To Read and Learn

Poetry had for so long eluded me,
it never made sense to me, and so had art and Jazz. I just didn’t understand any
of them and didn’t pay so much attention either, until recently when I started
reading books. I had for so long, never appreciated written literature until someone very close to me, whose life revolves around reading encouraged me to
give it a try. He bought me “The Monk who sold his Ferari” to start with and I
read it so fast that I asked for another with a similar style of writing. Then
came “The Concubine” by Elechi Amadi and he dared me to complete the entire
book. That was it for me.

Currently reading this book as one of my
March reads
Daring me was the only way I could
prove that I could read a book and complete it. I later on learnt that the dare
was deliberate to make sure I read the book. My desire for African Literature
grew. I took to Facebook and asked my friends to recommend books by African
writers. I was overwhelmed by the recommendations and I have since December
2014 read a total of 12 books and I am still amazed at how much I had missed
because I didn’t read a lot. I am therefore trying to ‘catch up’ on the lost
time.  It’s never too late

I am privileged because I am
currently enrolled to a University and I do not have to buy all these books, I
make good use of my student privileges to borrow as many books as I can. Because
of school demands, I intend to read atleats 2 books a month. This has helped me
reduce the amount of the time that I spend on social media and saved me lots of
‘small talk’. 

Having grown up in a family of
readers, as a last borne, I always had my siblings narrate stories to me and my
mum read bible stories, which I enjoyed so much. I was more of a listener than
a reader. This didn’t change much when I grew older. I preferred listening and
watching as opposed to reading. I watched video books and listened to audio
books. I just didn’t understand the fun in reading over 400 pages of tiny words,
yet I could listen to someone do that for me. I was wrong, So wrong because nothing
beats the satisfaction that comes with holding a book in your arms and having
your imagination go wild.

I have since purposed to learn as
many new things as I can, read books about issues I never learnt at school,
learn to interpret and understand art in all it’s forms;- music, drama, design,
poetry etc and many more things that were perceived as impossible to
learn or do. Reading has challenged me to explore, to question and appreciate
diversity and respect differences.
This is my very first attempt to
write a poem. And my first is about the power of Silence. Because my moments of solitude are some of my best life moments. Enjoy!!
SILENCE!!
Look for the invisible,
Listen to the Silences,
Touch your imagination.
Tomorrow is beyond here and now
The picture of thy self can’t be any clearer
In the moment of silence
Renewing the spirit
Giving a glimpse of truth
In that moment, you are a new being
So much noise, yet so silent
Opening your eyes to your deeds
Searching through the torrents of despair
Life seems like a futile uphill climb sometimes
In Silence, you Listen
Two ears, one mouth, lead you to new heights
Your will power sustains you in a moment of Silence
 Be SILENT, LISTEN
-Maureen Agena
Beyond this, I would like to open
a public space where people come together to read, write and express themselves
artistically. It could be a Library or simply an open space. I would like to
see authors mentor potential writers such that we learn to tell our own stories
in our own way as well as document our history and present situations. If you
have ideas on how this can be achieved or would like to support this, your
advice is most welcome.
Comment here or send me an email maureenagena@gmail.com
  • Anonymous

    Welcome to the 'Reading Club'

  • Many thank. I am loving it.