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General News of Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Source: XYZ

'You can't put things in book and say you're hiding it from Africans' - Matilda Amissah-Arthur

Former second lady of Ghana, Matilda Amissah-Arthur has disclosed that important things can no longer be hidden from Africans when put in books as been "bandied" around for many decades.

Speaking on the Morning Xpress on Radio XYZ 93.1MHZ to commemorate the World Book and Copyright Day, Mrs Amissah-Arthur noted she does not believe ideas could be hidden from Africans in the 21st century.

She said the reading culture among Africans or blacks has evolved over the past decades, leading to the improvement of literacy across the continent.

"Now, to come to the old saying that if you want to hide something from a black person, put it in a book, a lot of people do not even know how that saying came about. that saying was from Malcom X and if you put it in the right context,then you'll understand what he said. He was referring to the time when the slave masters would hide things from the slaves and because the slaves were illiterates and had not been to school, they could not read...that is the context of it," said the former second lady.

She further observed the saying has been used "out of context" over the years against Africans which does not help the image of blacks, adding that " the context is not as we are now so I do not agree with it because now black people read."

Madam Amissah-Arthur, a woman who is passionate about reading, stated that although the literacy level in Africa is advancing steadily, parents must also inculcate the habit of reading in their kids as a basis for future development.

"Reading manifests itself in various aspects of our lives, especially on the socio-economic issues like unemployment. All of us know that there is an obvious link between illiteracy and poverty on one hand and literacy and economic prosperity on the other hand," she said.

To her, a country with a lot of illiterates means there will be a lot of people who cannot be employed which will eventually lead to problems or social vices.

She therefore admonished parents to be interested in reading and encourage their kids to cultivate the habit of reading to expose them to new vocabularies, new ideas, and also help advance the literacy level of the country.

Mrs Matilda Amissah-Arthur is a Guest Speaker at 'GHANA READS', an initiative by Ghana Reads Initiative which is geared at encouraging Ghanaians, especially children and the youth, to love reading.

The initiative which is also aimed at promoting the reading of Ghanaian fiction literature, bridge the gap between readers and authors or publishers, and teach the skills and importance of reading, will take place at the British Council on Monday, April 23,2018.

The second phase of “GHANA READS” will be led by the Mayor of Accra, Mohammed Adjei-Sowah.