The following is a contribution from Fareedah Amao, a pupil of Stargate College, Apapa, Lagos, Nigeria. Because Fareedah is only 14 years old now, the piece is so impressive to us and we believe you should read it too.
My vision about my early reading life is somewhat blurred. I must have read those early learners books as every young child is expected to. In 2004, I got a storybook titled ‘Cinderella’ as a gift on my fourth birthday. I have read many books since then. However, stories that have struck me, and stuck with me the most are not the ones I read by myself, but the ones Grandpa read to me.
Grandpa was a serious man. He like order, he liked timeliness. He was hardworking and listened studiously. Most importantly, Grandpa read tales to me, and I was his first granddaughter. His tales were about people and culture, about war and peace; some were as amusing as cat and dog, some about beauty, nature and art, about family and friendship, about hate and love. Grandpa’s tales left nothing out, not even death and matters of life after.
Whether he was reading from his yellow book of tales, or from one of his large black books, Grandpa always made sure his stories were always short and interesting. I never got tired of his tales. One day, I asked Grandpa if he was going to write his own book, and he replied, “I read you these stories so they may inspire you, and one day your own stories will inspire a generation.”
When Grandpa became sick and it became clear he was going to depart from us, he wrote me a note which stated thus:
I have not left behind houses and cars, or any of those material things, not because you will never need them. However, I leave you with stories with which you can acquire all that you shall ever need, and help fulfill the dreams of the ones you share them with.
Love always Grandpa.
All the time I had with him, I saw Grandpa as a great storyteller. He told me stories with ease as if he lived in them. Now I see him as a legend, whose tales are always alive to steer me through every day that I face.
I shall share Grandpa’s tales with many people and hope that people will find them as interesting as I have. Also, I hope they will help find solutions to the most pressing needs of life.
Fareedah Amao, just 14 years old, writes poems too.
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