Recently, an article was published on Bounce News titled Don't Blame Nollywood For What Your Children Watch.

The topic has been generating debates for a while with many people being adamant that television is killing the good old values our parents gave us through books.

Mr Gboyega Ojuolape is a writer and author of the book ‘Inspiration Musings’ and he agrees that TV has little to offer intellectually.

In a chat with Bounce News, Ojuolape explained why most people find it easier to sit with the TV for hours rather than reading a book.

READ: Don't Blame Nollywood For What Your Children Watch

“As a writer, at times I switch off for two weeks and don’t put one thing on paper, simply because my mood is not just right and it’s the same thing with reading.

“An atmosphere must be created for reading to thrive. Sorry to say, most programmes on TV are like junk, you don’t even need to concentrate 100%.

“Do you need to concentrate 100% to watch a football match? No, you can do so many things at the same time while watching.

“Even a movie does not require 100% attention for you to enjoy it but its different with a book, you need at least 90% focus to enjoy it, but Nigerians do not have that kind of patience or light at night,” he lamented.

Catching Them Young

Ojuolape is the initiator of the FCT Book Fair which is in its third year now, and he explained how the first edition of the event failed due to lack of interest from Nigerians.

However, the introduction of programmes for children turned the event to a mega hit in 2017 with residents of the capital city now eagerly awaiting the 2018 edition in May.

Based on this experience, he opined that the older generation seems irredeemable, but the younger ones can still be nurtured on the right path to reading.

“Nigerians do not read but they want their children to read,” he declared, but warned that a conducive environment has to be created for these children to read.

The creation of libraries and serene parks, a more favourable economy are some of the factors he believes can help the reading culture in Nigeria.

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And since the children are more receptive now, he also advised parents, “Enough of taking your kids to the swimming pool or the movies, take them to book fairs.

“Your kids do what you want them to do 80% of the time. So, what you need to do, as I have done with my kids, is to keep buying them books and asking them to read different books.

“Don’t think they have so much school work already. As my dad would say, school work is different from life. To understand life, read newspapers and books.”

The guidance of his father pretty much set him on the path to be an author and the organizer of what has become one of the biggest literary events in Nigeria.

“I try as much as possible to read two books in a month, that’s 24 in a year and I am trying to scale it up to 52 – a book a week on diverse topics.

“Bill Gates reads one book every three days. Barrack Obama as president read a book a week, as busy as these guys are, they read.

“When you read on different topics, you become an industry leader because there are so many information hidden in books that people don’t know about.

“When people see you exhibit so many traits, they wonder ‘where are these qualities coming from?’ They wonder how you appear confident every time.

“Readers are solution providers because they have access to secrets,” he concluded.

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