‘Koko’ (Odo Clarie) Kalango is the CEO of R.E.A.D. Africa Foundation. She founded the Rainbow Book Club in 2004. Koko holds a Bachelor of Arts in French from the University of Benin, Nigeria and a Masters of Arts in International Relations and Strategic Studies from the University of Lancaster, United Kingdom. She has worked in various organisations in Nigeria and the United Kingdom and as a volunteer in the United States of America. Koko has over a decade experience working with young people to encourage literacy and build character. In 1983, as a teenager, Koko won third prize in the MOBIL Oil National Essay Competition. In 1985 she represented Nigeria at the Kirby Smiths Youth Camp, in Arizona, USA, organised by the Lions Club International. She has been a member of the Royal Institute of International Affairs, (Chatham House) and the Royal African Society. In recognition of her work through the RBC Koko was invited to serve on the National Action Committee of the Federal Ministry of Education’s READ project. She is the Festival Director of the Garden City Literary Festival and has recently been nominated and sponsored by the British Council to represent Nigeria (one of 35 delegates from around the world, and the only delegate from Nigeria), at the 2010 Edinburgh International Book Festival. She has been invited to share her experience as a mentor on the British Council Creative Enterprise Programme (2010) as well as at the WIMBIZ (Women in Business and Management) National Conference (2010). She initiated the writers forum on Moments with Mo, (Africa’s leading syndicated talk-show). From 2003 to 2008 Koko maintained a weekly column in the Sunday supplement of This Day newspapers. Koko is of Nigerian and Jamaican parentage. She is married with a daughter and a son.
Effie White is Communications Manager for R.E.A.D. Africa Foundation. She has a BA in Economics from the University of Leeds (UK) and a MA in Television Journalism from Nottingham Trent University (UK). She has extensive experience in the media, working initially in advertising with newspapers such as Financial Times before forging a career as a Journalist in radio and television in the UK. She has edited community newsletters both in the UK and Nigeria, is heavily involved in charity projects in her community and is the co-founder of the Hope Alive Foundation, a charity aimed at making education accessible for communities in underprivileged areas. Effie is originally from Ghana. She counts running, reading, music, and travelling among her hobbies. She is married and has two sons.
Daniella Menezor manages the Administration and Finance desk for R.E.A.D. Africa Foundation. Daniella has a B.Ed. (Literature and English Language) from Makerere University Kampala (Uganda) and a Diploma in Travel Agency Management from West London College. She has honed her skills working in customer relations and administrative roles in the banking and travel sector in Uganda and the UK. She has a keen interest in promoting HIV/AIDS awareness and has worked as a research assistant for the Uganda AIDS Commission. Her interests include writing poetry, travelling, reading and collecting postcards. Daniella who is originally from Uganda is married with a son.