ZODML at Nigeria Television Authority International
ZODML received an invitation by the Nigerian television authority (NTA) to part of a TV program known as 'On Point' hosted by Ayo Obe, a renowned personality.
On point comes on air every Monday evening at about 8pm on NTA international. However, a repeat broadcast could be shown at a separate day and time. .
The interview was slated for 10am on the 19th of April 2012. The focus of the day was the reading culture of Nigerians especially young person's. The program had a principal of a private school located in Lekki, Lagos state and a representative of Zaccheus Onumba Dibiaezue Memorial Libraries.
The topic for discussion was centred on the reading culture of children in schools and the roles that should be played by teachers and parents to ensure that children develop a reading culture in their early ages.
The invitation of a principal of a primary and secondary school is to give an inside view of how an average school pupil relates with his/her books and study materials while in school and what parents are expected to do to encourage children to develop a reading culture in the early stages of their life. ZODML's invitation was aimed at viewing the topic from an NGO's perspective whose interest is to provide free access to books and other reading materials to members of the public by means of her public library and her website. Coupled with the fact that ZODML has a number of projects that involves children and young person's alike.
The NTA studios came alive as it is whenever a recording of this nature is done and the guests for the program were at the venue quite early and ready for the show.
It was an interactive programme and questions were thrown around the topic of discussion. One point that was highlighted was the saying that goes thus 'if you want to hide any information from an African, simply put it in a book'. This saying has become so popular and I feel it gives a wrong impression and cannot be said to be a completely true and general statement that applies to every to everyone.
So long as books and access to information is far from the reach of the average person, getting information will be an uphill task especially where the individual does not have the financial backing to aid his/her quest for knowledge. Some of these materials are either expensive or not readily available so information contained therein (which one would believe is meant for all) will only be gotten by only a privilege few who have the (financial) means to get the materials.
Mrs Ayo Obe also wanted her viewers to know what can be done by an individual who desires to acquire knowledge but doesn't have easy access to information. In my response, I preached the gospel of Self learning. Self learning is a very important aspect of human growth and development. It is an act that can and should be cultivated by everyone. Self learning starts with an inner drive and strong desire to acquire knowledge. This desire must be followed with a pragmatic move to seek for avenues where information can be found regardless of where or how it is kept. So be it embed in pages of a book in form of print, audio form, or on the internet; once an individual is determined and is hungry for knowledge, this hunger would propel that individual to reach out to every means possible in the bid to acquire knowledge.
However, there has to be a collaborative and sincere effort by all to ensure that access to knowledge and information is made readily available to every human being regardless of class, gender or age. I believe we all have a right to education and information and should not be denied of it.
Everyone on set expressed interest in the activities of ZODML. When asked about the traffic of users in the library, I spoke of the influx of children from public primary and secondary (around Ikoyi) to the library on a daily basis. Not to mention the growing number of adult who come to either to read, borrow books or use the free internet facility made available in the library. This shows that so long as access to education and information is made available, people will take advantage of it and empower themselves.
One of the newest projects ventured upon by ZODML was also made known to viewers. It is the ZODML's mobile library service. This is set up to literally take the library to the inmates in the Nigerian prisons. This project kicked off with Ikoyi prisons in February 2012 and the results has been very encouraging. Twice a month, the mobile library visits the prisons with books for inmates to read and develop themselves while in the prison custody. You need to see how they rush to take position on the queue to see what books they can borrow and read. .
In conclusion, we all agreed that there are some deficiencies with the reading culture especially with young people and there must be pragmatic efforts from you and I to do something about it. The truth is something can be done to better the situation and it starts with me.
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