A very popular saying but then, knowledge is power. I agree with that. But you see, flashy things have a way of drawing us; the glitter, the shine… So, this leads me to ask-
Do you patronise ‘Made in your country’ products? Or you think that they are not good enough?
Let me explain why I asked. If you are reading this now, you must be a lover of words and by extension, books. But do you only read books based on the Name of the Author, the colour of skin or worse yet, the authors’ gender?
Sadly, some book lovers I know select books based on those criteria but is your next read as good as skin colour, a popular name or gender? I am personally offended when I meet a fellow book lover who says he cannot read a book written by a woman! I would not pitch Chinua Achebe against William Shakespeare nor will I pick Longfellow just because of the name! Each writer has his/her own unique style. Black skin, pink skin, yellow skin; it does not matter!
On the issue of gender, permit me to dwell a little. Sidney Sheldon was a wonderful writer, no dispute. Agatha Christie, on the other hand, is just as good a read. If I would read a John Grisham because his law thrillers keep me wanting more, then I would most certainly read a Danielle Steel whose tragic romance has me addicted! Sefi Atta, Patricia Cornwell, Luanne Rice, Kathy Reichs, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, J.K Rowlings; all these women will stand their ground against their male counterparts Tom Clancy, Wole Soyinka, Robert Ludlum, Helon Habila, any day!
So answer me this: do you read that Nigerian author only because it was prescribed as a Literature text? Do you spend your last kobo on a novel written by a foreign author but you cannot buy that book that has your countryman’s name on it? you have to review your preferences- without bias!