Renowned novelist, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, has called on Nigerian school pupils to imbibe the habit of constant reading, as well as learning if they must have a place in the future and contribute to the development of the country.
She stated this when she inaugurated the Airtel Reading for Leading Campaign, a campaign which is aimed at helping underprivileged children in public primary schools, providing them with access to relevant, high-quality text books.
The ceremony held at the Airtel corporate headquarters in Lagos, was attended by pupils of Airtel’s pilot adopted school, Oremeji Primary School 2, Ajegunle in Lagos.
Speaking at the event, Chimamanda encouraged the children to develop love for and interest in reading, noting that reading would make them better, more grounded and improve their vocabulary as well as oratorical skills.
The award-winning writer particularly advised the kids to read story books and other fictional literature, saying prose and imaginative narrative play pivotal role in building, nurturing and developing young minds.
Chimamanda, author of Americanah, Purple Hibiscus, Half of a Yellow Sun and the Thing Around Your Neck, also commended Airtel for supporting primary education and for creating solid educational opportunities for underprivileged children.
Also speaking at the event, the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Airtel Nigeria, Segun Ogunsanya, who was represented by the company’s Human Resources Director, Gbemiga Owolabi, noted that Airtel is not just passionate about education, “we are also intensely interested in helping children – especially underprivileged kids – to succeed, actualise their dreams and become the true leaders of tomorrow.”
According to him, “Airtel’s love for and concern for underprivileged children is unarguably the critical ingredient that has spurred us to initiate the ‘Reading for Leading’ campaign initiative. With this project, we intend to provide over 3,000 relevant books to children across our six adopted schools.
“In implementing this glorious initiative, my colleagues, across our regional offices in Nigeria, 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.”
The Airtel Reading for Leading campaign is aimed at promoting good reading culture among children living in rural communities starting with the 3,000 children across Airtel’s six adopted schools in Nigeria.
“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,” the CEO noted.
The Airtel Reading for Leading initiative is in partnership with Longman and Macmillan.
Under the initiative, Airtel employees will buy over 3,000 high quality and relevant textbooks for children of the company’s six adopted schools.