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#IAmCreativeForAfrica: Making writing and reading culture a priority

#IAmCreativeForAfrica’s Donovan Faranando (DF) had a chance to speak with Bryan Manda (BM) a young poet and lifestyle blogger from Zambia whose aim is to make people know about what’s trending in his country through his blog while encouraging people to write and read for the betterment of themselves


DF: Tell us your name and what you do?
BM: My name is Bryan Manda and I’m a fashion/lifestyle blogger,writer and poet.


DF: Why do you do what you do?
BM: I do what i do because I’m more passion driven. I am driven by the zeal to create content and I simply enjoy it in every sense of the word.I also love to tell original Zambian and African stories through form of writing!


DF: Tell us more about blogging,is it a stable career in Africa?
BM: Blogging in Africa isn’t a much stable career but I love the fact that bloggers in different areas are being called to do their work e.g cover events or write about a store and we are actually being paid for it. Africa is now recognising how influential bloggers are though the blogging industry isn’t yet there but the growth is taking place. For me personally blogging is the way to go for aunthetic journalism!


DF: You encourage the reading culture, what can we do to revive the lost love for reading in Africa?
BM: In line with this when I held my first ‘Zambian writers and poets event’ many people said to me ‘People woudn’t attend cause they’re neither interested nor do they read’,later the event was a success.The reading culture is poor but its growing.We need authentic story tellers to revive it, we need to incorporate an African curriculum in schools to promote our own reading culture. Everyone has a role to play from parents, the media, writers, schools etc.


DF: As a blogger yourself,what challenges have you faced so far when it comes to resources??
BM: The challenges have been many.Sometimes I miss events because I have no money to move to and fro the place I’m supposed to be for coverage also data is expensive in Zambia hence sometimes I can’t be fully consistent with my blog and sharing content.So all in all resources are scarce and this is a huge hindrance to deliverance!


DF: What is your reaction to some illiteracy issues within Africa?
BM: Honestly it’s sad and heart breaking. I envision a Africa where everyone should and be able to read fluently but that’s not the case. What’s even more disheartening is how society bullies individuals who can’t read nor write.Africa is changing and growing on its own way at its own pace.I have a club ‘Zambian writers & Poets Club’ that is doing everything to promote African literature and literacy culture.More people should organize clubs like these!


DF: What does it mean to you to be a creative in Africa?
BN: It means I have the ability to fully express myself as a human being in fashion, writing, poetry. Its my power to live unapologetically without someone’s approval.Its also my validation, wholeness and power to create content that matters!


DF: One last word to your fellow Africans who would want to follow into your steps?
BM: I would tell them to be themselves cause life is too short to be somebody else.Authenticness/uniqueness is key. Be particulate to other creatives in Africa,learn and be open to criticism!

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