Meet the Nigerian Man Looking To Break Another Elusive Guinness World Record

  • Nigerian John Obot undertakes an impressive six-day marathon reading challenge in Nigeria. 
  • Obot’s determination shines through as he resumes his second attempt after technical difficulties disrupted his first effort.
  • This remarkable feat follows a growing trend of Nigerians aiming for Guinness World Records.

John Obot, a Nigerian, is attempting to break the Guinness World Record (GWR) for the longest marathon reading aloud.

Mr. Obot, from Akwa Ibom State in the southern region of Nigeria, had worked more than 50 hours as of Monday night (18th September 2023). He began on September 9 and is scheduled to read for six days.

He hopes to break the previous record of 124 hours set in September 2022 in Bursa, Turkey, by a Kyrgyzstan native, Rysbai Isakov. Mr Obot, a trained teacher, is reading from a range of works, largely Nigerian literature, in a tiny hall in a hotel in Uyo where numerous others have stopped to express support.

“The Akwa Ibom First Lady Patience Eno, the state’s Commissioner for Information, Ini Ememobong, a House of Representatives member from the state, Clement Jimbo, and the Chairperson of the Nigeria Union of Journalists in the state, Amos Etuk, are among the dignitaries who have visited the hotel to witness the reading,” as seen in the Nigerian news publication, Premiumtimes.

Mrs Eno stayed for more than 20 minutes, according to reports, to hear Mr Obot read aloud Echoes of the Traditional Society, authored by renowned Nigerian writer Akpandem James.

This is his second attempt in a month, following complications that triggered the dismissal of his previous attempt by the GWR. During his first try, Obot began reading at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, September 12, 2023, at Cityview Hall (LETTERS HOUSE), Watbridge Hotels & Suites in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, following some technical difficulties with equipment/power failures that rendered his previous effort invalid.

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After reaching 145 hours, an ecstatic Obot said that he would continue reading until 10 p.m. today (Monday) and thanked everyone in attendance for their support. The event’s location was crowded with fans and admirers of the runner, who began a countdown for the reading after he reached 144 hours, 59 minutes, and 34 seconds.

In May 2023, Nigerian cooking sensation Hilda Baci broke the Guinness World Record for longest-hour, cooking. This win was immediately followed by a wave of Nigerian hopefuls all looking to break their own record or hitch their wagon to the massive trend that followed her indomitable attempt.

Guinness World Records claimed to have received 1,500 submissions from Nigerians in only two months. Before Ms Baci, there was Vincent Okezie, a 15-year-old secondary school student who set four Guinness World Records in 2022.

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