From left: Past District Governor, Rotary International, District 9110 Nigeria, Dr Kamoru Omotosho, Guest Speaker, Mr Toni Kan Onwordi and President, Rotary Club of Ikoyi, Rotarian Isichei Osamgbi at the club’s Basic Education and Literacy Month Lecture, titled: ‘‘Rekindling the Reading Culture in our Children’’ at the Westwood Hotel, Ikoyi, Lagos recently.

A seasoned writer and literary activist Tony kan has said that reading gives one the platform to succeed and therefore enjoined Nigerian youths to get back to reading.

Kan made the observation while delivering a speech at the flag off of the Basic Education and Literacy campaign organised by the Rotary Club of Ikoyi at the Westwood Hotel, Ikoyi, Lagos, recently.

A highpoint of the Basic Education and Literacy campaign will be the book donation programme under which the club plans to donate 1,000, 000 books to four public primary and secondary schools in Lagos comprising Obalende Primary School, which has a total of 730 pupils, Girls Junior and Senior Secondary School with 700 students, Boys Junior Academy, Obalende with 500 students and the Dodan Barracks Army Secondary School, Ikoyi with 800 students.

Speaking on  the theme ‘‘Rekindling the Reading Culture in our Children’’ aimed at evaluating the causes of the decay in our reading culture as well as how to revive it, the award winning writer called on the youths to get back to reading, to get necessary education and secure their future.

Toni Kan, also known as Anthony Kan Onwordi, who is a Nigerian Writer, Editor, Public Relations Senior Management Executive and teacher, also lamented the poor state of Libraries in the nation’s schools both at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels.

He said: “The current state of most libraries in Nigeria does not encourage prospective readers to build their reading habit. Our youths who are hooked on phones and similar communication gadgets should also channel such energies to reading as this has become a societal challenge which the likes of the Rotary Club of  Ikoyi has come to address with their campaign”.

In his lecture entitled “The Knowledge Bank Cannot be Depleted”, Kan told a story of his growing up, citing how he started reading at a very early age and how his parents encouraged him and his siblings to read, which he said, helped him immensely in his academics as lectures looked easy because most times he had read ahead.

He also acknowledged the fact that not everyone is a born reader but charged everybody to read and encourage their children to read just like his parents did, adding that knowledge is major asset that increase in value even as you draw on it.

On his part, the President of the Rotary Club of Ikoyi, Rotarian Isichei Osamgbi, while speaking at the event, noted that charity can come in different ways; hence the Club commenced the reading campaign and donation of “One Million Books” to get the youths to read as a basic means to ensure that people get educated and reduce illiteracy and poverty eventually.

Osamgbi noted that some people engage in charity by offering themselves, while others engage in charity by donating their material resources to their associated works of charity and called on well-meaning individuals and corporate entities to come forward to contribute to the book project through books or financial donations to aid the reading campaign.

The Rotary President further added that “reading can make a man successful and rekindling the reading culture in our youths is the only way we can get them focused and informed”.

This, according to him will ultimately lead them to their academic successes, help reduce vices and put them at par with youths of other advanced climes.