The Rainbow Book Club seeks to contribute to the development of African society by encouraging people to read. We believe that reading is one of the keys to creating an enlightened and self-empowering society. In particular, the RBC promotes reading amongst children and young adults.
In 2005, the RBC kicked off the ‘Get Nigeria Reading again!’ Campaign and with an army of volunteers, has worked to create an awareness of the correlation between reading and building a successful nation. The programmes of the RBC have included organising reading lessons for children as well as setting up and running book clubs, in rural communities. In addition, we have run reading workshops for students and teachers, developed libraries and helped to promote the works of African authors. Over 1000 students in over 100 schools around Nigeria have participated in RBC activities.
In 2008 the book club began an initiative to inspire children to read by having role models read popular books to them. This project was kicked off by the former Commonwealth Secretary General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, who read to students at the UN House, Abuja, on the UN World Book and Copyright Day 2008. Since then, other participants have included the Nobel Laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka, the American Civil Rights activist, Rev. Jesse Jackson, the former Vice-President (Africa) of the World Bank and former Minister for Education, Dr. (Mrs.) Obi Ezekwesili and Nigerian Federal Ministers and Governors. Many of these influential readers have become honourary members of the Rainbow Book Club and they serve as influential ambassadors for the club’s visionary reading campaigns.
Over the years, we have collaborated with various partners to maximise our reach. Organisations like UNESCO, the British Council, Alliance Francaise, the Association of Nigerian Authors, the Federal Ministry of Education, the Federal Ministry of Information, State Governments and several corporate bodies like SHELL and TOTAL have worked with us on different projects. The Rainbow Book Club partners with the Rivers State Government to organise the annual Garden City Literary Festival (now the Port Harcourt Book Festival).
In 2012 the Rainbow Book Club published Nigerian Literature – A Coat of Many Colours a Coffee table book featuring 50 Nigerian writers in 50 years of independence. The foreword to this book is written by the President of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan.
With the support of the Government of Rivers State, the Rainbow Book Club put in the bid that led to the emergence of Port Harcourt as UNESCO World Book Capital 2014. In 2014, the book club will work with the Rivers State Government and other development partners to host and facilitate a year of exciting literary events as Port Harcourt assumes the prestigious title of UNESCO’s World Book Capital City.
The Rainbow Book Club was founded by Koko Kalango in 2005 and is part of the Rainbow Foundation, a faith-based Non Governmental Organisation registered in Nigeria.