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This Nigerian Man Broke a Guinness World Record By Reading Aloud For 5 Days Straight

Olawunmi Bayode says he did it out of his love for reading, and to encourage young people to read more.

This is what you call dedication:

Olawunmi Bayode of Lagos, Nigeria just earned himself a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for reading aloud for 120 hours straight. Bayode began his reading on February 26 at approximatley 1:30 PM, and ended on March 3, reports Brittle Paper. According to This Is Africa, Bayode read non-stop, taking only one, two hour break everyday.

He ran through 17 titles, mostly by African authors, including Toni Kan's The Carnivorous City, Sarah Ladipo Manyika's Independence, Leye Adenle's Easy Motion Tourist, Barack Obama's The Audacity of Hope and more.


Bayode surpassed the previous record held by Deepak Sharma Bajagain of Nepal, who read aloud for an impressive 113 hours and 15 minutes.

The marathon reading took place at the Herbert Macaulay Library in Yaba, where several supporters came to watch and cheer him on.

Many Nigerians, even former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, have expressed pride in Bayode's accomplishment, and have shared overwhelmingly positive responses via social media.

Bayode was received by the Lagos-state governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, for his accomplishment this morning.

By bringing this title to Nigeria he's only strengthening the country's already rich literary tradition. Major congrats to the record-holder!

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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