“When an old man dies, a library burns to the ground”–African Proverb
THIS is indeed one of the most profound African proverbs which is not only striking but awakening in the context of the need to passing on knowledge for generations to follow.
The year is slowly grinding to an end, and it is not surprising that many people who set out to write their book in January might not have written a single page since then.
It is saddening to note that many great men have passed on without passing on their great wisdom to their families and this could probably explain why some African institutions or businesses die with the owner.
Writing a book is one of the great and unique ways to leave a mark and inspire generations and generations to come.
A book can always be kept for posterity.
Inspirational and thought leaders such as the late Dr Myles Munroe are currently celebrated and widely quoted as if they are still alive and this demonstrates that a book is an immortal intellectual asset that can be of benefit to generations to come.
Last week I wrote an obituary in honour of a great friend under the headline “MubuDelorneMubu — a rising star gone too soon.
On the day of the burial, I tightly held his book in my hand for it was one of the lasting memorable treasure trove I had and I remember being approached twice by mourners who couldn’t help but notice his book whose cover had his face inscribed and in my obituary I wrote of how he seemed to be death conscious by writing what seemed to be a semi-autobiography at such a young age.
His case was that of a “young library” that had burnt to the ground.
Thanks to his book People to People his legacy shall live on.
As we head to the long December holidays we have plenty time to reboot and refresh and one of the ways we can do that is through writing and setting out our plans for the incoming year.
It is important to make use of the festive season to observe our thoughts and feelings and embark on expressive writing which may bring our creativity to its best.
Writing is an Intellectual Asset.
In the context of Zimbabwe, with a highly literate and academic population which has undergone harsh economic realities of surviving and living in a tough and squeezed economy, no one can deny that one can make a living out of sharing their knowledge or expertise in various facets especially of the socio-economic spheres, in particular through non-fiction, personal development material which can transform lives.
Although piracy continues to be an impeding factor in making realisation out of books, one should also look at the alternative option of self-publishing which enables them to somehow have control over marketing, sales and distribution of books.
Fungayi Antony Sox works at TisuMazwi — a communication centred social enterprise which specialises in books and storytelling projects. He writes in his personal capacity. For feedback contact him on 0776 030 949 or f``ollow him on Twitter @AntonySox or connect with him on LinkedIn at Fungayi Antony Sox