40 year old Nigerian, Olubayode Treasures Olawunmi, is bidding for a Guinness World Record after reading aloud for 122 hours at a Read Aloud Marathon Session organized by the YouREAD Initiative, a CSR initiative of Guaranty Trust Bank which seeks to reignite the interest in reading across Nigeria and beyond.
Olubayode read aloud 23 published books from 1;30pm on Monday February 26th, 2018 to 3:30pm on Saturday March 3rd at the Herbert Macaulay Library, Yaba, which was recently remodeled into state of the art facility by GTBank. The Read Aloud Marathon, which had renowned Swiss watchmaker TAG Heuer as the official timekeeper, will be will be sent to the offices of the Guinness World Record in London who will confirm if Olubayode has broken the record for the Longest Marathon Read Aloud.
Since 2008, Deepak Sharma Bajaan, from Nepal, has held the Guinness World Record for the Longest Marathon Read Aloud after he read a total of 17 books in 113 hours and 15 minutes. Now, Olubayode is taking a shot at breaking the world record having read 6 more books and approximately 9 hours longer than the current world record holder. His challenge for the Guinness World Record garnered huge public interest, with hundreds of well-wishers visiting him at the Herbert Macaulay Library and thousands more cheering him on across social media platforms.
Speaking on his remarkable feat, Olubayode said; “I would like to thank GTBank first for sponsoring my Guinness World Record attempt, and most importantly, for all the Bank has been doing to support education and promote the culture of reading. I would also like to thank Nigerians everywhere who sent me messages of support physically and across social media; together, we are making reading famous again. I hope that this effort will raise our consciousness on the importance of reading and also help change the narrative that making money and being famous can only come from entertainment and sports. Those two are great, but so too is excelling in education, and hopefully the younger generation will find in my Guinness World Record attempt the inspiration to read and study more.”
Commenting on Olubayode’s Guiness World Record attempt, the Managing Director and Chief Executive of GTBank, Segun Agbaje said; “We are proud to have sponsored Olubayode Treasures Olawunmi’s brave attempt to make history through one of the most positive human activities—reading. His stunning feat will not only put Nigeria on the global map as a nation that is passionate about books, it will also serve as a source of inspiration to everyone in the country and beyond to adopt and maintain an active reading culture.”
He further stated that “At GTBank, we are passionate about rekindling the interest of young Nigerians in reading and will continue to create and support innovate ways to promote an active reading culture within and outside the academic environment.”