I recall a few days back when a friend asked me why I love reading African literature and this was my response:
‘I enjoy African literature because it allows me to be a global citizen. It gives me the opportunity to be in different countries meeting different people and participate in their different ordeals.
It is easier for me to relate to experiences of fellow Africans both home and abroad, and also challenge other experiences that I would have otherwise not been able to as a result of say gender, geographical location, economic conditions, etc. Above all I read to learn and cure loneliness lol.’
It is easier for me to relate to experiences of fellow Africans – Mugo
Those few minutes I’m transported to another place (without a visa too) and meet new friends and environments are an experience that shape my thinking of situations (most that I’ve never been in). As Africans we have always been artistic from birth hence appreciation of African literature comes as a reflex action.
Most of the scenarios despite language barriers, are things we experience daily or have heard from family and friends. Communication is something you can never take away from African literature.
From secondary level set books right up to reading to pass time, the books almost always have advice embedded in experiences of the characters that can be tapped into by the reader and analyzed for personal use (consciously or otherwise). Most of the lessons will induce empathy from the reader through understanding someone’s situation and how to deal with it.
CurateByo African Book Club:
CBABC is a book club that is different from some of the existing clubs. It is a library that exists on the book shelf of the members. CBABC has a members-only online platform that holds the database of all the members’ books. Those who register to be members gain access to this site and this is where all the magic happens.
The basic function is that members swap their African literature for what they have not read and would like to read. A book for a book, information for information and an eBook for an eBook. The only rule being that it handles African Literature only. Why African only? You would ask… We wish to celebrate our authors around Africa and devour their writings but so many limitations exist to do this:
- It is hard to come across African Literature
- It comes at a steep price
- Not available at local book stores
- We do not have any knowledge about certain good authors
- Our libraries and book shops are filled with western literature
Once one starts reading African books and they experience the richness within, it becomes addictive and anything else becomes worthless.
Television soapies become useless, those who neglect their roots become awkward and those who prefer foreign stories become a shame. Very few get to this state of enlightenment because of the lack of platforms like CBABC. But not to worry, that will soon be the past.
Authors should be happy with the club because in order for one to join, he/she needs to have at least four paperback books in his possession, so they would have bought them somewhere. For them to replenish their culture even when they are far from the club, they have to buy a book.
The CBABC Club has taken off with an eager membership and is slowly growing after only a month in existence. The official launch will be in 2017 at a book fair to be announced.
Meanwhile contact @DearAngelbert or @SaintValz to join and get reading. Joining fee is $2 and the rest is magic.