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Author Topic: How many Books should you read in 2020?  (Read 854 times)

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First of all DONT set a goal to read 100 books if you couldn't read 1 successfully in 2019.

You should be wiser by now. Read 1 book.

1 book is enough to change your life if you read it thoroughly.

Just one.

Read it. Understand it. Dwell on it, think about the meaning of the book and understand the pains of the author.

I don’t know how many books I read in 2019 but I remember the journey I went on.

I started off thinking about Nigeria’s economic problems and so in order to refresh my memory of basic economics, I read Adam Smith's classic book on economics written in 1776.

Just one book. But with all the solutions needed to get this country back on track.

Then something struck me. I asked myself, what was happening in Africa in 1776 while Adam Smith was writing that book?

I wondered why there were so many European books I could find from that era yet I couldn’t find any African book from that era.

Till I found one- a book written by an African slave named Olaudah Equianoh, who was stolen from Igbo land in Africa around 1745; about the same time Adam Smith was writing about economics.

I then realized that the reason why there were hardly any African books despite the fact that Africa had a university in Mali as far back as 1500s was because Africa was undergoing massive conflicts amidst exploitation of its people via slave trade.

Equianoh’s writing then got me interested in another subject- the history of igboland. According to him, the igbos were paying tribute to the Oba of a Benin at the time. That was interesting to know.

I also learnt from another source that igbo slaves were one of the most desired slaves during the slave trade because they were very diligent and physically healthy.

Infact the demand for igbo slaves was so much that the slave traders became known as onyi-igbo; that is, people who ask for ibo. What we today now pronounce as “oyinbo.”

Oyinbo doesn’t mean white man; it means people who ask for igbo slaves; and the term is not used in any other part of the world except in West Africa.

I also read some interesting research documentation by the American Association for Science and Technology which provided probable evidence that traced igbo ancestry back to the ancient Israelites who themselves were slaves for 400 years back in Egypt.

I then went on to study the slave trade of Africa itself and I was shocked to learn that Africa was equally under slavery for over 400 hundred years, yet hardly anyone remembers it.

Because after a long slavery, African then entered into further exploitation through Colonization and which ended barely 60 years ago (in Nigeria.) and the real reason why most colonization ended was largely because after World War 2, Europe could no longer hold most of its foreign territories.

At this point I wanted to know how we fared after colonization, then I realized that tragically, shortly after our long sought freedom we had a civil war sparked by a coup detat.

Then i read about the Biafra war, the cause, the effect. I was shocked to know that Britain was supporting Nigeria in the war while France was supplying the Biafra side with weapons and ammunitions, not because of any benevolent reasons but because of their interest in the crude oil in the south south.

I commended the valiant actors especially the igbos who fought for their beliefs and I wept at the tragic consequences of the war in the death toll, however I learnt that that was how the NYSC program was introduced as a means to promote unity among Nigerian youths of different tribes, and I appreciated the wisdom of General Yakubu Gowon for doing that.

But then I asked myself, what happened to the slaves who were taken to foreign countries? how did they fare?

That led to my study of W.E.B Dubois, the first black Harvard Graduate and professor of sociology, who wrote about their fate in the 1890s and the struggles of the negro in America.

Negros couldn’t tell their stories; they weren’t even allowed into schools to learn how to write and hardy any white man in the 20th century was really interested in listening to their wails or speaking on their behalf.

It was the few educated black folk that could tell the stories of how our African brothers taken to the American continent were beaten, used, starved and killed freely and how our sisters were raped freely by white slavers and gave birth to more than 2 million mulattos (half castes) who were living proof of the exploitation of black women.

 Then the American civil war came in the 1860s and the slaves became emancipated, yet they had nothing to fall back on; they were emancipated into deep poverty, prejudice and racism and had to begin the turtuous climb out of poverty to build their own society and fight a long hard fight for civil rights.

I read about the little children that formed a choir who traveled around the world singing slave songs from the plantations of the south to the hearing of dignitaries all over the world, and how they were able to raise money performing before audiences who were moved by their singing. And that money- about $100k was taken back to America and used to fund the University of Fisk; one of the 3 black Ivy League universities built by black people for black people. 

When i was done reading W.E.B Du Bois last week, I drove my car down the road thinking about everything Black people have been through, and then I put on Burna Boy’s “African Giant” and then listened to Beyonce and Jay Z and suddenly I began to cry.

I cried and cried and cried inconsolably.

I parked my car by the side of the road, and I was sobbing and mourning and groaning till some people came to see what was happening.

I couldn’t tell them what the matter was. I was just there- a learned African man in his car, weeping. I looked at the people around me and i forgot about their poverty or their hardships; I just thanked God for their lives; I thanked God that their ancestors made it through all the horrors of the 20th century, after everything we have been through as a race.

I wept for the ancestors who never witnessed an independent Nigeria even with all its difficulties. And I wept for the slaves who could never have imagined a black president in America, or a black family renting out the whole of the French La Louvre museum just to shoot a music video with only black people in it.

I thanked God that despite everything that happened,Africa and Black America survived the 20th century and even despite prejudice, racism, tribalism, mismanagement and corruption... we are still here.

So my friends, that was my journey in 2019.

I don’t know how many books it was, but I wasn’t actually counting. I was merely going on the journey of the faithful authors who told their stories for generations ahead to read.

So I don’t know how many books you should read in a year. I don’t think there is a specific number.

Just read one.

Read one and understand it, and let it take you into the journey of the world you never knew.

Have a blessed 2020. Anyali Pius.
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