A Nigerian, Bayode Treasures Olawunmi, has set a new Guinness Record in the “Longest Marathon Reading Aloud” Category. Bayode, book enthusiast and father of three, logged 120 hours at 3:30 pm yesterday at the YouRead Library Yaba in Lagos, beating the previous record set in 2008 by Nepali Deepak Sharma Bajagain, which lasted 113 hours and 15 minutes.
Bajagain’s book reading began on September 19 and ended on September 24, 2008. In setting the unique record, he had recited 17 different books from 13 authors during his record attempt. Another Nepalese, Tudikhel Ground, tied the record.
The latest record-breaker, Bayode, a graduate of Osun State Polytechnic, began reading at 1:30 pm on Monday, February 26, 2018 and ended it 3:30 pm on Saturday, making a total of five days and two hours of marathon reading.
He announced the record on his Facebook page, saying: “Hello everybody, something just happened right now! My name is Bayode Treasures Olubunmi (Olawunmi) – I have just finished reading aloud for 120 hours non-stop! I did it for the CULTURE!”
Before he embarked on the marathon, he had remarked that he was doing it “for the youths”, apparently in reference to the dwindling reading culture.
“I have always loved to read good materials right from when I was in secondary school. I am doing this for the youths,” he wrote on Twitter.
His record-breaking attempt was supported by Guaranty Trust Bank and the Lagos State Ministry of Education, in line with the Ministry’s drive to improve the reading culture of Lagosians through the Eko Reads Initiative.
Special Adviser to the Lagos State governor on Education, Obafela Bank-Olemoh, expressed his joy at Bayode’s accomplishment, and said he has been taken to a location where he will recuperate before meeting with the governor, Akinwunmi Ambode.