The Rainbow Book Club is the driving force behind the bid for the UNESCO title and they are coordinating the project with the backing of the Deputy Governor of Rivers State, Engineer Tele Ikuru.
Rainbow Book Club Founder – Mrs Koko Kalango, was interviewed by the BBC World Service Radio program, Focus on Africa. Speaking to presenter Paul Bakibinga, Mrs Kalango outlines the significance of having a sub-Saharan African city as World Book Capital because of the positive attention it brings to the region. She further talks about the importance of reading and how parents play a fundamental role in giving children the tools they need to read and in instilling a love of books and education in young people.
Young people are a key focus of the World Book Capital City events as empowering the youth through education will have concrete knock-on effects for the country’s development. Asked about the recent passing of the legendary author Chinua Achebe, Mrs Kalango said that while his passing is a huge blow to the nation, his legacy lives on in his rich body of work and in the institutions he helped to create such as the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) and was a founding editor of the Heinemann’s hugely popular African Writers Series.
Professor Achebe’s work was also a point of discussion when Rainbow’s Communications focal point, Effie White paid a visit to the studios of London’s Colourful Radio. Speaking on Jacqui Grant’s popular arts and culture show, Effie spoke of the timeless quality of the great author’s work and of also highlighted the impressive works of the new breed of writers coming out of Nigeria such as Chimamanda Adichie, Adaobi Nwaubani and Lola Shoneyin.
Touching on the fact that the World Book Capital City project falls during the 100th anniversary of the creation of Nigeria, Mrs White said celebrating Nigeria goes hand in hand with developing the youth who make up 70 per cent of the population.
Port Harcourt World Book Capital’s successful outing in London has helped to raise the profile of the 2014 events and of this year’s Garden City Literary Festival which takes place from 21st to 26th October. Keep following us on Twitter and Facebook as we visit the opening ceremony of the 2013 World Book Capital City – Bangkok.