Today marks 10 years since the establishment of ZODML's first Oasis Library at St George's Girls Primary School, Falomo, and the opening of a new Oasis Library at Araromi Baptist Primary School, Lagos Island following our successful Book Drive. Nearly 10,000 students have passed through our five existing Oasis Libraries and we are proud to feature an interview with Thelma Eze, one of these students, who through access to books has made a mark for herself. ZODML: Tell us a bit about yourself. Thelma: My name is Thelma Chinonyerem Eze. I'm 15 years and an SS2 student at Government Senior College, Maroko. ZODML: Tell us about your family. Thelma: I am the eldest of three siblings. My father is a biochemist and writer, and my mother is a teacher. ZODML: When did you develop a love of reading? Thelma: I developed a love of reading while in primary school, around the age of 7, when I was in Primary 3. My first encounter with a ibrary was when ZODML established an Oasis Library at my school, Hope Primary School.
ZODML: Do you still visit ZODML's library? Thelma: I go to the library to read and borrow books. Sometimes I return books before their return date because I am always eager to borrow more. I read almost every day because I have a love for books which I developed through ZODML's libraries. The library has exposed me to a lot of knowledge. ZODML: How many books have you read? Thelma: Too many for me to remember! ZODML: What literary genres do you like? Thelma: I like reading adventure novels, African literature, and poetry. ZODML: What is your favourite book and who is your favourite author? Thelma: It is hard to choose, as I love so many authors. I will choose Chinua Achebe and C.S. Lewis. I like Arrow of God by Chinua Achebe and The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. ZODML: How many hours do you spend reading daily? Thelma: I spend two and a half hours reading daily. Before I started using the library, I spent about 45 minutes on reading, and I only read then because I want to pass my exams. But now, I enjoy reading [for pleasure]. ZODML: Would you encourage other children to join ZODML and participate in our programmes (such as CATHY)? Thelma: Yes, of course. The programmes develop children and build their confidence. They also improve their vocabulary; I can boldly say I have achieved all of this. ZODML: Tell us about the Lagos State Television Quiz Competition and your upcoming trip to Germany. Thelma: My participation in the Lagos State Television Quiz Competition on Climate Change won me a trip to Germany. I came third in the competition and I will be going to Germany in December for a month. The Ministry of Environment want the competition's winners to gain first-hand experience with climate change research. The competition process was in eight stages, the first of which was a essay on the topic of the environment. The other stages took place in person at LTV. It was very tough process which lasted a week. All the contestants were scared because they were always eliminating people from the competition and we didn't always know what to expect. I was very excited to be among the top three that will be going to Germany. ZODML: What are your plans for the future? Thelma: I want to be a chemical engineer, a writer, and poet. I would like to go abroad for my university degree. I also wish to have a library where people can come to relax and read: a conducive environment for everyone. I want to have libraries all over the world. ZODML: Do you have any advice to share? Thelma: I would advise people - and especially students - to keep reading. They should read, re-read and review. As for ZODML, I want the organisation to continue doing what they are doing because they are impacting lives and developing a reading culture among Nigerian students.
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