-- Bella Nyongesa aspires to become an
actress and motivational speaker when she completes high school
education later this year and is currently immersing herself in
books that offer insight into the two vocations.
Nairobi youth is enrolled at a high school in Western Kenya and
her mother has always motivated her to nurture a passion for
reading given its transformative attributes.
Nyongesa was among
hundreds of Kenyan youth who converged at the oldest library in
the capital of Nairobi on Monday to immerse themselves in a
diverse variety of books as the World Book Day is being
Speaking to Xinhua
at the McMillan Memorial Library located in Nairobi, Nyongesa
said the reading culture among her youthful peers is gradually
improving with the realization it could catapult them to new
levels of social and professional development.
“My passion for
reading developed when I joined high school thanks to
encouragement from my mother and hope to sustain it even after
completing my studies later this year,” said Nyongesa.
“I try to balance
reading for leisure and for examinations and visits the McMillan
Memorial Library quite often during school holidays,” she added.
youngster was on Monday engrossed in reading a wide range of her
favorite subjects including English literature, mathematics and
“At home, I usually
read fiction that offers some refreshing entertainment but at
the library, I devour literature that is relevant to my school
curriculum,” Nyongesa said.
(Xinhua) — A man purchases a book from
a street vendor during the International World Book Day
in Nairobi, April 23, 2018. The World Book Day is
celebrated yearly on April 23 to promote reading,
publishing and copyright.
XINHUA PHOTO: CHARLES
The now renovated
and spacious McMillan Memorial Library has been providing a
serene environment for Kenyan adults and youngsters to read
widely and enrich their knowledge in many disciplines.
Managers told Xinhua
that the architectural marvel that is more than 80 years old has
struck an enduring chord with book lovers from all walks of
“Our reading culture
may not be world class but it is slightly improving despite the
technological onslaught. Kenyans are still flocking at this
library to spend hours with their favorite books,” said Dickens,
a long-serving manager at the library.
He disclosed that
Victorian era literature, history and anthropology is still
popular among Kenya’s ageing population while fiction,
technology and lifestyle books animate the youth.
“At given day, we
have visitors filling up the literature and poetry section while
young learners prefer sections that have books on contemporary
subjects like information technology, chemistry, medicine and
architecture,” Dickens told Xinhua.
Arthur Muruga, an
ICT practitioner in his early 30s struck a confident pose as he
strode along the McMillan Memorial Library’s spacious corridor
to look for his favorite books.
The confessed book
lover told Xinhua he visits McMillan Memorial Library several
days in a week to indulge in reading in order to broaden his
knowledge in technology, culture, lifestyle and world history.
“My busy schedule at
work has not prevented me from popping into this library to pick
my favorite book. I can spend up to two hours reading books on
modern technologies as well as economics, culture or politics,”
He noted that
reading culture in Kenya is on a positive trajectory as ordinary
citizens appreciate its potential to transform their lives and
that of their next of kin.
“The new generation
could as well harness modern technologies and innovations to
improve on reading as a pastime and for career growth. I see
technology reshaping how we interact with books in the near
future,” Muruga remarked.
Memorial Library that is managed by Nairobi County Government
caters for all age groups including children, adolescents and
The library’s rich
stock of children books, fiction, ancient art and culture,
history, economics and applied sciences has made it a favorite
destination for knowledge seekers.
Dickson Wachira, a
16 years old high school student said he looked forward to
spending quality time at the McMillan Memorial Library during
the April holidays.
“I usually visit the
library every day except Sundays and my parents have encouraged
me to read subjects that are related to my school work,” said
Wachira, adding that he aspires to become an ICT administrator.
Book vendors who
spoke to Xinhua during the World Book Day said they looked
forward to profitable days ahead as the quest for knowledge
among the youthful Kenyans improve.
“We hope more
Kenyans will be buying our books that are a repository of
knowledge on how to lead a healthy and productive life,” said a
middle aged book vendor who requested anonymity.