It`s probably the toughest thing to do, the ability to find time and attend an event purely about reading with no merry making.
The vision sharing session held at the Pulsate office in Kampala, was attended by 40 people, a little over the number expected.
By 4:30p.m, on Friday 21 October, ideas were rolling up on how to get more and more Ugandans reading.
In Raziah Athman`s words, the vision of #UgandaReading, an initiative she has designed to impact society positively, is ‘to inspire a strong reading culture across Africa’.
“For a young person, a birthday gift should be a book, the culture can begin from there”
says Prosper Ahimbisibwe. And it wasn`t just to listen to what the great vision is, a simple reading challenge was a must for all who were there… the task, to pick a book randomly and read it for one minute.
Not all found it as easy but sure Uganda has some avid readers, like Kassim Kayira, who after the minute read said;
“When everybody is sleeping the light will still be on and I will be pushing, and especially when it`s an interesting then for me it doesn`t stop. For some reason I am a pretty fast reader. But also the Quran is very readable, that`s the other thing that actually once you get into the rhythm – the English bit is a bit slow because then you have to go with that. The Arabic which is what I was reading is much faster and still comes with a lot of practice, once you get used to it then everything just flows.”
Uganda Reading should set the pace for the rest of Africa by engaging like-minded individuals in other African countries, suggests Simon Kaheru.
“Henry Kyemba is probably earning millions in royalties… we need to get our youth that but to also get Ugandans to realize that when you spend Sh20,000 buying a book like this, what it puts into your head lasts for years and years and years while also putting money into the pocket of another Ugandan.”
Uganda Reading just started its journey, it`s been a year of setting up and years of conceiving. As holding a book becomes rarer and rarer, this movement seeks to change that.
It`s also a fact that technology is an aspect Uganda Reading must consider as it works toward building a strong reading culture.