91-year-old iconic storyteller, Mabel Segun delights children
Putting a literary spin to celebrating the girl child, foremost supporter of arts and literature, Guaranty Trust Bank thrilled children to a special event with 91-year-old iconic storyteller, sportswoman and broadcaster, Mabel Segun.
The event, which took place at the library in GTBank’s Head Office, saw the children interrogating and probing her literary works. The author of classics like My Father’s Daughter and Under the Mango Tree also shared bits of her inspiring life with the children as well as a few things about writing and delivering the perfect poem.
Segun’s first book, My Father’s Daughter, published in 1965, has been widely used as a literature text in schools all over the world, and her books have been translated into German, Danish, Norwegian, and Greek. She championed children’s literature in Nigeria through the Children’s Literature Association of Nigeria, which she founded in 1978, and the Children’s Documentation and Research Centre, which she set up in 1990 in Ibadan. During her interaction with the children, Segun stated that her love for children and belief that “children should always be happy” made it easy for her to write for such a unique audience.
Born in Ondo City, Nigeria, she had her Secondary School education at CMS Girl’s School Lagos and attended the University of Ibadan, graduating in 1953 with a BA in English, Latin, and History. Starting off as a teacher and teaching in several Nigerian schools, she later became Head of the Department of English and Social Studies and Vice-Principal at the National Technical Teachers’ College, Yaba (Now Yaba College of Technology).
Segun has about 13 books to her credit, and her work is included in the Anthology Daughters of Africa (1992). She is also a fellow of the International Youth Library in Munich, Germany and in 2007, was awarded the LNG Nigeria Prize for Literature. The bank is widely renowned for its passion for empowering children and young people with the right support to grow and reach their full potential. Alongside CSR initiatives geared towards providing learning opportunities for all, nurturing young talents and uplifting young people on the margins of society, the bank also offers a wide range of no-cost banking products designed to help young people save and grow in financial responsibility.