Just a few days ago, I was lamenting on the height of laziness of our vast growing-less reading populace. But the conclusion is this, true reformation comes when the beacon sounds and the saviours know what to do.

In the prelude to the above, people have always asked me how to become a better writer and I tell them, read more. Most times, I could palpate their eagerness awaiting another lost tip. But that is where I always stop- read more. 

I have seen several masterclasses on writing but in my retinue of great writers, masterclass didn’t make them, they were avid readers. Writing is a herculean task. It is more than picking the pen because you can mean to write and not write a paragraph after 5 hours. 

Writing is the output, reading is the input:

I saw a very long thread of Tunde Bakare on the state of the art of the Nation and discovered that the tweet of about 70+ sub-tweets only had the most likes and retweets on the first tweet. I asked myself “How many people ran through this information?” Believe me, apart from getting more enlightened about the state of the nation, I learnt new words and constructions in that tweet. 

These days, people hurriedly skim through the headlines and that’s all. Shocking to say that some people even ignorantly debate the issue just catching the headlines. 

I got hold of Thandika Mkandawire’s inaugural speech at the London School of Economics titled “Running While Others Walk: Knowledge and the Challenge of Africa’s Development” when he was made the chairman of African Development, and spotted nothing less than 30 new words that I have never crossed in my close to three decades of brushing and dining with English.

Reading brings you into another realm of life, light, and understanding. There is no shortcut to writing, not even the heavily paid-for masterclass. Derive pleasure reading – not the kind you do in preparation for exams. 

The increasing demand for youth in leadership is the crappy innuendo of our time.

How many have done their assignments?

Has anyone got a workable blueprint?

Has anyone flipped the pages of history to spot the fracture?

Or should youth herald another episode of trial and error? 

Should you have the passion and calling to be the solution, start connecting the dots of discovery. 

I envisaged my brother will be taking up a position. So, I ordered 9-10 books on leadership and people management. I hope he reads it though. 

The best gift you can get from me is a book. Any other thing is ephemeral.

One of the most transforming lessons I learnt in life was in one of the Facebook posts by Strive Masiyiwa. He drew a triad on PEOPLE, PROCESS and PRODUCT, and tipped PEOPLE above in the trio. 

Whether hard print or soft copy, Facebook or Twitter, LinkedIn or TikTok (if there is anything readable there though), ensure you’re learning. 

OLADEJI Odunola is a graduate of the Agricultural Economics department, University of Ibadan. He is a former Editor-in-Chief of Agropress. He is presently an Erasmus and NAWA Scholar.

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