World’s largest video platform online, YouTube is desiring to encourage Africans to be more serious about reading. With the “Africa Reading Challenge”, the online giant hopes to create a reading marathon that will feature authors, influencers, and important opinion leaders on the continent.
The “Africa Reading Challenge” initiative is also designed to help popularize the works of African authors.
In particular, the personalities will read some pages from the book The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives. That is a novel written by Nigerian writer/poet, Lola Shoneyin. The book reveals the everyday struggles, rivalries, intricate family politics, and interplay of personalities within the private world of polygamous unions.
The novel is the top choice of Africans who took part in a Google Africa survey conducted last July. The survey asked social media followers which novel by an African author would they like to be read live on YouTube.
As at this moment, about 40 people have been selected to start the “Africa Reading Challenge”. Some of these readers are talk show host, Agatha Amatha, motivational speaker, Olujimi Tewe, and others. All those qualified to read from the book are Nigerians, Kenyans, South Africans, and other countries.
From Kenya, there will be writers and storytellers like Muthoni Garland, James Murua, Anne Moraa, and Aleya Kassam.
From South Africa, there will be TV presenter and philanthropist, Maps Mapoyane, media personality, Penny Lebyane, actress and model, Pearl Thusi, and more.
Google Africa expressed hope that this move would enhance the reading culture on the continent. Anyone with a thing for books can join the challenge by sharing a 10-second video on their social channels, reading the book, and nominating their friends to do the same.
There will be free access to the book through the OneRead app. That is a simple way of encouraging those who want to read the book but don’t have a hard copy of the book.