Novelist, Adichie, urges pupils to develop interest in reading

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Renowned novelist, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, has charged pupils to develop interest in reading as readers apart from having the capacity to make informed choices, were also preparing themselves occupy leadership positions.

Speaking at the formal unveiling of the “Airtel Reading for Leading Campaign,” a nationwide Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme of the firm, aimed at promoting reading culture among primary school pupils, Adichie maintained that in view of the numerous benefits inherent in reading, parents, school managers and all stakeholders must make books accessible to children.

The programme designed to help underprivileged children in public primary schools access textbooks and literary works at will, was held at the Airtel’s corporate headquarters, Banana Island, Ikoyi, Lagos, and was attended by pupils of Oremeji Primary School II, Ajegunle, Lagos, one of the firm’s pilot adopted school.

Adichie advised the pupils to read story books and other fictional literature, noting that prose and imaginative narratives play a pivotal role in building, nurturing and developing young minds.

She urged them to develop a love for reading, as “reading will make you a better and more rounded individual. It will improve your vocabulary as well as leadership and oratorical skills.”

Adichie, whose works include Americanah, Purple Hibiscus, Half of a Yellow Sun and The Thing Around Your Neck, commended the telecommunication firm for supporting primary education and creating solid educational opportunities for underprivileged children.

Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Airtel Nigeria, Segun Ogunsanya, said that the overall aim of the project was to help the Nigerian child, particularly those from low-income homes, actualise their dreams and become true leaders of tomorrow.

Represented by the company’s Human Resources Director, Gbemiga Owolabi, Ogunsanya said the programme would promote good reading culture among children living in rural communities.

“Starting with the 3, 000 children across Airtel’s six adopted schools in the country.”

He said, “In implementing this initiative, my colleagues, across our regional offices in the country will come out en masse to purchase and endorse these books, read to the children, teach and mentor them, and ultimately spend quality time with our adopted pupils.”
“Reading as we know awakens the power of imagination, aids vocabulary, increases knowledge and broadens horizon hence our desire that the campaign will motivate and inspire the children to learn leadership through reading.”

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