In a world where literary appreciation seems to be fading rapidly, the AIFA Reading Society, a not-for-profit organization whose aim is to empower Nigerians through learning, is taking its stand to regain the relevance of literature in the society. On Thursday, May 20, 2021 at MILIKI, Victoria Island, the Society organized An Evening of Lit and Jazz, themed “Sounds of Literature,” to encourage reading and improve the waning reading culture in Nigeria.
This event brought together literature enthusiasts to enjoy literary reading, poetry, music, and conversations with a renowned writer, Mr. Jude Idada, winner of the Nigerian Prize for Literature 2019. In an interactive session with the audience, Mr. Idada shared his journey into his writing career, stating that writing has been his dream and the works of great writers have inspired his writing. In his words, “The book I read by Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart, was the first book that sent me on the part of understanding that I really wanted to write, not only that I wanted to write, but I also wanted to have a value-adding writing career.” He mentioned that although he is not a sickle cell warrior, losing some friends to the disease inspired Boom Boom. This award-winning children’s book addresses the issue concerning sickle cell anemia.
Mr. Idada also remarked that more initiatives such as this, should be made open to every member of the society, especially indigent communities. He encourages the private sector to actively support causes of this kind.
While a jazz band was also a blend for the evening, the audience enjoyed a book reading by Ms. Achalugo Ezekobe, author of the book “Mmirinzo: The Ones who are Rain as well as a spoken word performance by Mr. Efe Paul, who poured his mind to the audience through his poems ‘Let our Voices Ring and ‘One for the Tribe’.
Professor Enase Okonedo, President of AIFA Reading Society, in her welcome remarks, emphasised wider involvement to build a more conducive environment for learning. She also enlightened attendees about other initiatives of the Society; Young Writers Awards, Book Recycle Scheme, AIFA Book Club, Spreading Cheer and Calculate2Succeed. These initiatives aim to support the Sustainable Development Goal-4 of the United Nations to ‘ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all’.
Sponsored by Kenna Partners, one of the leading law firms in Nigeria and Income Electrix, Africa’s preferred provider of electrical engineering solutions and MILIKI, the Evening of Lit & Jazz is a project under the AIFA Book Club; an initiative of the Society which provides an informal setting for its members and friends to tour the world of literature across all interest. Reading must not go extinct.