“Reading is essential for those who seek rise above the ordinary”- Jim Rohn
“To choose to write is to reject silence”- Chiamanda Adichie.
April 23rd is designated globally, World Book and Copyright Day by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in remembrance of Shakespeare and other authors who died same day, the day is set aside to highlight the importance of reading; celebrate authors and books; and encourage reading culture.
Books are an inevitable link between the past and the future and a timeless bridge between generations and across cultural divide and reading is an open window to the world. The famous Roman writer and orator, Marcus Tullius Cicero says “a room without a book is like a body without a soul” and I certainly can’t agree less; and with technological advancement it is even less cumbersome to assemble.
This year’s theme of the celebration: “Read…so you never feel alone”, brings to mind the important role creatives, specifically authors of all genres play in educating, entertaining, enlightening and preserving human systems, rejuvenating the populace and sanitising the ecosystem.
On a personal note, books like other copyright works have been my best companion, thanks to authors I have traveled across continents and cultures, as young Nigerian girl, my first flight pilots were authors. You obviously already know that Nigeria is blessed with quite a number of creative giants and an array of authors whose works have been showcasing the nation in positive light on the global map.
As we celebrate authors, books and stakeholders (publishers, teachers, librarians, institutions, mass media etc), I invite you to join me in recognizing and celebrating Nigerians finest past and living creative legends and Copyright owners.
Please allow me to mention in no particular order, some the creatives, whose works have kept me company and motivated over the years: Sir. Prof. Chinua Achebe, Prof. Wole Soyinka, Buchi Emecheta, Ola Rotimi, Elechi Amadi, Ben Okri, Cyprian Ekwensi, JP Clark, Zulu Sofola, Femi Osofisan, Sefi Atta, Helon Habila, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Bishop David Oyedepo and many others equally important to mention but for space and time.
Without further ado, Let’s roll out the drums, flutes, shekere, ogene, Ganga, (musical instruments), put on our dancing shoes and celebrate; let’s us komole (meaning to go down low while dancing – yoruba language); let’s party together from afar, for it is an honour to be counted among this special class of nobles.
Even as we celebrate this year’s World Book and Copyright Day, it is important that we commit to inculcate and propagate a culture of reading and writing, for our generation and generations to come. Let us be ambassadors and stakeholders of the Book and Publishing industry.
I leave you with an admonition from the Director-General, Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) Dr. John O Asein, to all stakeholders in comemoration of 2022 World Book and Copyright Day: “As we strive to protect copyright, we should also be committed to the sustainable use of copyright products, such as books to promote the values and aspirations of society. In promoting respect for copyright, we must also strive to maintain a congenial atmosphere for creative enterprises to flourish”.
May you never run out of creative ideas!!
Happy World Book and Copyright Day!!! 🥂