​Teach Chizalum to read. Teach her to love books. The best way is by casual example. If she sees you reading, she will understand that reading is valuable. If she were not to go to school, and merely just read books, she would arguably become more knowledgeable than a conventionally educated child. Books will help her understand and question the world, help her express herself, and help her in whatever she wants to become – a chef, a scientist, a singer all benefit from the skills that reading brings. I do not mean school books. I mean books that have nothing to do with school, autobiographies and novels and histories. If all else fails, pay her to read. Reward her. I know of this incredible Nigerian woman who was raising her child in the US; her child did not take to reading so she decided to pay her 5 cents per page. An expensive endeavor, she later joked, but a worthy investment.

– Dear Ijawele, A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

The Afro Reader is an online platform committed to promoting African Literature. Our target audience is YOU and everyone you know. Yes!

The Afro Reader was born out of a desire to promote the reading culture and a deep love for AFRICAN LITERATURE. We felt there was a need to have a space that concentrates fully on African Literature and to make it – african literature, as cool as possible.

The news out there is that the average Nigerian does not read. Oyin Oludipe (@Oyinstein) was recently asked if Nigerians read and his reply;

Yes. Maybe academic textbooks, religious tracts, business manuals, sports magazines, and gossip blogs; but imaginative literature? Not as virally.

The reading culture in Nigeria is low and this is influenced by varying factors:

  • Illiteracy,
  • poverty,
  • lack of opportunities,
  • limited access to books,
  • limited to access to educational resources, and
  • a lot of families do not value reading.

The Afro Reader platform, through it’s website and Vlog is promoting a culture that values literacy and education and creating an environment that rewards literacy.

Our goals are in line with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); more importantly GOAL NUMBER 4 – QUALITY EDUCATION which is to ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also called Global Goals, and Agenda 2030 are an inter-governmentally agreed set of targets relating to international development.

The Afro Reader also shares the same vision with this year’s UNESCO International global conference on the occasion of International Literacy Day which was titled: ‘Literacy in a Digital World’. 

We live in a world where everything is constantly being digitalized – mobile phones, internet services etc. People need to deepen their understanding of the kind of literacy skills they would need to navigate the digital world and what it would mean for literacy teaching and learning, and one of the objectives for this year’s theme is to see how digital technologies can support progress towards the Sustainable Development Goal 4, especially Target 4.6 on youth and adult literacy.

Literature mirrors the society. It helps us ask questions, understand the perspectives of others. Literature helps us see the world through the eyes of others, it helps us tackle important themes and helps us to understand how these themes make or mar a society.

How do we promote the reading culture? How do we get people more invested in stories? How would these stories promote literacy and advance social thinking? These are the questions and problems that The Afro Reader seeks to answer and provide solutions to.

Our goal is to bridge the gap between literature books and those using digital media while working with the Sustainable Development Goals in mind.

Books are important because they help us understand the world better and they help us become more literate and even become more better versions of ourselves.

We hope you stay with us.

Best Regards,

Chimdinma Adriel Onwukwe

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