“If you must change Nigeria, you must encourage the youths to read,” these were the words of Ramon Rocha III, at the opening day of a workshop for African publishers holding at the Redemption Camp, along Lagos-Ibadan express way.
The event organised by US-based Media Associates International (MAI), is a workshop for publishers in Nigeria and a co-host by MAI’s representatives in Nigeria, Journalists For Christ, Nigeria.
In his opening remark, President of Journalists For Christ, Lekan Otufodunrin, gave a brief history of his first meeting with MAI.
Otufodunrin, who is also the Online Editor at The Nation newspaper, said, “I met MAI in the United Kingdom while I attended training in Cardiff,” he added that that, “I was searching online for Christian organisations, that was how I discovered MAI, which has been of a tremendous blessings to me and others around me.”
In his lecture, Rocha III, a Filipino based in the United States of America visiting Nigeria for the second time, noticed some challenges the nation is facing currently. “This is my second time in Nigeria and I’m so blessed to be here, I noticed a long line of vehicles and I asked what was happening, I was told they were waiting to buy fuel.”
Talking further about the MAI, the father of four, enlightened participants about the organisation he represents. “MAI is a unique ministry, there are other organisations that do the same thing we do, but we are unique because we train Christian publishers.”
Stating further, he said, “Ours is global because we have voluntary trainers from all over the world, we have a small office in Chicago, but we make much impact.”
He however advised participants to encourage people to read. “If you pastor a church, you can reach hundreds or perhaps thousands of people, but if you have written a book, it can reach much more people because it penetrates through the minds to the hearts and conscience,” he said.
Rocha III however challenged parents, church leaders, youths and all who want to change Nigeria to engage in reading good books. “Let us keep telling our friends, church and family members, children to read, this is how to change Nigeria,” he advised.
Participants at the event took turn to share their experiences about books that have changed their lives.