This actually started as an experiment. You know, I kept hearing that people do not read, yet soft sale magazines disappear from their stand as often as they are published. So we know that people read but they probably do not have the discipline for sustained reading. And they tend to read ‘serious’ books just for utilitarian purpose. So we thought about it at the Foundation and decided to do something since we do not want people to lose out on the knowledge derivable from good books. We decided to adopt the traditional African telling mores. We got writers from ten African countries to tell our stories, stories about us, stories that interest us, that entertain and enlighten us, stories that touch on our values. Stories we can relate with, stories that could easily be mine or yours, things we go through, stories that embody our joys and pains, our lifestyle, love life, preferences etc.
These stories are published, bold print, easy to read, 80 paged books, not more than 30 minutes read. They are well produced, very light, easy to carry books you can read on your way home, if you are chauffeur driven, in your kitchen while cooking, in the toilet, just about anywhere.
The idea is to get people reading for leisure, to get people to enjoy reading and reap all the benefits of reading voraciously. Ecobank Nigeria is partnering with us on this project. I must admit that it is a tough job, but the experiment has worked tremendously.