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Published On: Tue, Nov 28th, 2023

Book Fair Africa Seeks To Cultivate Reading Lifestyle in Gambia

Guide Her Foundation on Saturday host it’s “Book Fair Africa” which seeks to cultivate a reading culture especially among Gambians with the goal of reshaping attitudes towards reading and the development of healthy reading habits and to also showcase the works of diverse collections of various Gambian authors and beyond with the aim to foster meaningful engagement between African authors and the public.

Founder of Guide Her Foundation Fatou Camara Jnr, explained that the reason behind organizing the event was that Gambians have negative attitude towards reading books which is also part of a contributing factor of bringing up the book fair and to also bring meaningful engagement between Gambian authors and other Africans.

She further said that Book fair Africa will be a continuous process even without her presence in which she disclosed that the Pan African library has reached out to collaborate in the event next year and she also plead for more assistance from anyone who can support the Book Fair Africa. 

Momodou Sabally a Politician and an Author states that as a nation people should take reading and writing seriously and read many books as possible.

‘’A nation that reads is a nation with a bright future, a nation that does not read is a nation that is doomed but for the nation to read, the nation needs materials that are relevant and dynamic that young people can connect to, in any case encourage the art and habit of reading, and that to be very careful to the kind of materials of writing to produce for young people to consume because what these young people are going to read determine the kind of life’s that these individuals are going to live and the adults they are going to be transformed into’’ He said.

He added that if one wants to be a Writer he/she has to cut out some space from his/her leisure time and read worthwhile books because believes that one cannot a be good writer without reading well.

Mr Sabally further urged the government to provide more support to the young authors by buying the books that has gone through rigorous process before they are approved for the educational system.  

The president of the Gambia Writer’s Association Professor Omar Barry, reassure that they are going to continue to support the Book Fair Africa all through the way, there for it is something they dreamed of and hoping that it will grow bigger as the years go by and expects it to be an annual event and many books to be shared with the public.   

Mr Barry said that writing is an important element in people’s life and that authors like Nana Grey Johnson, Lenrie Peters and Ousman Sembene of Senegal and among other authors have all written to capture a moment in people’s life and transformed it into a book and kept it as discovery. He further explained that people should write books with the passion to share and change something for the public to read and remember in the future but not to obtain money from it.

Barry concluded by saying that if anyone wants to produce a good book then it has to go through strict editing, copy editing and proof reading and to significantly make it clear that editing a book is not about editing the Grammar but the way he/she has develop their characters and evolve the story. Adding that he encourage people to write though not rushing to get it into the market just to get a name but much more difficult to get the stain out of the horrible comments that might come from professionals.

Meanwhile, the Executive Director of the National Youth Counsel and representing the Hon. Minister for Youths and sports Alhagie Jarju, said that by looking at the creative industry currently the country’s young people have a lot to celebrate despite the ugly stories of unemployment and irregular migration, and they ensure the young people of their  support in promoting  and giving the necessary assistance to be where they want to be,  being it in the modeling industry, fashion and arts that can entice the youths to stay back and succeed in the country.

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