ZODML’s most recent Junior Secondary Reading Programme (JSRP) session took place on June 30 with students from Ilado Community High School and Akande Dahunsi Memorial School and guest author Tolu Ogunlesi, award-winning journalist and author of the novel Conquest and Conviviality.
After a brief opening prayer, the students were eager to share what they learned about Ogunlesi through independent internet research with him and he was impressed by their findings. The question-and-answer session that followed saw Ogunlesi establishing a strong rapport with the students and leading a stimulating conversation for all present. The author revealed to us that Conquest and Conviviality was inspired by a publisher who encouraged him to write a 16,000-word book for teenagers. Ogunlesi’s novel is the story of a boy and a girl who were born on the same day and raised as twins. The student participants talked about their favourite characters and Ogunlesi read out his favourite part of the novel to much laughter. The Junior Secondary Reading Programme also has a writing component; the students were asked to write a short piece extending Conquest and Conviviality beyond its last sentence. Three students – Vincent Faith, Happiness Udoudoh and Vivian Adjaho – had their pieces shortlisted from the group of 26. The students each read their piece aloud, and their writing was judged by Ogunlesi for the quality of the story and how close in tone the language was to the novel’s. Vincent Faith was selected as the winner, with Happiness Udoudoh and Vivian Adjaho placing second and third respectively. Each was rewarded with a notepad and a pen for their efforts. In addition, all of the students received a ZODML t-shirt and a book by a Nigerian author. See more photographs from Tolu Ogunlesi's visit below: [gallery link="none" ids="3396,3395,3392,3393,3394"] Stay tuned for our interview with Tolu Ogunlesi! Are you a Nigerian author? Want to volunteer your time for Nigerian youth? Consider becoming a featured author for our Secondary School Reading Programmes - email us at info[at]zodml[dot]org.