Globally celebrated author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie officially introduced her inaugural children’s book, “Mama’s Sleeping Scarf,” at an event tagged “Christmas Magic With Chimamanda” at the Alliance Française Ikoyi. The event was a vibrant tapestry of colours, joy, and a shared love for reading.
Split into different segments from afternoon till night, the well-attended event converged diverse individuals, ranging from political and business luminaries to celebrities, book lovers, writers, and art enthusiasts, to revel in the magic spun by one of the world’s literary giants in her first-ever foray into children’s literature.
Speakers and dignitaries included Former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo; 2023 Labour Party presidential candidate Peter Obi, and his running mate, Sen, Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed; Chairman at Metis Capital Partners & Senior Lecturer at Harvard Business School, Hakeem Belo-Osagie; Former Minister of Education Oby Ezekwesili; Chairman at Abumet Nigeria, Bella Disu; and Senior Pastor of The Trinity House, Pastor Ituah Ighodalo, among others.
“Your children are not reading because you’re not reading,” said Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie during her brief remarks, emphasising the importance of reading.
She highlighted the critical role of books in nurturing critical thinking, a vital skill that is much needed in today’s changing world.
Addressing the theme “Why Reading Matters,” Former President Olusegun Obasanjo underscored the need to revive the reading culture in the nation, stressing that “we must read to internalise and gain wisdom.”
In a pre-recorded telecast, former Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo lauded Chimamanda for venturing into children’s literature, emphasising that
“getting children to read early is possibly the most priceless thing one could ever do for a child.”
Hosted by book reviewer and Channels Book Club host Kunle Kasumu, the event featured a dynamic Q&A session with Chimamanda, who took the time to answer guests’ questions randomly picked from a lucky dip by the event anchor.
There was a fun area for younger guests to engage in loads of “read & play” activities, including fun dances with Santa, bouncy castle sessions and the painting of a giant sketch of “Mama’s Sleeping Scarf” done by the children and presented to Chimamanda as a gift at the end of the event. \
Young and old attendees left the event with gifts and cherished autographed copies of “Mama’s Sleeping Scarf” and got to engage and take photos with the beloved author.
The event was supported by Tomi Juice and Black Stallion Energy Drink, which provided drinks for all children and adult guests. Thanks to the individual support from VFD Group and Casava Insurance, who donated 100 copies of the book respectively, children from less privileged schools and communities will have their copies of “Mama’s Sleeping Scarf”. Some children were also transported to and from the event to enjoy the fantastic activities.
The night marked not just a book launch but a cultural celebration, resonating with Chimamanda’s belief in the transformative power of storytelling and reading.
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Photo Credit: Photoway Grafiks on Instagram