There is something about books; with books, you can explore the world from where you are.
AIFA Reading Society, in a bid to explore the world of literature with its members and friends, organised three sessions of AIFA Book Club in the first quarter of 2021. Each of the sessions featured a novel that inspired many subjects for discussions.
A session of the AIFA Book Club was organised for students of Okesuna Senior Secondary School, Lagos Island, on Monday, March 22, 2021. The novel “Second Class Citizen” by Buchi Emecheta was discussed at this meeting.
The book explored the impact of gender bias and domestic violence, leaving many students in a state of sympathy for some characters and disdain for others. While discussing, the students acknowledged the courageous nature of Adah, the protagonist in the novel, attributing her personality to her early exposure to education and learning.
Additionally, the students expressed worries about the impact of domestic violence and gender inequality on individuals, especially the young and vulnerable. Among other thoughts shared, they were concerned that domestic violence and gender inequality could distract students from their studies, reduce self-esteem among peers and encourage bullying. The students opined that every individual ought to care for the well-being of others. They believe this will reduce cases of violence of any kind.
To further explore literature, a virtual session of the AIFA Book Club, held on Friday, March 19, 2021, with Corona Secondary School students, Agbara, on Emily Bronte’s “Wuthering Heights”. This session was interactive as the students enthusiastically expressed their individual takes on characters and themes in the novel. The themes discussed included love, rejection, antipathy, revenge, class and status.
In a nutshell, the story afforded the students’ a great deal of insight into human behaviour. At the end of the session, most participants concluded that lack of kindness creates lifelong destructions, and unchecked anger could leave terrible effects on generations after.
The AIFA Book Club also held another virtual reading session on Saturday, March 6, 2021, for its members and friends and the book “The River Between” by Ngugi wa Thiong’o was discussed. The discussion addressed the possibility of maintaining a balance between two rules – colonial and customary rules.
In analysing the book, the group discussed if Africa would have been better without colonialism. Participants opined that Africa would have devised its means of developing and surviving. In discussing the traditional practices of female circumcision, everyone agreed that the act is unfavourable for the female gender.
Africa’s beauty is in its diversity in cultures and traditions, a heritage passed down from one generation to another. While the positive dimensions of its culture’s deserve to be practised and passed on to succeeding generations, its negative dimensions must be dropped by Africans to promote a more progressive and dynamic society.