Get Nigeria Reading Again Campaign
In 2005 we kicked off the Get Nigeria Reading again! Campaign with author Chimamanda Adichie to draw attention to the importance of reading to personal and national development.
The campaign is aimed mainly at children and teenagers. The activities include a creative writing competition around the guest author’s book, an interactive session with the author, and a literary evening. The campaign has involved over 2,000 students in over 100 schools across Nigeria.
In 2008, we began to get leaders in various sectors of society to read to and interact with children over books. The readers use the stories they read to communicate life lessons and to share with the children how books have shaped their lives.
Readers have included celebrities, Government Ministers, Governors and captains of industry. Over 10000 children from over 100 schools have taken part in our reading sessions.
Book Donation Drive
Since 2008, we have organized several book donation drives where we encourage people to give us new or used books in good condition which we distribute to communities in need of books.
We also encourage people and corporate organisations to give books as gifts on memorable occasions. Corporate partners and governments have joined in this effort which has seen the donation of over 50,000 books to over 5000 children in over 10 schools and communities across Nigeria.
|2008||Port Harcourt Primary School||Port Harcourt|
|2009||Army Childrens School, Port Harcourt||Port Harcourt|
|2010||Bethesda Nursery & Primary School, Lagos||Lagos|
|2010||Little Saints Ophanage, Lagos||Lagos|
|2010||Intl Womens Society Nursery School, Lagos||Lagos|
|2011||State Primary School Akpajo, River State||Eleme|
|2012||Mgbuitanwo State School, Rivers State||Port Harcourt|
|2013||Kpite State School, Rivers State||Ogoni|
|2014||New Church State School, Port Harcourt||Degema|
|2018||Heritage Home Orphanage||Lagos|
Primary School Book Club: Since 2006 we have set up and run 150+ books clubs for primary schools. 1500+ children have participated in this programme. (Click here for the list of schools that have run our book clubs.)
Secondary School Book Club: Since 2005 we have set up and run 50+ book clubs in secondary schools. 750+ students have participated in this programme. (Click here for the list of schools that have run our book clubs.)
Adult Book Club: In 2010 we began monthly book readings around our Book-of- the-Month. We have sometimes had the author in attendance which enables us have an interactive session and helps promote the book and the author.
Since 2009 we have established libraries to bring reading material closer to people particularly to indigent communities. We have set up 1 public library, 1 community library, 4 school libraries and 13 ‘seed’ libraries.
Seed libraries consist of branded book shelves containing about 500 books which we donate to communities which have neither the facility nor the resource for a full-fledged library. It is hoped that this seed planted would encourage the recipient and other donors to eventually develop a proper library.
|1||2009||St. Benedicts Primary School, Ogoja, Cross Rivers State||School Library|
|2||2010||Christ Our Refuge Home, Kahawa Sukari, Kenya||Seed Library|
|3||2010||Christ the Kings Primary School, Okpoma, Cross River State||School Library|
|4||2013||Our Saviours Orphanage, Rumuokoro, Port Harcourt||Seed Library|
|5||2013||The Good Shepherd Foundation, Mgbuoba, Port Harcourt||Seed Library|
|6||2013||The David Bassey Ikpeme Foundation, Eagle Island, Port Harcourt||Seed Library|
|7||2014||The Compassion Centre, Nkpogwu, Port Harcourt||Seed Library|
|8||2014||Badamia Home for Street Children, Rumuomasi, Port Harcourt||Seed Library|
|9||2014||The Cheshire Home, Borokiri, Port Harcourt||Seed Library|
|10||2014||The Remand Home, Borokiri, Port Harcourt||Seed Library|
|11||2014||Port Harcourt Prisons, Town, Port Harcourt||Seed Library|
|12||2015||The Child Special School, D/Line, Port Harcourt||Seed Library|
|13||2015||St Michaels School, Oban, Cross River State||School Library|
|14||2016||Presbetarian School, Big Qua town, Calabar, Cross River State||School Library|
|15||1016||Port Harcourt Book Centre library, Port Harcourt||Public Library|
In 2008 we began the annual Garden City Literary Festival, renamed the Port Harcourt Book Festival in 2014. This cultural combo grew from a three-day affair to a six-day one comprising a book fair, workshops, symposia, author readings, open mic sessions, drama performances. Keynote speakers have included Nigeria’s Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe, Buchi Emecheta, Ghana’s Kofi Awonoor and Ama Ata Aidoo, Kenya’s Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Ivorian author Veronique Tadjo and American Civil Rights Activist Jesse Jackson, American writer Petrina Crockford and Jamaican writer Lindsay Barrett.
Children are an important part of the festival and special workshops, reading sessions and scheduled visits to the book fair are part of the events planned for them. Children also participate in various cultural programmes and have an opportunity to showcase their talent on the last day of the festival.
Rainbow Creative Writing competitions: Since 2005 we have organized various creative writing exercises to encourage and reward writing talent. 1000+ students from 100+ schools around Nigeria have participated.
Rainbow Prize for Literature: In 2018 we established a cash gift of One Hundred Thousand Naira (N100, 000) for the students with the best result in Literature in 3 secondary schools in Nigeria with the debut awardees as follows:
Kings College, Lagos – Molake Adam Ololade
Federal Govt. Girls’ College Abuloma, Port Harcourt – Grace Oluka Nwaji
Loyola Jesuit College, Abuja – Pear Olaedo Opara
RAINBOW BOOK CLUB 2005 CREATIVE WRITING COMPETITION BASED ON PURPLE HIBISCUS BY CHIMAMANDA ADICHIE– (in Port Harcourt)
First position: Master Adedotun Ajibade (16 years ) of Nigerian Navy Secondary School
Second position: Master Victor Amango (14 years) of Emarid College
Third position: Miss Nneka Jayne Moh (15 years) of International Secondary School R.S.U.S.T.
RAINBOW BOOK CLUB 2006 CREATIVE WRITING COMPETITION BASED ON AKE BY WOLE SOYINKA (in Port Harcourt)
First prize winner: Miss Victory Amadi (15 years) of Aladumo High School
Second prize winner: Miss Ruhuoma Enyi (14 years) of Aladumo High School
Third prize winner: Miss Kemilia Ibulubo (13 years) of Emarid College
RAINBOW BOOK CLUB 2007 CREATIVE WRITING COMPETITION (in Calabar)
First Prize winner: Ubong Michael Akpan (17 years) of Government Technical College
Second Prize winner: Antigha Mary Eyo (16 years) of Pinn Margaret School
Third Prize winner: Bassey Oza Vanseh (13 years) of Pinn Margaret School
RAINBOW BOOK CLUB 2008 CREATIVE WRITING COMPETITION (in Abuja)
First Prize winner: David Opara (13 years) of UBE JSS Wuse Zone 2 ,
Chinaraotuto Igweamaka (13 years) of J.S.S. Apo Legislative Quarters
Second Prize winner: Abdulmalik Zuwaila (13 years) of J.S.S. Kubwa
Third Prize winner: David U. Osuji (14 years) of J.S.S. Yangyi
RAINBOW BOOK CLUB 2019 CREATIVE WRITING COMPETITION (in Abuja, Lagos and Port Harcourt ), sponsored by SHELL Pet. Dev. Co.
Since 2009, we have assisted 10+ brilliant children in need of help to stay in school, provided access to education for outstanding students of secondary school age.
Beneficiaries have been in Rivers State, Cross River State, Plateau, Lagos State and Ogun State (provide list of benefiting schools)
- St. Benedicts Primary School, Ogoja
- Mary Knoll College, Ogoja
- Heritage Homes Orphanage, Lagos
- Stephens Children’s Home, Abeokuta
- Baptist High School, Jos
- Springfield Schools, Port Harcourt
UNESCO World Book Capital
With the support of the Presidency, the Government of Rivers State and UNESCO Nigeria, Rainbow Book Club bidded for Port Harcourt to be UNESCO World Book Capital 2014.
Of the 11 cities that applied that year, Port Harcourt emerged winner. The nomination is ‘an exclusive symbolic acknowledgment of the best programme dedicated to books and reading’. The city holds the title for a year. In the year of our tenure we successfully delivered 23 exciting programmes with a far reach to players in the book chain industry and the general public.
The UK-based Hay Festival partnered with the Rainbow Book Club to organize the ‘Africa 39′ as part of the Port Harcourt World Book Capital year projects. ’Africa 39’ is the selection and celebration of 39 African authors under the age of 40.
Kenyan author, Binyavanga Wainaina, handled the call for entries and selection of the long list of 200 authors. The judges who chose the final 39 were: Tess Owueme, Magaret Busby, and Veteran Port Harcourt author, Elechi Amadi (who chaired the panel of judges).
The list of the ‘Africa 39’ authors was announced at the Port Harcourt World Book Capital stand at the London Book Fair, April 2014 by Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka. He also wrote the foreword to the book ‘Africa 39’, an anthology of stories by the writers published by Bloomsbury. ‘Africa 39’ was edited by Ella Allfrey.
The project was presented at the PHWBC opening ceremony by Izara Garcia Rodriguez representing Hay Festival. Twenty two of the ‘Africa 39’ authors were sponsored by the PHWBC project to attend the Port Harcourt Book Festival 2014.
- Nigerian Literature, A Coat of Many Colours – an anthology of 50 writers in 50 years with foreword by President Goodluck Jonathan, to commemorate 50 Years of Independence
- African Literature a Coat of Many Colours – an anthology of 50 writers in 50 years with foreword by Chief Emeka Anyaoku to commemorate 50 years of the African Union
- Nigeria Literature, A Coat of Many Colours – an anthology of 100 authors in 100 years, to commemorate Nigeria’s centenary
- 100 Years Around Nigeria – Stories from the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory written by children
- 100 Years Around Port Harcourt – Stories from the 23 Local Government Areas of River State written by children
- ‘Songhai 12’ an anthology of 12 upcoming Nigerian writers, part of the Writers in Residence programme of the Port Harcourt World Book Capital year.