It was Saturday November 12, 1988, in Enugu state, Nigeria, when a broadcast journalist, Mr John Obot and wife, Bernadette, a teacher, welcomed their third child, who would later be named after his father, John. Then began the foundation for his extraordinary life journey.
Early on, John embarked on his educational odyssey at the Army Children Nursery School in Akwunanwu, Enugu. His formative years at the Presbyterian Primary School on Enwe Street in Uyo were marked by the indelible influence of his father, a broadcast journalist. This influence led to John’s active participation in radio quizzes and debates, igniting his passion for knowledge. His father’s unwavering demand for early reading instilled in John and his siblings an insatiable appetite for exploration through books.
Transitioning to secondary education, John’s path led him to the Queen of Apostles Seminary, Afaha Obong, Abak LGA, his father’s alma mater. Here, his creative flair blossomed. He became a school dramatist, captivating audiences with his performances, and an integral member of the press club. His responsibility included curating and transcribing news reports for publication on the school’s press board. In debates, John was a standout, leading his class to victory over seniors in a memorable contest.
His journey continued at the Nigerian Christian Institute (NCI), Uyo, where he played a pivotal role in forming the school’s Press and Literary Club. As its first president, he oversaw the production of dramas and news reports, even constructing and donating a press board at the entrance of the school chapel. An extraordinary moment in his youth occurred when, in Senior Secondary 1, he interviewed Senator Effiong Bob, who was visiting the school. Impressed by John’s talent and in memory of his late father, a friend of the senator, Sen. Effiong Bob generously offered to pay for John’s school fees until his graduation.
After completing secondary school, John faced a unique challenge when the courses he intended to study at the University of Uyo were delisted due to accreditation issues. In response, he made a wise decision to enroll at the International Management and Finance Institute in 2004 for a one-year Diploma in Computer Engineering and Maintenance.
Between 2004 and 2010, John thrived as a systems administrator at various computer and data processing centers, gaining valuable technical skills. However, his heart remained close to humanitarian pursuits. He joined the Heart of Love Foundation, an NGO dedicated to providing medical aid to the less fortunate. Serving as secretary and rapporteur, John traveled extensively across Nigerian states, a transformative experience that deepened his understanding of life and society.
In 2010, he resumed his formal education having gained admission into the Department of Curriculum Studies Educational Management & Planning, University of Uyo. His commitment led him to becoming the Secretary-General of the Curriculum Studies Students Association (CUSSA), where he played a pivotal role in drafting the association’s first constitution.
Throughout his academic journey, John took on various roles, from being a media advisor, to managing One Campus Gist Magazine, Nigeria’s Premier Campus News Magazine. He also contributed as a volunteer programs production assistant at Radio Nigeria Atlantic FM, Uyo.
In a twist of fate, John temporarily veered from mainstream academics to delve into digital and media skills such as web design, photography, graphics design, and multimedia production. His versatility and adaptability became his hallmarks.
Returning to academic in 2017, John assumed the formidable role of teaching his colleagues Greek Grammar & Syntax as a tutor, a testament to his intellectual prowess and dedication. He further expanded his impact by serving as a Media Advisor to the Special Assistant to the Governor on Students’ Matters, where he played a crucial role in establishing and managing EDUWATCH, an online education news platform for Nigerian students and educators.
In the course of his studies, John served as a student teacher in various schools, imparting knowledge to the next generation. He even temporarily paused his teaching duties to prepare for the Guinness World Record Official Attempt for Longest Marathon Reading Aloud, a testament to his enduring passion for literature and education.
A vocal advocate for good governance, John’s journey extended beyond the classroom to the airwaves. He evolved from being a consistent caller on news and current affairs programs on radio in Akwa Ibom State to joining the crew of XL Citizen Centa, the foremost news and current affairs program in the region. Here, he served as a Production Research Assistant and occasionally co-hosted the program.
John’s multifaceted character is also marked by his deep Christian faith, combined with a passion for free thinking and open-minded analysis of religious traditions.
Today, John Obot resides in Uyo with his family. He is on a mission to set a Guinness World Record for the longest marathon reading aloud, a reflection of his unwavering commitment to education and the power of words. His life story is a testament to the remarkable journey of a man who embraced diverse opportunities, displayed unwavering dedication to learning, and used his talents to impact his community and beyond.
He is a trained teacher and member of the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria. It has been a remarkable journey of resilience and passion. Rising in an attempt to break Guinness World Record on the longest marathon reading aloud by an individual, John is setting out to lead a book culture campaign and with due support, impossible is nothing.
© READMANIA MEDIA