In a bid to reignite the interest in reading across Nigeria and beyond, a 40 year old Nigerian, Olubayode Treasures Olawunmi, , read aloud for 122 hours at a Read Aloud Marathon Session organized by the YouREAD Initiative, a CSR initiative of Guaranty Trust Bank. The Read Aloud Marathon, which had renowned Swiss watchmaker TAG Heuer as the official timekeeper, held 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 a state of the art facility by GTBank.
Olubayode, who read aloud 23 published books within 5 days and 2 hours, set out to achieve a personal goal of reading for 120 hours as well as play for the Guinness World Record. However, any claim to breaking the current World Record of 113 hours and 15 minutes (held by Deepak Sharma Bajaan from Nepal) is subject to confirmation by Guinness World Record in London, after verification of evidence of this attempt, in line with the guidelines set out by the organisation for every record breaking attempt. His challenge for the Guinness World Record however 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 the Governor of Lagos State, Lagos State Officials and 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 attempt the inspiration to read and study more.
Commenting on the Read Aloud Marathon, the Managing Director and Chief Executive of GTBank, Segun Agbaje said; “We are proud to have supported Olubayode Treasures Olawunmi’s trial to make history through one of the most positive human activities—reading. His personal commitment to promoting a reading culture will hopefully 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 innovative ways to promote an active reading culture within and outside the academic environment.”
GTBank is regarded by industry watchers as one of the best run African financial institutions across its subsidiary countries and serves as a role model within the financial service industry due to its bias for world class corporate governance standards, excellent service quality and innovation.
The Bank’s footprints in Corporate Social Responsibility are guided strategically by its decision to operate on four major pillars: Education, Community Development, Arts and the Environment, which it believes are essential building blocks for the society and prerequisites for economic growth and societal development.