The Pan African Writers Association (P.A.W.A) on Tuesday held a virtual meeting in celebration of International Literacy Day (ILD). The 2 hour meeting was hosted by the P.A.W.A Secretary-General, DR. Wale Okediran. Speakers were Ghanaian multi-award winner, Ruby Goka, and Moise Izabiriza, a Rwandan visual artist. The virtual meeting which started at 3 pm GMT, that’s 5 pm South African time.
Some poetry was recited to kick-start the virtual meeting. Among those who recited poetry are Sister Awodiya, Kasimma from Nigeria and Bintou Sanneh from The Gambia among many others.
The moderator introduced the newly appointed Secretary-General of the P.A.W.A and award-winning author, Dr. Wale Okediran who in turn welcomed the President of P.A.W.A, award-winning author, Femi Osofisan.
The meeting was well-attended with participants from across the globe who include Dr. Aderibigbe (Nigeria), Ameerah Jigam (Nigeria), Hilda Twingyeirwe (Uganda), Paul Liam (Nigeria), Deinde Karunwi (UK), Dr. Eyitayo Aloh (Canada), Joana Aboagyewaa and Angela (Splendours of Dawn Poetry Foundation, Ghana) to mention just a few.
Dr. Wale thanked all who were in the meeting, “Thank you all for coming. This is the beginning of many good things that will be coming your way from P.A.W.A in the months ahead.”
Speakers emphasized the importance of cultivating a reading culture in the home. “Reading shouldn’t be used as a punishment for children but it should be a fun activity by the entire family,” said Ruby.
A lot of participants were concerned over the addiction of the youth to social media, mobile phones and games. It was discussed how to direct the youth’s attention to books.
Ruby said that authors should meet the children where they are, writers ought to make books attractive and include illustrations if necessary.
Article written by Constance van Niekerk