The concept is aimed at inculcating the reading culture to youths and children in Cameroon and Africa in particular.
Taking a close look at the African literature scenery in sub-Saharan Africa, one will easily notice that books for youths and children are quasi inexistent. Apart from text books present in the school curricula, children seldom read other books and therefore lack the reading culture. The concept Muna Kalati was therefore put in place by Cameroonian scholars following the implementation of an academic project by Ngnaoussi Elongue Eric. The latter founded the association in 2016 in Egypt to revitalise literature for the younger generation in Africa.
Muna Kalati, in a Cameroonian mother tongue translated as “muna” which means “child” and “kalati” meaning “read” is aimed at vulgarising reading of not only school books but other educative and entertaining write-ups among youths. This is done through a magazine and their web site first, the facilitation of youth access to books through storytelling, reading and writing workshops and lastly through scientific research to ensure a greater legitimacy.
The project has also been implemented through the “Reading Pleasure Initiative” in partnership with the Franco-Cameroonian alliance agency in the town of Dschang. In perspectives, the promoters expect to spread “Reading Pleasure Initiative” in other towns and cities of Cameroon and countries in the central African sub region. The organisation of youth books trade fairs in two cities in the country is also thought of, in order to fully implement the objectives.
Promoters of the concept expect to “see a true cultural industry emerge around youth publishing which will lead to the creation of job opportunities and especially an anchoring of children’s books on the aggregates of African cultures in the long term” as Gaetan Guetcheuchi, member of the association affirms. “The ultimate fight is to see up growing Africans full of good governance, honesty and creativity,” he further adds. Since reading is as important to the brain as exercise is to the body, more means should be put into this sector to revive young minds.
By Aureline Meli/ Journalist