Today i feature a guest blogger, Chioma Chuka; poet, social media consultant, broadcast media content developer, public affairs commentator and proudly Nigerian. See a detailed profile at the bottom of this piece. She shares her thoughts and experiences on reading and concludes with a pertinent question to us all, what’s new? what new knowledge have you gained of late?
I’ve always loved to read. Like really really loved it! Definitely not school books (somehow that’s always a chore till two nights before a test or exam) but anything else, I’m your girl! From old newspapers/magazines, to novels, random pamphlets, the Bible (definitely), the Qur’an and a bit of poetry, I’m excited by even the thought of a good read.
I think my love for reading was ignited by my mother, fuelled by my English teacher in Secondary School, but kept alive by me. Why? Because at some point you alone are responsible for your development. My mom would put her head into my room as a child and drop a book on my bed. ‘Read it’, she would say, and leave. And I would, because I was (and still am) a very good girl! Lol! Truth is, I didn’t have a choice! After sometime though, I started to ask for books myself. When I’d search my siblings’ and parents’ room for letters, journals, etc. (when they were not there of course), sometimes telling myself I was looking for ‘treasure’ (as per Enid Blyton’s ‘Famous Five’).
In secondary school I loved my English teacher; she was graceful, a grandmother at the time (she never failed to remind us), and had studied abroad so she spoke ‘Queen’s English’. I always wanted to impress her so apart from my regular literature, I started reading dictionaries. Every time I used a ‘big’ word in class and she smiled at me, that was my reward right there and I would be back in the arms of my dictionary that evening. Now imagine how great I would have been if I had paid that much attention to Math. *sigh*
These days my favourite past time is prowling bookshops and charity stores (especially charity stores) for books to read. I’m especially interested in autobiographies/biographies because all the public relations the books these days reek of, they give a deeper understanding about the person; tells the things you ordinarily wouldn’t have known. And then curling up with an old book and hot chocolate? Bliss! Not sure if it’s the smell of the book, or the excitement of turning the page (especially for a thriller), but they sure make my day!
I’ve got two friends, both male, who I love and respect. Both older, I dated one of them and the other is a former colleague. One thing they have in common is that they are so intelligent, and know a bit about literally everything! Every time we hang out with friends and discuss, their wealth of knowledge and the strength of their arguments always amuses and amazes me! Sends me online too though, to Google, Wikipedia; because I want to be better.
There’s a certain confidence information gives a person. Knowing what others know, or even better, what they don’t is a kind of high that is almost matchless for me. And that’s why it gives me pleasure *insert evil laughter here* to ‘confuse’ people who don’t know stuff, especially when I think they should know better. Of course I tell them the truth eventually (because I am good person, lol) but I must amuse myself first.
Now, in case you’re like me, these people are easy to spot. In a conversation, they’re easily swayed by every wind of doctrine. And I mean every wind of doctrine. It’s even more glaring (and hilarious) when it’s a large group and you can observe them taking sides with the next person with the loudest voice. Does that sound like you? Catch yourself before you say yes aloud!
Ralph Waldo Emerson was noted for greeting friends with the question, ‘what has become clear to you since we last met’? Historians say this was a challenge, an invitation to assess the progress of their thinking.
So let me challenge you: when was the last time you read anything for fun? Not because you had to, but because you wanted to? In other words, what’s new?
Chioma is a graduate of Mass Communication from Ebonyi State University, in Nigeria and Social Media from Birmingham City University, in England. Her background is in radio, having worked as a duty continuity announcer and presenter for various radio stations before moving on to work as a researcher, scriptwriter and producer of radio drama for the BBC World Service Trust in Nigeria.
A social media consultant, Chioma is intrigued by social media and how it affects/influences governance as well as its relationship with concepts of social capital, open data, and intelligent/big societies. Her company, CC Consulting, specializes in
- Conducting audits for companies based on product, location, and target audience
- Creating bespoke social media solutions
- Hands-on monitoring and technical support
- Content development and production for radio and television programmes
You can contact chioma on:
Twitter/Facebook – Chioma Chuka
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo credit: http://advancedreadingconcepts.wordpress.com/