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Graduate inspired by DMU reading challenge sets one up in Africa

A computing graduate who was inspired to switch from technical manuals to gripping novels by a De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) reading challenge has recreated it in his new workplace.

David Sampah, of Ghana, came to DMU to complete the Computing MSc because of the "outstanding cultural diversity" he said the university offered.

Ashesi 1

During the three years he studied in Leicester, David had his head buried in complex technical manuals and programming textbooks - until he discovered the Six Book Challenge.

This reading initiative run by The Reading Agency, inspires people to get into reading by completing a diary based on six reads they choose - which can be anything from novels and poems to newspaper articles.

After finishing his studies and moving back to Africa, David was inspired to introduce the challenge to his colleagues at the Ashesi University in Ghana, where he now works as an assistant lecturer in the Computer Science department.

He said: "As a technologist, computing and programming field took almost all of my reading activities, until I came across the Six Book Challenge.

"Immediately I knew this was an avenue to explore other territories and win prizes as well. It was flexible, fun and created a real working relationship with other participants."

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Serving on the library committee at Ashesi, David introduced colleagues to the idea of the challenge and his proposals were accepted. The first challenge was launched last month.

He said: "Considering we have a small institution with a total population of about 645, the response has been great. Currently we over 63 people taking part and counting."

Over the past five years Andrew Jennison, from DMU's Post and Porterage department, has encouraged hundreds of staff to take up the Six Book Challenge and the university has been named number one in the UK within the Workplace category for the third year running, having encouraged more than 700 staff members to complete it.

Andrew said: "It is fantastic to hear David has set up a Six Book Challenge in Ashesi, I'm so pleased he was inspired when he was at DMU.

"We have now launched an appeal here at DMU for donations of books from staff to help and support David with his reading initiative."

Contact ajennison@dmu.ac.uk if you would like to donate any books.

Posted on Wednesday 25th May 2016

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