewarm’ are seldom to perceive through the fonts appeared on papers. Normative experiences revealed that it seems like African eyes are not ready again to alert their optic receptor so that they interact cognitively with the semantic narratives found elsewhere within the paper. Demonstrably, more often than not, we ‘Africans’ are insulted in the derogatorily proverbs. Out of those, there is a saying ‘if you want to hide your money from black people, just put it in the book’. The saying mocked African brothers and sisters as if they are a typical lukewarm for literary culture. Hereafter, we also deem to evoke the ‘I’ Factor, by way of holding self-criticism. That is, we would disentangle our own partake for the collective portrayal as an illiterate and pretending lukewarm for literary culture.
It seems like we are nationally take a stance not to give the attention for details of reading. We don’t know the value attached within literary culture. Literature creates the imagined world. The past two centuries affirmed us that the widespread of written world changed human life than ever before.
No one knows how the writing culture that was disseminated since the proliferation of printing technology changed the world. Benedict Anderson (a scholar on nation and nationalism) has underlined the significance of writing culture & printing technology that sweeps the way for the emergence of modern state. Undoubtedly, Anderson argued that writing and reading norms are the midwife of the modern world. Retrospectively, had we not have the literary culture accompanied by the introduction of printing technology, the globe we live today would end up to remain barbaric living in a cyclical rise and fall of different empires.
Scientists and Philosophers indifferently argued that there is no systematization of knowledge without literary culture. The collective responsibility of the nation at large is to bear for rearing literary culture as a vector of nationhood, nationalism, collective heritage, pursuit of wisdom and nonetheless the continuation of generation.
In summation, we have to say it is gone to hide the treasure from the reach of the black people within book. Notwithstanding how far the proverb is racist, in its entirety, it should be our ability to reshape the norm of reading that should alter the gear of the proverb than our senseless and unfounded determination to refute any prejudicial narrative. Debatably, our merit of literary culture ought to speak to debunk the established stereotype over Africa than our ability to sense the demoralization and dehumanization resulted from the prejudice.
Against this backdrop, zealous African youth unleashed a voracious campaign dubbed as ‘Africa writes’ as it were brought for us by Royal African Society and British Library. All over the year, they organized unusual events in a very disruptive manner. The scheme is popularly organized by African Diaspora in Europe where they celebrate young and amateur authors with African descent.
In a similar endeavor to ‘Africa Writes’, we can herald and chants ‘Ethiopia writes’. Indeed, by virtue of this trend we will refute the assumption that portrays Ethiopia, as a bearer of the blame over Africa, as a prototypical lukewarm for literary tradition. That is precisely enable us to brag ‘gone are days to hide the treasure within Books.’ Good day!
This article is contributed by HOHE Award. HOHE Award is organized by Northeast Events to promote a culture of creative writing and reading in Ethiopia. Besides the main annual literary award, there are different events and trainings that run throughout the year with the main aim of promoting creative writing and reading among the general population and children in particular.
By Eyob Asfaw