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Is Buhari’s photographer’s “Discover Nigeria” recognised by Guinness World Records as largest pictorial book in the world?

Buhari unveils world's largest pictorial book. Credit: Tolani Alli 6 mins read

Claim: A Twitter user claimed that the pictorial book unveiled by President Muhammadu Buhari has been certified by the Guinness World Records as the world’s largest photo book.

Truly, Bayo Omoboriowo’s photobook unveiled on Thursday, September 30, by President Muhammadu Buhari has been recognised as the largest photo book by the Guinness World Records, having dislodged the previous title holder with 15 square meters.

Full Text

A Twitter user, Eniola, with a handle @eniolaofLagos” in a tweet on Friday, October 1, had claimed that Nigerian president, Muhammadu Buhari, unveiled the largest pictorial book in the world.

Sharing multiple pictures from the event, the tweep, who has over forty thousand followers on the micro-blogging website, also claimed that the book has been “certified by the Guinness Book of World Records at 60sqm.”

                     A screenshot of the tweet. Credit: Twitter

Check by Dubawa as of Sunday, October 4, showed that the tweet only garnered one like and retweet. 

The same tweet was shared by a popular Twitter handle with 1.6 million followers @Gidi_Traffic, and it has 4 retweets, 22 likes, and 22 quotes.

However, there seems to be skepticism over the “largest photo book and Guinness World Record” claims. 

For instance, The Cable, a popular online newspaper, reported the news with “world’s largest photobook” put in apostrophes. 

While this signposted a modicum of uncertainty, it also triggered a further finding which showed that some Nigerians do not actually believe in the “biggest pictorial book” claim.

President Buhari was reported to unveil the biggest photo book in Nigeria. Credit: The Cable

Using Crowdtangle web extension to locate comments about the book, A Facebook user Okonnah Godfrey Amaechi, while commenting under a post by Channels TV, was unconvinced about the photobook being the “largest.” And he commented:

        Comment discovered on Channels TV page using Crowdtangle. Credit: Channels TV.

In the same vein, a Twitter user, Hammed Olajide Yaqub (HammedYaqub), also expressed doubt over the “largest photo-book” claim. In a tweet, he wrote:

“Last week, President Buhari unveiled a giant photo book by his official photographer, Bayo Omoboriowo. The question is: is the book the biggest pictorial book in the world as claimed by the presidency? I doubt it. Besides, they claimed the book has been recognised by GUINNESS. This may be untrue.”

The tweep, however, celebrated the book as  “a big contribution to the existing repertoire of Nigeria’s history.  I celebrate Omoboriowo’s ingenuity.”

             The tweep was convinced by the “largest photobook” claim. Credit: Twitter

Discover Nigeria: A brief spotlight on the book 

On Thursday, September 30, President Muhammadu Buhari unveiled a giant photo book titled “Discover Nigeria” in a colourful event graced by top personalities in the country including the vice president Yemi Osinnajo, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, and Senate president, Dr. Ahmed Lawan.

Captured in dazzling images and fecund history in celebration of Nigeria, the book, which was written by the official photographer of President Buhari, Bayo Omoboriowo was unveiled at the State House Banquet Centre, Abuja. 

In a post on his verified Facebook page, Buhari Sallau, a presidential aide, claimed that the book has been “certified By Guinness Book of World Records at 60 Sqm.” 

Showcasing the country’s rich traditional institutions

Speaking on the book in a post on his official Facebook page on Wednesday, September 29, Femi Adesina, a media and publicity aide to President Buhari, claimed that the “392-page book, authored by Bayo Omoboriowo, the President’s official photographer, showcases the country’s rich traditional institutions, ingenuity of its people, the beauty of its landscape, the richness of its farmlands, stunning waterfalls and seas, among others.”

Adesina also claimed that the previous record for the largest photo book is 45square meters. According to him, the ‘‘Discover Nigeria’’ book has been printed and mounted as a 60sqm giant frame book-60 images, 60 pages, 60 square meters, celebrating Nigeria at 60 (60:60:60:60).’’ 

The author, Omoboriowo, while giving his over 160k Instagram followers a peep into the idea that birthed the book, said Discover Nigeria was “to create a positive narrative about our country.”

In a post on Sunday, October 3, on his official and verified Instagram handle, @bayoomoboriowo, the Ekiti-born photographer thanked his principal for his support and submitted that Nigeria is “a beautiful country with huge potentials.”

“I’m glad our efforts in promoting Nigerian Art and Culture to the world haven’t been a wasted effort. Join us to Discover Nigeria, join us to create a new narrative of a vibrant people and culture,” Omoboriowo said.

What is a photobook?’

A photobook, according to TATE, is a book of photographs written by a photographer that has an overarching theme or follows a storyline.

The organisation which aims at increasing “the public’s enjoyment and understanding of British art from the 16th century to the present day” further explained that a photo book is “a convenient and reasonably cheap way of disseminating the work of a photographer to a mass audience.”

It chronicles history or a particular idea extended via photographs in order to educate and enlighten the public through mass publication.

The first photobook was reported to be “Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions” which was created by Anna Atkins between 1843–1853.

Verification

Claim: is Omoboriowo’s “Discover Nigeria” world’s largest photo book  and certified by the Guinness World Records?

Measured and mounted as a 60sqm giant frame book-60 images, 60 pages, 60 square meters, Bayo Omoboriowo’s book “Discover Nigeria” is truly the largest photobook in the world.

This is based on the 392-page book’s recognition by the Guinness World Records, a reference book and website published annually, listing world records both of human achievements and the extremes of the natural world.

In a statement published on its official website, the organisation, also known by its current name “Guinness Book of Records”, certified that the photobook is the “largest photo book” measuring at 60.84 m².

The recognition took effect on Thursday, September 30, when “Discover Nigeria” was unveiled by the president in Abuja.

The largest photo book measures 60.84 m² (654 ft² 87 in²) achieved by TheJTAgency, Bayo Omoboriowo and Federal Republic of Nigeria, (all Nigeria) in Abuja, Nigeria, verified on 30 September 2021. The book is a recreation of the photo book titled Discover Nigeria,” the official statement read.

History maker, but not the first time

Although Omoboriowo’s book again re-introduced Nigeria to the upper echelons of society, this is not the first time Nigeria and Nigerians are featured in the Guinness World Records for incredible feats.

In February 2021, Nigerian athlete, Blessing Okagbare, made an entry into the Guinness World Records as the only athlete to have attended the Athletics Diamond Meetings 67 times. 

She broke the news for her over 31,000 followers on the photo and video-sharing app, Instagram.

In 2020, Eche Chinonso, a then 12-year-old football freestyle prodigy from Delta State, better known as “amazing Kid Eche,” set the record for “most consecutive football (soccer) touches in one minute while balancing a football on the head.”

The feat, achieved on November 14, 2019, with an impressive 111 touches, was recognised by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and the Guinness World Records book.  

Similarly, in 2006, Nigeria’s dance and showbiz queen, Kafayat Oluwatoyin Shafau, broke the Guinness World Record for Longest Dance Party at the Nokia Silverbird Danceathon when she danced for 52 hours and 3 minutes nonstop.

In an interview with The Punch newspaper in 2017, Kaffy, her stage name, revealed that she “almost died” in order to achieve the feat.

Olawumi Treasure Bayode, another Nigerian, set a new Guinness Record in the “Longest Marathon Reading Aloud” category in 2018.

The father of three logged 120 hours at 15.30 today at the YouRead Library Yaba in Lagos. He surpassed the previous record set by Nepali Deepak Sharma Bajagain.

Stephen Keshi, a former and late Nigeria’s Super Eagles coach, Adetunwase Adenle, and Haruna Abdulazeez respectively have also been recognised by the Guinness Records.

Conclusion

Many Nigerians have put the country on the world map through their endless pursuit of greatness and history, and Bayo Omoboriowo is not an exception.

With his photo book “Discover Nigeria” the official photographer to President Muhammadu Buhari again reintroduced Nigeria into the Guinness World Records, a commendable act that also celebrated Nigeria’s multi-cultural uniqueness and endearing flora and fauna.

The researcher produced this media literacy article per the Dubawa 2020 Fellowship partnership with Legit.ng to facilitate the ethos of truth in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country.

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