Reciting a poem is an art that authors in Uganda say is good practice to improving reading and writing skills. They are concerned that the culture of reading and writing is dying out.
The habit of reading has dramatically dropped among young people, among all the people¡people are visual, they like to see, they like to watch, they like to hear but they do not like to read.” Said Olara Otunnu, Writing enthusiast
Uganda is one of several countries in sub Saharan Africa with an underdeveloped reading culture. Educators say there is a lack of enthusiasm among young people. Now these renowned scholars are gathered here to encourage young Ugandans take more of an interest in reading and writing.
To attract a wide readership, they are now translating the books into more languages.
“The vital ideas for the development of Africa are there in the library no body has discovered them and nobody has said let these be translated into several languages.” Said Professor Taban Lo Liyong
The message is being heard by some young people enthusiastic about writing
“Okot P’Bitek inspires me as well as Austin Bukenya, because I love their style of writing they do not use complicated language and yet you enjoy every bit of what you are reading” Said Juliet Maturo, Literature student in Makerere University
“I am doing about thirty to forty poems and I intend to make it a good masterpiece. So my aspirations are not to keep behind in the shelves, keep literature into the book banks and libraries but rather to get literature out there for the world to witness it.” Said Jimmy Muhangi, Literature student in Makerere University
Despite the challenges in reading and writing, Sub Saharan Africa has produced some of the world’s celebrated laureates. And it’s hoped with this new revival, there’ll be many more to come.