Five Nigerians Seek Guinness World Record with 480-Hour Reading Marathon

“The major goal for me isn’t so much breaking the Guinness records,” one of them, Bayode Olawunmi-Treasures, has said: “it is to make reading great again.”
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Bayode Olawunmi-Treasures read aloud for 120 hours and over five days in 2018, setting a Guinness World Record.

Bayode Olawunmi-Treasures read aloud for 120 hours and over five days in 2018, setting a Guinness World Record.

In 2018, Bayode Olawunmi-Treasures, spurred by the desire to make reading culture appealing to the younger generation, read aloud for 120 hours and over five days. It was a new Guinness World Record, breaking the “Longest Marathon Reading Aloud” record of 113 hours and 15 minutes held by Nepal’s Deepak Sharma Bajagain since 2008.

Now Olawunmi-Treasures is seeking another record. He and four other Nigerians—Preciouslight Ukachi, Maryam Abba Sadu, Zainab Wakil Mohammed, and Doubra Yeri—are aiming to read for 480 hours in the “Longest Marathon Read Aloud by a Team” category. This target, if reached, will surpass the current record of 365 hours and 39 seconds, set in the Dominican Republic in July 2001.

“The major goal for me isn’t so much breaking the Guinness records; it is to make reading great again,” Olawunmi-Treasures has said. “I could have chosen to dance or sing my way into the record books but I chose this path so that when people ask what I did to break the record, it would be said that I did so through reading.”

Olawunmi-Treasures’ non-profit organization iRead Afrika Foundation has a programme Read2Build—in collaboration with the Lagos State Government—through which it receives donations from individuals, organizations, and the government. The donations will be used to build well-equipped public libraries across Nigeria, especially in the rural areas where the facilities are needed.

Event Details

Date: Wednesday, December 1, 2021 – Tuesday, 21 December, 2021.

Venue: Herbert Macaulay Library (You Read), 338 Herbert Macaulay Way, Yaba, Lagos State.

Everyone is welcome to attend the event, as long the COVID-19 protocols—masking up, safe distancing and hand washing—are adhered to. The event is also streamed on the Read2Build YouTube page. There will be book sales, a media hub for conversations, guest readers, and other side attractions.

Follow the event on social media:

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Instagram: @read2build, @iread_bayode

Facebook: Read2Build, Bayode Treasures-Olawunmi.

For donations, sponsorship, special guest appearances, and other inquiries: 0811 113 2695, 0805 506 9220, 0808 681 5767,

Uzoma Ihejirika
Uzoma Ihejirika is a staff writer at Open Country Mag. He is a staff writer at Folio Nigeria. He is an editor for the AfroAnthology Series and a copy editor for Minority Africa. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming on Lolwe, Music in Africa, and Bakwa Magazine, and can also be found on Medium.

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