Guinness Record holder seeks donation to build libraries across nation

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Guinness Record holder seeks donation to build libraries across nation

Mr Bayode Treasures-Olawunmi

Mr Bayode Treasures-Olawunmi, World Guinness Record Holder in 2018 Longest Marathon Reading Aloud Contest, on Wednesday called on philanthropists, government and corporate organisations to donate toward building libraries across the nation.Treasures-Olawunmi, Founder of “I Read Afrika“ who is currently staging the second edition of “Read Aloud Contest” made the plea while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.NAN reports that the second edition of Read Aloud Contest started on Dec. 1 and will end on Dec. 20 when the contestants would have read for 480 hours, a remarkable feat globally.The reading is underway at the Herbert Macaulay Library, Yaba, Lagos.He said that the essence of the contest was not only to win another Guinness record but to encourage the culture of reading through building functional libraries at the grassroots.According to him, every developed country of the world was able to achieve that through the knowledge the citizens were able to garner and not due to the natural resources available to them.“The human mind is the wealthiest human resource because there is no limit to what it can achieve.“So the nation needs to pay attention to knowledge acquisition which can be done by creating conducive environment for people to read to acquire the said knowledge.“We look forward to donations from well meaning Nigerians, corporate organisations and philanthropists through this“The libraries to be built across the nation would be called “Legacy Libraries” because we are laying legacies for our posterity, the names of the donors will be written on each legacy wall in each library built,” he said.Treasures-Olawunmi called on Nigerian celebrities to key into the initiative by projecting this on their individual social media platforms to generate the needed funds for the project.According to him, a nation thrives on the intellect of its citizens adding that a reading country is a progressive country.“We need our celebrities to be keen on youth issues, if the youths are reading, there will be less crime in the society, the police would have less people to brutalise and creativity would be improved among the youth.`You really don’t see a reader who goes into robbery, kidnapping, rape and drug addiction, reading helps to channel people’s thoughts toward positivity and productivity and not negativity.“I urge our celebrities to key into this, it is a valuable seed to sow which would be reaped in the future,” he said.Treasures-Olawunmi noted that of all the five contestants, four were deliberately selected to be ladies as the initiative tried to focus on showcasing women, theirtenacity, ruggedness, integrity, and ability to push and promote.He said the contestants were also deliberately picked from different geopolitical zones to promote peace, unity and integration.According to him, by Friday Dec. 17, 2021, the contest will have broken a decade-old record as the contestants would have read for 365 hours, 39 seconds.He said the initial record was held at Dominican Republic where a group of six professionals read for 360 hours and 39 seconds.He, however, commended the efforts of the volunteers cutting across various professions who had assisted in making the programme a successful one, such as the doctor, lawyer, photographers, among others..Also, Mr Habeeb Balogun, the progamme’s Project Manager decried the poor condition at the library and nation’s poor electricity supply as the event needed to be recorded throughout the period of the contest.Balogun said the quest to build a healthier reading culture could not be traded for anything in the world having seen the impact functional libraries have made in the lives of children in the rural communities.He said a nation’s development was hinged on learning through reading and this could only be achieved through provision of functional libraries.Zainab Mustapha, one or the contestants from Borno, urged the northerners to key into the project so it could bring positive changes to the standard of education in that region. (NAN)

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