• Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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Muo’s 67-Hour BOOKATHON loading…

Muo’s 67-Hour BOOKATHON loading…

By Ik Muo, PhD

When I was much younger, my interest in current affairs was consuming. At St. Joseph’s Secondary School, Awkaetiti, I formed a cooperative society of sorts with the sole aim of contributing money to buy daily copies of the ‘Renaissance’, which eventually metamorphosed into the Daily Star. We took turns reading the paper, and as the sole administrator, I would read first before passing it on to others. The paper was sold for 10,000k, but the financial burden was too much for the son of a man and many of my friends in the immediate post-war era in the then-East Central State. Of course, as an active member of the debating and current affairs society, I had little choice.

At a later epoch, whenever I spent my leave at home, I would travel from Igbo-Ukwu to Nnewi (across three LGAs) daily to buy newspapers. This quest for newspapers was so great that my mother felt that some village people had done me in and felt that I needed some deliverance. Eventually, Radio Nigeria and NTA, supported by VOA and BBC, collaborated with the newspapers to ensure that my eyes ‘were open’ to the affairs of the world.

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Somewhere along the line, I came across and became a regular reader of the Guinness Book of Records. I was fascinated by its records of the best, the worst, the fattest and the thinnest, the longest and the shortest of every phenomenon. I usually bought the copies at the ‘bend-down market’ and at times I bought some fresh ones. And I would read and reread so as to be at home with these fascinating records. Some developments, including the pursuit of specialised forms of knowledge, more entanglement with family and other affairs of the world, the increasing cost of GBR starting with the SAP era, and the advent of the internet, which democratised all forms of knowledge and records, reduced my interest in GBR. I actually forgot about GBR until Hilda Baci happened to us. When Hilda won the cook-a-thon, it was as if we had won the world cup, especially amongst the Netzines.

One good (or bad) thing about Nigerians is that whatever we start, we tend to overdo it: boutiques, hair-salons, 3-wheeled cars (keke), slayships, ‘pastor-preneurship’, prophet-preneurship, criminal entrepreneurship, XYZ & Sons, even by somebody who is yet to get married, ‘Importer & Exporter’ (even by somebody who buys from Lagos Island and sells in Alaba). Well, before long, Nigerians wanted to have a ‘thon’ for everything, with desperate efforts made to dethrone Baci at home—a form of household wickedness (Matthew 10:36). Damilola Adeparusi (Chef Dammy) was the first to attempt to unseat Hilda and, in her hurry, failed to follow the due process.

 “This quest for newspapers was so great that my mother felt that some village people had done me in and felt that I needed some deliverance.”

That was a few hours after Hilda was certified by the GWR. And like everything in Nigeria, efforts to create and break Guinness records became an obsession, to the extent that Guinness was alleged to have pleaded with Nigerians to take it easy while some Nigerians feared that GWR would ban entries from Nigeria. And the ‘thon’ frenzy was so great that many people recommended Hilda Baci for another award: for influencing the greatest number of Guinness World Records attempts… and from one country. Since then, there have been a lot of GWR attempts and victories, both within and outside Nigeria, most of which are simply weird. Some are not on the GWR, but they are all the same.

Sidney de Carvalho Mesquita entered the Guinness records for popping his eyes nearly 2 cm out of sockets; Jonathan Lee entered the records for having the highest number of lawsuits ever, and he sued GWR for giving him an award without his consent; Celestine Onele, an engineer, attempted to break the records for iron-thon (the longest ironing period). Boluwatife, Oluwasemilore, Oluwadamilola, Oyekunle Ayanfeoluwa, Emmanuel, Michael, and Oladele won the ‘name-a-thon’ for the longest name at the University of Kent convocation ceremony, while with Ik Muo, I created the record for the shortest name in the cloud.

MC Walter created an entertainment-thon by undertaking a 130-hour entertainment; Da Recipe Queen baked and taught people 54 recipes with a 24-hour bake-a-thon; Tembu Ebere temporarily went blind while trying to win a cry-a-thon (the longest period of crying); there was an attempted kiss-a-thon in Ekiti State; Davido won the 2023 Pregn-a-thon (for impregnating the highest number of women across the globe); and our dear BAT was awarded the winner of the 2023-2024 sign-a-thon based on the number of things he had signed.

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Daniel Ehis Aiguokhian, a student of the University of Calabar, embarked in a 7-day write-a-thon; a lecturer at the Federal University, Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE), joined the bandwagon of record breakers by getting involved in the ACA-thon, lecturing for 150 hours; and Favour, from Edo State but studying at Kaduna State University, embarked on a read-a-thon, reading non-stop for 150 hours.

However, in celebration of my upcoming 67th birthday (January 1, 2025), I am planning to do a 67-hour book-a-thon. Meta A defines a bookathon as a reading session where individuals read multiple books in a short period, often with a specific goal or theme in mind. At times, it is related to a readathon and fund-raising is often involved. My own bookathon, however, involves reading, writing, and speaking for 67 hours. I will read 6 books (220 hours), write 6 papers (20 hours), make 6 presentations (20 hours), and rest for 7 hours within the 67 hours; it combines a readathon, a writer-thon, and a speaker-thon. I am attempting the bookathon and writing on it as a form of ‘Afghanistanism’ (to mentally escape from things happening at home within the 12 months of BATiocracy, an outcome of COURTocracy).

However, at my age and stage, there are certain peculiarities and preconditions for my book-a-thon. First, I need a one-bedroom apartment where I will stay for the whole period. The sitting room will be transparent so that peeping toms can see through. This will be supported by a generator that can work continuously for those 3 days. I will recuperate for 7 days in the Bahamas. My live-in chef for the whole period (Bookathon and recovery) will be Chef-Baci. Since she spent N80m to cook for just 4 days (even if she was cooking with blood and gold), I estimate that cheffing my Bookathon would take about N800m since she will be cooking for an elder with special dietary needs. You don’t need to ask how Hilda and I would manage the single bedroom. Another house will be attached and occupied by the oldest professor of internal medicine during this period. An air ambulance should also be on standby 24 hours a day. But before then, I will travel overseas to procure the necessary books and allied materials and create awareness with a brief stopover at the GWR office. I will also require comprehensive insurance from the world’s best insurance company for this period plus one year after, in case of ‘incasity’!

Why all these conditionalities? Check out the records; the oldest of these ‘thon’ enthusiasts is younger than my youngest child. At my age and stage, I need to be handled like the egg of an eagle!

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So the first step is to obtain sponsorship for this expensive attempt, and as soon as everything is in place, the preliminary steps will start, followed by the book-a-thon and the post-thon activities. Don’t worry about whether Baci would oblige; the offers are mouthwatering enough. And the sponsors will be falling over themselves to take a piece of the pie because of the advertising effect of co-branding with the oldest thon enthusiast, who is also a Muo (aa spirit). Kindly contact my manager on the cloud at 00419419419!


Ik Muo, PhD; Dept of Bus Admin, OOU, Ago-Iwoye 80833026625