(MUST READ) NIGERIANS EITHER LEARN TO READ, OR REMAIN SLAVES? 8 tips for self-help



We don’t read, do we? Post a little thing on social, once it shows ‘continue reading…’ it is already boring to people, especially members of the 3rd world. Unless it is about sensational topics like celebrity gossip, sex and the likes, it hardly gets impressive reads. 

Dear Nigerian, or should I say African, as long as we don’t take interest in healthy enlightenment, we will remain a 3rd world race. And since there’s too much to read in too little time, we have to learn to speed-read.
Remember this quote attributed to a certain Dee Lee; “if you don’t want a nigger to see this, hide it in a book”. 


There is also this letter of a certain slave owner in 1712, who wrote about how to keep the black man in slavery. His name was said to be William Lynch, and here is the full text of the letter. I retitled it as How to know if blacks are still slaves, because if you read through it, you can tell if you’re still being enslaved, in the perspective of the original slave dealers.


Sadly, we have not learnt. We remain slaves long after the end of that form of slave keeping. One of my best literatures is a book by Mathew Ashimolowo, ‘What Is Wrong With Being Black?’ I recommend it strongly, to every African, person of colour, Nigerian and so on.

Bloggers of Doom
Although I blog - meaning I publish my opinion out having carried out personal researches on the topics I write on - I do not really fancy being called a blogger. I don’t waste time letting you know I am a PR practitioner. I don’t miss the title and benefits of being a Nigerian blogger.

They put out news, gossips, sex talk, celebrity beefs and all such junk and are called blogger. They get paid consistently by politicians, businesses etc to carry their news. But, give it to them, they’re good at what they do and can rightly enjoy their due. 

But they don’t encourage reading culture. You better write short stuff if you want to be the popular ‘blogger’ Nigerians will take you for. How many ‘bloggers’ do you find researching into Social causes, academic subjects, scientific research? These things are boring. This situation is irritating.
So, a good blogger is defined not by what he knows, but by his lazy reading audience.
In light of what bloggers could do, but refuse to do, rather pursuing flash-popularity, and considering that bloggers of gossip are ruining productivity among their vast number of followers, I call them bloggers of doom.

No apologies for capacious reading.
Give us bloggers that will send gossip hunters back to science labs, that will whip up curiosity for the study of Genetically modified foods and their effects, that will ginger a political revolution, that we can go to for enlightenment on the economy, bloggers who will help us understand God, Nature, Space, History and even artificiality.

I’d rather stick to what I stand for. I rather write what I believe will help some reader, notwithstanding if they love to read or not. Of course, I don’t write too long essays, ‘cause I write to my countrymen a lot. I’m sorry, cousins.

So, when I found these few tips that I gathered from a post by my friend and brother Tivkaa Amande, an out-and-out Nigerian born scientist who works at the University of Essex. 

Here, Tivkaa:

Speed Reading Tips 

Social media doesn’t cease throwing information at us, good or bad. When faced with tones of materials to read, a slow reader is frustrated, or may tend to ignore the materials.
To be considered functionally literate in the developed world, your average reading speed must be approximately 600 words per minute (wpm). Thanks to Phil Chambers Brilliant Speed Reading book. This leaves me wondering if I was literate at all. My reading speed is doubled and I have set myself an ambitious goal to reach at least 2000 wpm in my life time.

The tips shared here are from brilliant speed reading by Phil Chambers. I strongly recommend it to anyone that would like to increase their reading speed.

Tip 1: Before you begin reading a book, set yourself a goal of what you wish to achieve after you’ve read it. Ask a number of questions and attempt to answer them as you read the book. This will help your focus, concentration and enthusiasm.
"The more you read,
The more things you will know,
The more that you learn,
The more places you’ll go."
Dr Seuss


Tip 2: Read in a quiet environment with minimal distractions.

Tip 3: Reduce the duration of fixation. While reading, the eyes comes to rest to take an image of the word that it is focused on, that pause is referred to as fixation. Slow readers have a longer fixation time.
‘The shorter your fixation, the faster you read’ Phil Chambers


Tip 4: Take a chunk of words at a time. Slow readers take one or two words at a time. To improve your speed, focus on at least four words at a time. Your eyes have the ability to focus on an entire page at a time.

Tip 5: Avoid back skipping. Keep on reading even if you feel you’ve missed a word. Comprehension will be achieved if you get the context of what you are reading.

Tip 6: Always hold your book or digital device at almost arm’s length (50 cm). This will maximize your use of the peripheral vision and will help you to cover a much larger area of the page.

Tip 7: Use skimming, scanning and selective reading to choose the relevant sections you need to read. For a scientific journal for example, read the Title, Abstract and Discussion.

Tip 8: Guide your eyes with pointers like pen or pencils.
‘Books are carriers of civilization.
Without books, history is silent
literature dumb, science crippled,
thought and speculation at a standstill.’
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)


I hope this helps. I am happy to offer advice if required.

You couldn’t be more considerate, Tivkaa. I am pleased to get this from you, and to share it though it is abridged.
Uduak Umo is a PR Practitioner, based in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. Find him on Twitter @UdyUmo

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