World Book Day was celebrated in Nigeria with an attempt by Olubayode Tresures Olawunmi who took a giant step reading about 17 books to break the Guinness World Record for the longest Marathon read aloud contest. Bayode, father of three, logged 120 hours at 15.30 at the You Read Library Yaba in Lagos, beating the previous record set by Nepali Deepak Sharma Bajagain.
The contest is a GTBank You Read Initiative with Olubayode reading books from Nigerian Authors, undertaking the Guinness World Record longest read aloud marathon attempt. It also coincided with the celebration of World Book Day witnessed by students from various schools. The attempt was proudly supported by the GTBank You read Initiative, a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) project which the Bank launched in 2017 to rekindle the interest in reading. Olubayode started the read aloud challenge on Monday February 26, 2018 at exactly 1:30pm Nigerian time with selected books that included Toni Kan’s The Carnivorous City, Sarah Ladipo Manyika’s Independence, Leye Adenle’s Easy Motion Tourist, Elnathan John’s born on a Tuesday amongst many others. According to Abisoye Balogun, project coordinator GtBanks you read project, “What this event is about is basically promoting African literature and the reading culture in Nigeria noticing that there’s decline in reading culture among the populace. It is a brave one for one individual to sit and read for 120 hours surpassing the current record of 113 hours done in 2008 by Deepak Sharma Bajaan from India who held the world record in book reading; reading a total of 17 books in 113 hours and 15 minutes. It is a significant time as the world marks another world book day.
By Mercy Kukah