Children’S book author and journalist, Mr Anote Ajeluorou (Igho Goes to Farm), On-Air-Personality (@Mega FM, Warri) and author of Distortions, Lady Ejiro Umukoro, and another On-Air-Personality and Warri-based Isoko language coach, Mr Oghenero Ezaza (@Kpoko FM, Warri) will lead a group of book enthusiasts to the first edition of Oleh Book Club’s reading and conversation at the Oleh public library on IDC Road, Oleh, Isoko South LGA, Delta State. The event is scheduled for Friday, May 28, 2021 at 11.30 am. The trio will also mentor pupils and students from schools in the community and environs that include Emore Grammar School, Emiye Secondary School and St. Michael’s, among others.
The event is designed to commemorate this year’s Children’s Day, May 27, but it would be held a day after. It will be the first time the state-owned Oleh Library will host such event after it was recently rebuilt by an NGO, The Martha Charity Foundation, after it collapsed and was shut to the public for many years. A similar library in the neighbouring Ozoro community, headquarters of Isoko North LGA, is currently in utter ruin and needs urgent government and private sector attention to bring it back to use.
The Oleh Book Club is being powered by Network of Book Clubs and Reading Promoters in Nigeria, which aims to establish a network of book clubs across the country with the ambition of steadily building up a crop of readers and leaders and putting books in the hands of citizens, especially young people, who have lost touch with the immeasurable joys of reading for leisure.
A lineup of the programme for the Oleh Book Club’s inaugural event indicates that the opening remarks will be made by the Librarian of Oleh Library, Mr. Michael Iboh. Thereafter a selected school child will read while a Pep Talk on reading by Ezaza would follow. Then Ajeluorou will read from his children’s book, Igho Goes to Farm. This would be followed by questions and comments. Then another selected child will read and then Umukoro will speak on ‘Reading and Success: The Connection’, followed again by questions and comments.
Organisers are hopeful that this maiden edition will herald a rebirth of interest in reading among young people in Oleh and the entire Isoko nation.
According to the Coordinator of Oleh Book Club, Mr Ajeluorou, “This is such an exciting opportunity to mentor young people in communities that are starved of such opportunities only people in the city enjoy. There’s a book famine in the land, as notable poet and polemicist, Mr. Odia Ofeimun always, insists, and I agree. Any event that promotes books, especially for young people, should be embraced and promoted by all. Oleh. This is to assure that the entire Isoko nation is in for a book treat, as this has not happened for a long time. We want to bring books closer to the people. Other pursuits tend to have taken the book out of the equation in our lives, but we must all make efforts to return the book to its former pride of place and make it our favourite pastime again the way it was while we were growing up.
“To think that I was an ardent user of Oleh and Ozoro libraries back in the 1990s as an undergraduate is to dredge up a well of fond memories. We must all give back to the source that nurtured us. Oleh, here we come!”
Ezaza is also enthusiastic about the reading event, saying; “This concept is just so wonderful. I so much commend everyone behind it and I am proud to be a part of it. This generation really needs this and I believe this event will help to revive the reading culture among students in Oleh and environs.”
For Umukoro, it is time to unleash the potential of young people in the area and emancipate them.
“This is long overdue,” she said enthusiastically. “This is the revolution needed to tame the untamed minds. Our minds have been made docile. We need to emancipate them and liberate their minds.”