I wanted to change my country so I started a book club…

Oluwabukunmi Familoye
5 min readJan 5, 2020

Well, asides from the fact that I was bored, frustrated and jobless.

I had always been a fellow of the “New Nigeria society”- a firm believer that Nigeria will be great again (I made the society up but you know that group). Every part of me bred patriotism and the desire to change things.

I had always looked forward to a time when I had all the resources, the influence, and the position. I believed that to get these, I had to invest in myself. But it was 2018, I had left school one year ago and life was fuzzy. The reality of my country hit me (I was jobless) and I was at a point where I was really confused about the next steps to take to achieve the future I had pictured (I was not sure I wanted to be a pharmacist after 5 years in Uni)

Amidst all these frustrations, I decided not to give up on life or on hope. I had deep reflections about purpose, values, and my deep intentions. I met great people during this period and I had great conversations that strengthened me. I came up with two conclusions.

· I redirected my focus from trying to change a terribly damaged country like mine to maximizing my potential for the good of humanity. I believe there is so much greatness locked up in every man waiting to be unlocked. It is beyond doing things for a country or for some special recognition or value. It is more about myself — unleashing every potential or blessing nature has endowed me with.

· I also decided that I didn’t have to wait for the time when I had the right resources- I had all I needed. This was difficult to believe because I had no money, no job and not even a career direction but I made a choice to start with what I had.

I decided to look inwards. I didn’t have any special talents or skills. All I had at the time was a book. So I followed the path through in my mind and I started a book club which I named Bookhub.

Yeah, I know. It didn’t sound like much in my mind then, just like it doesn’t really sound grand right now.


There are so many graduates in Nigeria but there are very few educated minds (this is not a shade). Education, according to Albert Einstein, is not just the learning of facts; it is the training of the mind to think. It dawned on me that most schools in the country bred graduates with no proper understanding of life outside their core subjects. Young people were not taught topics like financial intelligence, entrepreneurship (beyond regular commerce), politics and governance, the past, present and the future of work and so on. These are some of the problems I sought to address using my bookclub.

I also realized that the mind is a strong weapon that required conscious training to grow or develop. It is the seat of action. The quality of life of a society is a reflection of the minds of the individuals in that society. As food is to the body, so is knowledge to the mind. Knowledge or information brings light and helps people make better choices and Books are a great source of knowledge. Bookhub seeks to restore the reading culture amongst Nigerian youths. We believe that knowledge is a weapon and we intend to build an arsenal.

It is important to understand that knowledge is gotten from but not limited to books. This is why we try to engage in other activities that speed learning.


It has been one year of learning, networking, and fun. We have read several books since we started the club and we have had great physical meetings. The book club has over 100 members and a branch in Ile-Ife, Osun state. The community grows daily. We have a relatively great online presence (Instagram and twitter @bookhub_ng) and a budding website (www.bookhub.com.ng). We have gotten testimonies from members that keep us going. I have made great friends and I believe members of the community have made great connections too.

Success for us is beyond the numbers. Beyond the numbers, it is impacting and improving the quality of lives of the members of the club. In our second year, we look forward to being intentional about every member and that is why we have created a bookhub accountability group. We also have plans to do something for the younger generation.


Bookhub has been a great learning ground for me. The mind behind bookhub has continued to change and evolve. It is quite impossible to predict the future. I still do not have a clear picture of the future but I am grateful the present makes sense. Leading Bookhub has taught me so many lessons including managing people, building a team, discipline, and selfless service.

I do not know if my country will change though. I hope it does. But this is beyond trying to change the country. This is for me, for humanity, for posterity, and for the incoming generation.

Special thanks to everyone who has believed in me and in this vision. To all the guests who honored our invite and gave us the gift of their time and resources even when we could not afford them. Thank you.

Let us do greater things this year.