On a day set aside to commemorate children annually, His Excellency Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, Governor of Rivers State, carried out a double celebration. He spent Children’s Day, which is also his birthday, reading and interacting with students of State Primary School, Kpite, in Ogoni. He read about the historical character Marie Curie, a two-time Nobel prize winner and scientist from the 19th century. Curie’s life story stands out especially when understood against the historical backdrop in which she existed: a time in which education and womanhood were not synonymous. She is most remembered because of her passion for science, her hard work, and her commitment to helping others.
Governor Amaechi was seated between Mrs. Koko Kalango, founder of the Rainbow Book Club and Dame Alice Lawrence-Nemi, the Hon. Commissioner for Education. Also seated with the governor was Hon. Gbenekanu Kuapie, the Local Government Chairman of Tai. His Excellency highlighted at least two important lessons from the book. First: poverty should not inhibit any person from achieving his or her life goals. Secondly, hard work is importantas a way to success. The vibrant 50-minute session ended with the governor emphasizing to the students the need for them to take full advantage of the opportunities they are being given with free education, since some students in other states do not enjoy the same privilege.
The governor was peppered with all manner of questions including questions about his age and the number of children he has. When asked what he did before he became governor, he replied, “I was a hustler”. He went on to explain that he did a variety of jobs but remained on the right side of the law.To a question on his hobbies, he answered that his main interest is reading, and that he has two libraries at home. He added that he is currently reading a book, Why Nations Fail by James A. Robinson and Daron Acemoglu. He also recommended A Swamp Full of Dollars, a book on the Niger Delta, by Michael Peel. The day ended with government-funded books donated to the more than 300 pupils in the State Primary School. What an unforgettable day indeed!