Walibora Snip

Ken Walibora an author and journalist. He has asked teachers to let students read Literature for enjoyment if they are to develop a life long interest with the subject (Photo/Twitter).

Renown author and veteran journalist Ken Walibora has urged Literature teachers to emphasize on the entertainment aspect of the subject to their students.

Speaking on Friday during a session with teachers at the just concluded Nakuru Storymoja Festival, Walibora said this will make the students get a lifelong impact of the subject in their lives.

He told teachers that it was not enough to only teach students so as to pass exams without letting them develop a love for the subject.

“Let students enjoy Literature, emphasize on its entertainment aspect,”

he told an attentive group of about 10 teachers.

Walibora who currently works with Nation Medai Group rose to writing fame in the late 1990’s through his seminal Kiswahili novel Siku Njema whose aesthetic beauty saw it selected as a set book in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE). To date he has penned at least 40 books.

By letting students love Literature, he told the teachers, it would be easy for them to pick out lessons as espoused in the themes of particular books.

“When my grandmother narrated stories to me she never said “this is the lesson,” she only said this is the end of the story,”

he said while explaining that Literature should first be read for enjoyment before it is read for other purposes.
But he cautioned that for the teachers to make their students have a passion for Literature and hence enjoy reading it, they must first be role models.

“The teachers should love and have passion for Literature,” he added.

While echoing his words, one of the Literature enthusiasts who attended the session added that to get to that level where both the teacher and the students love and enjoy reading Literature, it was important to develop a reading culture.

“One should read as many books and possible so as to understand the style of as many writers as possible,”

said Dr. Evans Majimarefu who is also an author.

According to Majirmarefu, teachers contribute to the death of Literature as a subject in schools by not reading widely and ending up over relying on guide books for set books they teach in schools.

“Let’s avoid the guidebooks, teachers should also love and buy books,” he said.

Kenya has been blamed for having a poor reading culture. It is not a surprise that many people in the country have not bought or read any novel since they cleared formal education. Storymoja seeks end this trend by encouraging Kenyans to read books for personal gratification and not just for passing exams.