Yearn To Learn

September 8, 2017 by Innovation for Africa - No Comments

Congratulations if you can read this and hopefully you will read it in its entirety. Most people won’t read this through because people generally don’t like reading.You’d prefer to watch a cooking tutorial rather than go and get a recipe book and read. We are living in an age where people don’t even read through contracts properly. We install software without reading the terms and conditions. We sign up to newsletters and websites without even looking through the blueprint. This is all done with no blinking involved. I mean, I’m a culprit to this sometimes as I’m sure you all are too.

It is important, however, that we change the negative perception of reading we have. This is a demon we all have to face up to. Our reading culture as a people to say the least, is dead and non-existent. We spend most of our time in front of a screen watching something or on social media. I know people who go to sleep when they can’t get internet access. This is killing us as a people as we are becoming more and more vain.

It is said that our brain creates more cells every time we read or get new knowledge.We have the capacity to retain information. Sad part is we don’t want to. I admit, in a world where we are exposed to so much multimedia, the challenge then becomes taking reading up as a hobby proves to be a mountain to climb.

Are we really literate in the first place?The majority of us use smartphones on a daily basis but are we aware of what the phone can do or has? I’m sure people have and use smartphones that have NFC capabilities but they don’t know what it stands for or even what it is used for. They don’t even know what it can be used for!

Of course, our generation of the youth may be well versed with the technology which is coming up and sprouting but we don’t know how it works. We are technologically illiterate to say the least. This is largely because we are so used to not being habitual readers and learners. As Africans, we tend to only read so as to pass our exams and get to the next stage. We don’t read to really study and learn. We don’t have a reading habit instilled in us.

In the same way, we don’t like to write. I know very few people who actually have journals or diaries where they document their experiences or encounters. We have nothing to archive for other generations to study from. They have to rely on folklore and oral tradition. Being African, our stories are not carried forward. Our culture is not passed on.

In the same vein, with technology, because of our disinterest, the willingness to learn and explore is not found within us. As we celebrate International Literacy Day tomorrow worldwide, we should reflect on ourselves and consider reading and learning. Just open a book and it could open up your mind to new ideas and possibly give pointers into new innovations and technologies.

Article by Nelson Madzima.