-Plead for support to build libraries, encourage reading
It is exactly 10 days into the Guinness World Record in the Marathon Read Aloud Attempt by a team and members of the iRead Afrika led by Olubayode Treasures Olawunmi, the holder of Guinness World Record in the Marathon Read Aloud Attempt for an individual, that are embarking on a mission to set another record in that category and the team is still very much alive to the challenge with 10 days to go.
The reading attempt, which is ongoing at the Herbert Macaulay Library, Sabo, Yaba, started on December 1, and will end on December 21, 2021, when the team would have read for 480 hours.
According to Bayode, the aim of the reading is not just to set world records but importantly, to raise funds to build functional libraries in rural areas which will give Nigerians, especially students access to books.
In addition, the team is also aiming to improve and encourage reading culture in the country and Africa at large.
THE IMPACT, which has been monitoring the ongoing reading attempt by the team, engaged two of the readers who shared their experiences so far in the quest.
Miss Zainab Wakil Mustapha from Borno State and one of the readers, said that she thought that they would not be able to do the task but that the more they read, the more they are motivated to complete the mission.
“At first, I thought that it would be an unattainable attempt, but the more that we read, the more we are encouraged and motivated to read more and complete the task ahead”, she told THE IMPACT.
“There is nothing that is impossible once you set your mind at it.
“The more that we read, the more we catch up and learn new words; improve on our vocabularies and expand our knowledge”.
She said that some of the books provided for them to read and the visitors are serving as motivating factors for them to read more.
“Some of the books that we are reading are actually encouraging us to read more. Also, when we see people seated to watch us read, it is another thing that encourages us”, she said.
The Borno – born reader said that reading helps in developing analytical minds and development of a country.
“If encouraged, reading will definitely help us in developing analytical minds in the country. It would help people to think deeply and positively.
“I know that the entire world is watching us as we read and I have no doubt that we are impacting many and encouraging them to read books.
“We build a nation when its people read and that is why we are in this to raise funds to build libraries across Nigeria”, she added.
She commended the team leader for providing them with the platform and also care for them to embark on the task.
Zainab was also full of praise to the medical team and volunteers that are caring for them every day.
“Mr Bayode and his wife have been wonderful to us. He has been caring for us daily despite the fact that he is also reading with us. Likewise others. We have the medical team on ground 24 hours.
“The volunteering team is also wonderful. They are always with us day and night”.
Another member of iRead Afrika, Miss Preciouslight Ukachi from Imo State who is into training farmers and outsourcing them, said that the experience has been challenging and an opportunity to learn.
“The experience has been challenging and also an opportunity to learn. If I have not been here, I will not be able to learn some of the new things that I have been opportuned to learn”, she said.
“I am sacrificing through this reading an attempt to be a better person.
“I believe in myself and always push myself to be a better person”.
She called for support for the team’s plans to build libraries across the country.
“Building libraries is a wonderful idea that can be developed in any nation. We need the support of everyone to make this a reality.
“I didn’t have access to a library when I was growing up as there was no library in my primary school and the one in my former secondary school wasn’t that functional.
“What we are attempting will make libraries available in many places and encourage children and others to engage in reading. I appeal to the general public to support us in building libraries in rural areas”, she pleaded.
Preciouslight, who said that she is also engaged with Atlas, an NGO, said that whatever she gained from this quest will be impacted on her community.
“I will definitely reciprocate whatever I learnt here to impact on my community and people.
“I will also be able to impact the knowledge of farmers through training before outsourcing them”.
She also told our reporter her future plans after the Guinness World record attempt.
“I plan to further my studies by taking up a course in Early Child Education because I want to focus and care for children with autism and other special abilities”, she said
She also said that she plans to organize more educational programmes in her community to encourage reading.
Other members of the team are Maryam Abba Sadu, also from Borno State and Doubra Yeri from Bayelsa State.