Author tasks govt on creative industry, reading culture

The author of Power of Choice, Mrs. Kelicha Ochonogor, has enjoined the federal government to support the creative industry to grow to its full potential.

She particularly wants encouragement for book writers by way of recommending their works to schools for use.

Ochonogo, who is the author of Darling, It’s Not Working; Understanding the Force of Liberty; Prayer Enhancers; Steps of Giants; Sacrifices of the Virtuous Women; Understanding Glory and four other titles, was recently honoured by the Christian Writers Association of Nigeria (CWAN).

Speaking in an interview after being honoured by CWAN for her advancement of mankind at an event with the Building A Fan Base For Your Books, in Lagos at the weekend, the English Language graduate of Delta State University, Abraka, and holder of Master’s in English from Covenant University, Ota, Ogun state, noted that creative art direly needed government’s support to impact the society and lives more positively.

Ochonogor, who began full-time writing in 2016, also urged government, public-spirited individuals and organistions to join the crusade in reviving the reading culture in Nigeria.

According to her, some persons had already begun the move on social media through e-books and book clubs among others to reignite the dying reading culture among Nigerians.

She added: “Government is not doing enough to encourage creative art in Nigeria, not just in writing, but anything creative. For instance, somebody making shoe, that is creative. If the person gets financial assistance and publicity, he will be doing more.

“I learnt of a certain country where when you publish a book, the government will buy over 1,000 copies and distribute to the libraries for the people to have access to it.

“The novel I just finished is about cheating, which basically starts from home. Most parents encourage their children to cheat, pay someone to write examinations for them.

“When they grow up, they take same to the university and before you know, it has become part of them. Whether you like it or not, somebody that has such a mindset will not want to exploit his or her talent.

“I expect government to make students read such novel and circulate the book, and when they see the effect, they will bring out the moral lesson from it.”

According to her, “Reading culture is coming up, and we need to encourage reading. The more a child reads, the more he understands and emulates the characters in it, especially positive books. Government needs to do a lot to encourage reading culture.”

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