By Musa Sunusi Ahmad
The Society of Young Nigerian Writers has launched another two reading projects tagged “National Book/Reading Hub” and “Reading Shakespeare”. The mission of the Book Hub is to celebrate and commemorate the best literature in Nigeria, Africa and the world, develop its audience, and ensure that books have a prominent place in Nigerian culture while Reading Shakespeare is aimed at celebrating, reading and appreciating all the works of William Shakespeare. Also to showcase and exhibit the influence of William Shakespeare in Modern English Language and Literature.
This was contained in a press statement issued and signed by SYNW President, Wole Adedoyin in Ibadan on Sunday.
It would be recalled that the same Society of Young Nigerian Writers (SYNW) inaugurated the Read Across Nigeria (RAN) project with financial support received from Dr. Wale Okediran, a former President of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) in 2016. The Read Across Nigeria (RAN) took readings to 30 states of the federation including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in 2016 and 2017.
“According to the press statement, “The major aim of the National Book Hub is to promote reading culture in Nigeria. The inability of Nigerian students to read or lack of reading culture among the youths has been described as the reason why the country is in a mess today. This is because reading is knowledge and knowledge they say is wealth.”
“The performance of students nowadays is attributed to their poor background in the reading culture which is a carryover from their primary school through the secondary and up to the University level. To read is to get ideas from print or written materials. Reading is a way of acquiring knowledge.”
“Reading boosts vocabulary and helps you become a better conversationalist. It also improves your knowledge and makes it easy for you to learn more in less time – when you can read faster and with less effort, you find that it’s easier to pick up knowledge and information in less time.”
And on Reading Shakespeare Project:
“Shakespeare is responsible for inventing, popularizing, repurposing, and preserving thousands of common words in the English language. His playful usage of language included combining two words to make a new one, changing verbs into adjectives, changing nouns into verbs, and adding prefixes or suffixes to words. Shakespeare is important because he has made a significant contribution to the English literature through his work on Drama or Plays. Reading and analyzing his work also provides insight into the culture and society around those times.”
“The students of English, English learner, English researcher, English language researcher, English native or non-native speaker have profound attraction towards William Shakespeare. This is because Shakespeare is one of the best influential novelists and playwrights in the English language. Before Shakespearean time, the language of English was accurately not consistent. His writings significantly contributed to the standardization of English grammar, language, spelling, vocabulary and literature. Shakespeare included approximately 1700 unique words into the language many of them are still used in modern time. Shakespeare has deep influence on poetry and literature that has been lasted over centuries. He perfectly used blank verses those previously no one used, and it has become a standard in poetry. Due to having profound influence of Shakespearean language on the way we speak nowadays, studying the writings of Shakespeare is an essential part of cultural education and academic learning.”
SYNW finally urged the federal government of Nigeria to support and pay attention to the book industry of the country.