6th June, 2019
Mr Bayode Olawunmi, the 2018 Guinness Book of Record-holder in the `Marathon Reading Aloud’ contest, on Thursday decried the lack of sponsors for the 2019 edition of the programme.
Olawunmi, the Chief Executive Officer of I Read Afrika Foundation, the organisers of the contest, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
He said that the 2019 edition of the event earlier fixed for July had been postponed to October 2019 because the companies were not keen on sponsoring it.
According to him, the reading-aloud contest is meant to inspire children, students and youths to improve their reading culture.
Olawunmi said, “ We call on government, philanthropists, corporate organisations to sponsor the programme to rub off positively on Nigerian students.
“It is a bit difficult to convince sponsors to come on board, but we are packaging it better now to attract more sponsors.
“We hope with this postponement, we will be able to get more sponsors.
“The feedback had been such that after the 2018 edition, most youths had been endeared to reading more and thirsting after more knowledge, which is the major aim of the contest.’’
He commended the Lagos State Government and others that sponsored the 2018 edition.
He urged government and corporate organisations to always embrace sponsorship proposals for educational programmes.
Olawunmi noted that the 2019 edition would feature six contestants that would include him and they would read for 20 days.
According to him, the auditioning will hold next month when the contestants will be evaluated by some medical practitioners.
He said that this would help to ascertain their level of fitness for the contest.
Olawunmi’s name entered the Guinness Book of Record having read for 120 hours non-stop at YouRead Library, Yaba.