Regional News of Thursday, 29 August 2013
Source: Aminu, Adongo Richard
Being an avid reader, it was really gratifying and edifying when I was first greeted with the beautiful directional signpost of the Jirapa Community Library. I could not wait to pay a visit to it and to savour the books it had in stock. After several weeks of struggling to settle in the land of MY SLAVES, I finally squeezed sometime to visit. To my utter dismay, it was closed. This was on a find Tuesday afternoon. Thinking the Librarian had just gone round the bend on an errand, I decided to wait. Having waited for one and half hours, I lost my patience and left. The next time I got there, I met this SLAVE SISTER of mine. I immediately began volleying her with a barrage of insults. She stared sharply at first in fury, then it suddenly dawn on her that she had beheld A MAN and A MASTER. We traded 'insults' for a while and settled for business. She then let me in on her sorry and gory plight as a caretaker of the place. Being a community library, her remuneration, or should I say stipend should have been bourn by the community through the District Assembly (DA). She has been serving (Librarian) for God Knows how long without any pittance from the Assembly. All attempts to bring her plight to the attention of the Assembly have either proved futile or have been met with promise after promise. After empathising with her, I decided to get into the library, not to read, for the quest to seek knowledge had then disserted me, but to make my SLAVE feel good, for it would have been rude and embarrassing for her if I had left so unceremoniously after she narrated her plight to me. As the twitter followers and facebookers would exclaim: OMG!!!! The offensive stench of vampire bat droppings which greeted me was enough to revive and resuscitate a corpse which had attained rigor mortis. As if this was not enough, the bats themselves occasionally flew in between the shelves of books in the library. This was not only scary, but dangerous as bat bites have been known to transmit rabies and other dangerous diseases. The books? So old and irrelevant to the current setting and times that it would have been better to put the structure to better (other) use. I am told that the library was built and stocked with books sourced by the Rotary Club International. And it was the very first and last time the library had received any new books.
After going through this ordeal, I was not left in doubt that if the library had been functioning at full capacity, the academic performance of students in the district would have been better than the current prevailing condition. That some students would have a worthy place of recreation and leisure in the library in my estimation would not be an over statement.
I am by this article therefore appealing to the District Assembly and all well meaning Jirbaale to take this pathetic issue up to as a matter of urgency inject some new life into the Library so that the academic development of the District would be pushed a step further.
Adongo Richard Aminu.
PS: The writer is a FRAternal FRia of Africa (Frafra) man from Bolga. The Frafra and Dagaaba are playmates. Therefore, no malice is intended in the presentation of this article.