When certified by the Guinness World Records, Johnn Obot would have beaten a previous record of 124 hours set in September 2022 by a Kyrgyzstan, Rysbai Isakov, in Bursa, Turkey. After the initial setback caused by “equipment/power failure leading to technical issues”, the Nigerian marathoner reader, John Obot, on Monday, reached his 145-hour target and still counting.
This was achieved at exactly 2 p.m. while he was reading Echoes of the Traditional Society, authored by Akpandem James, a renowned journalist and former managing editor of Daily Independent newspaper.The book talks about the unique traditions and culture of the Eastern Region of Nigeria.
Mr Obot, a teacher from Akwa Ibom State, has been reading aloud from several books, mainly Nigerian literature, in a small hall in a hotel in Uyo for nine days, since 9 September.The audience in the hall stood up, cheered and clapped for Obot as soon as the timing device was conspicuously displayed in front of the listeners.
Obot interrupted and paused the reading. He rushed down excitedly, stared at the timing device, threw both hands into the air and screamed, “We did it! We did it! Yes, we did it!”
“Glory! Glory! Glory!” the audience shouted and clapped. Some dignitaries, including the Secretary to the Akwa Ibom State Government, Enobong Uwah, and the senator representing Akwa Ibom South District, Ekong Sampson, quickly walked to the front for a group photograph with the marathoner reader.
They were led by Udeme Nana, the founder of the Uyo Book Club and the chief programme director for the reading exercise. Obot hugged Nana and Sampson and thanked them for their support.
“We are not ending now, we are continuing. We are ending by 10p.m tonight,” Obot said, as the audience kept clapping to him. When certified by the Guinness World Records, Obot would have beaten a previous record of 124 hours set in September 2022 by a Kyrgyzstan, Rysbai Isakov, in Bursa, Turkey.