Books take Precedence at 2021 Book Reading and Open Day
The Annual Book Reading and Open Day for secondary school students at the Deep-Water District was held on Friday, June 18, 2021 with 100 students from 10 public and private schools in Lagos state coming together to virtually read.
Selected students from the schools read a page each from the book: Village Boy by Anietie Usen and the lessons learnt were discussed. The over 200 pages book is a fact and fiction story of a poverty-stricken boy who overcame incredible obstacles and prevailed against all odds.
In his address, the Deputy Managing Director at the Deep Water District, Victor Bandele said, “Our theme this year, as we all know, is ‘Books are better’. Now, for some of the curious minds here, I can hear you asking the very valid question ‘Books are better than what?’. Books are better than everything else that competes with them for your attention. By this, I’m simply saying that books are better than television (movies, series), social media and idleness or the vices that young people sometimes engage in.”
The DMD used the opportunity to advise the students on the need to refrain from social media addiction. “We all know how enticing and addictive social media can be; restrain yourself from spending all day on your phones posting memes, chatting away and scrolling through endless #challenges or reels, no matter how much fun it might seem.” He was represented by the Executive General Manager, Total Country Services, Bunmi Popoola-Mordi.
Earlier in her welcome remarks, Mrs. Popoola-Mordi posed a question to the students on why they need to read? “Why do we read? Books can take you anywhere you want to go, you learn about other people’s experiences and it will develop your mind.”
The role model of the day, Senior Talent Developer, Kenechi Esomeju gave a brief insight on her growing up and career path. She said, “I have some things in common with the author. When I read the book, there are so many things that resonated with me. In life, you learn it’s good to have dreams but if you continue sleeping, it will remain a dream; you need to take action.”
The students also got a better understanding of TotalEnergies operations in a presentation made by the Head, Public Relations, Irene Jerry-Iyoha.
Total, OML 130 Partners: NAPIMS, Prime, SAPETRO and CNOOC representatives at the event, advised the students not to give up on their dreams.
In his summary of the lessons learnt from the book, ‘Village Boy’, the Manager, Communication Projects and the anchor of the programme, Senan Murray said, “Literature speaks to people differently. With determination and focus, you can make it in life.”
While expressing appreciation to the participating students, teachers, principals and partners, the Country Communication Manager, Dr. Charles Ebereonwu stated: “Regardless of your background, you can find happiness in what you are doing.”
Total management and staff were among others that participated in the virtual event.
For the past seven years, the Deep Water District has hosted a minimum of 700 students physically from over 50 schools all over Lagos, to read and discuss some books. The event was not held in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.