About Author

Baba Buntu

Baba Buntu is an Activist Scholar and Founding Director of eBukhosini Solutions; a community-based company in Johannesburg, specializing in Afrikan-Centered Education. As a Pan-Afrikan educator, writer, mentor and practitioner, Baba Buntu has more than 30 years of experience in conceptualizing and contributing to programs on social development, innovative entrepreneurship and cultural empowerment. He has founded a number of community interventions based on practical approaches to Black Consciousness and decolonial methods. With experience from working engagements in Afrika, the Caribbean and Europe, Buntu’s passion lies within people-centred development for practical empowerment of Afrikan youth, families and communities. He holds a Doctoral and a Master Degree in Philosophy of Education from UNISA.

Response to young man’s question on READING BOOKS

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Young Afrikan Man (asking):

I WANT TO READ, BUT I STRUGGLE TO FOCUS – HOW CAN I CHANGE THAT? Greetings my Elder. I have a big problem with reading. I do want to read books to learn more and to have a broader view on life but I get very tired when I start to read. When I read, I can keep concentrating for about 30 min then I start thinking about something else and lose track.

What could be the problem? What should I do to create a hunger for reading so that I don’t get lazy when I have to read?

Baba Buntu:

Greetings my Warrior – thank you for raising a challenge that many Brothers struggle with, but might be reluctant to admit. We “all” know that we MUST read, but most of us, honestly, find it boring and unattractive. Now, there are at least two levels you need to look at:

  1. Technical level: Habits of reading

Because most of us have grown up not LIKING to read, you need to work on the habit of reading. If you cant read for a long time, accept this in the beginning, but READ OFTEN. 15 minutes here. 30 minutes there. Make a habit of reading something in the morning and something at night. Start with something that ACTUALLY interests you and moves you (ex. autobiographies, novels, mind-provoking theories, short stories etc – and then “go deeper” when you are ready).

  1. Intellectual level: Expanding the mind

When reading becomes a habit you also experience that your thinking expands, your mind works better, you have easier access to mental processes. This is strength. And you will realise the benefit. Caution: This level can also easily lead to misguided arrogance; You start believing you are better than others, you keep bombarding people with book references and intimidate those who have no interest in books. Don’t forget you once were there yourself!

  1. Spiritual level: Growth of being

This is when habit and mind comes together and ask: What do we DO with the information acquired? Knowledge remains empty if it only lives in your head. Reading should make you ACT differently, WORK better and become a more FUNCTIONAL Afrikan Warrior. So, work on implementing knowledge, practicing wisdom and build (and/or contribute to already existing) Black Power entities (organisations, enterprises etc).

Reading is not necessarily easy. But it is still a must. So keep pushing your WILL towards a practical process of knowledge gathering. You KNOW the Afrikan world will actually benefit from it!

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