Potential Writers Must Be Avid Readers -Young Author
Experts have observed that ensuring a consistent implementation of the approved standards in the dispensation of quality education in order to gurantee an effective learning system, is largely dependent on the availability of the relevant books, teaching aids and materials among others in schools.
There was a time in Nigeria’s educational history, when it was largely dependent on foreign authors and materials. Thankfully, the recent emergence and proliferation of publishing houses in the country has seen to the rise of some Nigerian authors, but with the exception of young authors who have little or no exposure to the book publishing industry in Ngeria.
It is against this backdrop therefore, that the Proprietress, De Ayo International College, Ibadan, Mrs. Ayoyinka Babatunde, who is also a former Executive Secretary, Nigeria Publishers Association, introduced some academic programmes that would boost the art of writing, book publishing and reading culture among students in the college.
Her efforts in this direction have produced many young authors in the college. One of them is Miss Lilian Akwunwa, who has authored a book while still student of the school.
According to the Proprietress, she has the vision to ensure that children are not only trained to be academically and morally sound, but also ensure that they are well-exposed to reading culture and are encouraged to write.
Speaking further, she disclosed that “when the schol took off, I introduced a magazine called The Jewel where the students, from across the classes, were required to forward their articles for publication. This has gone a long way to produce many writers and authors in the college, right from inception.”
Lilian Akwunwan, an ex-student of the school and author of Sprouting Lilies, a novella, in a chat with Whizzikidz during the week, revealed that though she started writing right from her primary school days, when she got to De Ayo International College, her interest in writing grew from writing poems to articles and story books designed for Senior Secondary School students in the country.
Lilian, who is now a 400 level student of English, University of Ibadan, told Whizzkidz how her book came into being.
According to her, “I started writing at age 10 during my primary school days and when I got to secondary school my interests in book publishing grew, courtesy of my school proprietress’s introduction of the school’s magazine, The Jewel. She also introduced Press Club and other skill acquisition and developing clubs in the school.
“This is how my book writing career started and it has exposed me to so many story books, foreign and local, and as a result made me more knowledgeable about other cultures across the globe.
“I started writing my book when I was concluding my secondary school education at De Ayo International College and completed it when I got into the unversity. It was a privilege to have come across Mrs. Babatunde, the propritress of the college, who mentored me more or less and also ensured that the book was published and launched.”
When asked about the inspiration behind the book, she said: “writing is an innate talent which can be developed and it does not require a very tedious procedure. You just need to think about what you see around your environment and write just the way you perceive them.
From my little experience and exposure in writing, I have realised that there is no specific pattern position in writing, it is your interest that is essential.
“However, to develop a good writing skill, one must be a good reader; reading as many books as one comes across. The advantage of this is that not only will one be a more skillful communicator, is also open to learning new subjects.”
Furthermore, while advising the government on book publishing, Miss Akwunwa suggested that government at all levels should create a training centre for young writers, and equip it with the neccessary tools.
“I also see the need for newspaper houses in the country to open children article columns. Opportunities must also be created for young writers in the book publishing industry, and essay writing competitions should be further encouraged in order to support government’s effort to promote a reading culture in schools . This development will go a long way to boost learning and creative writing among youths in the country. Readers are learned people”, she said, just as she enjoined secondary school students to give themselves to study.
In her book, Sprouting Lilies the major thematic focus was centered on AIDS and HIV infected persons and how to tolerably co-habit with them. It also has as its thematic concern, avoiding being a victim, child abuse and cultism among others.Share