Ofilispeaks: 7 Mistakes My Generation Must Avoid

jeanette-studying-to-candle-lo-res2-300x202The generator generation! We know who we are, we were birthed with the sounds of generators vibrating consistently through our ears. We have smelled the pungent stench of diesel and felt the noxiousness[sic] of carbon monoxide as we run to switch off the generator under the loud chants of “NEPA has brought light.

The generator generation…our lives have been defined by the generator. It has shaped our culture, our landscape, our architecture, our everything, you can’t build anything today without asking, “where is the generator house going to be?” Some generator houses are even bigger than people’s houses.

The generator generation, we know who we are, we have been sick and tired of the loud vibrations for a long time; but sadly, it is our gift from a generation before us. A generation that failed us, one that gave us not hope but bigger and bigger generators.

So what will the generator generation do for the generations after us?

We have been inundated with stories of Nigeria’s prosperity in the past, but we have never seen it. The only thing we have seen is the steady and consistent decline of our nation. Sadly, we were too young to do anything about it. However, the baton is changing hands (at least we hope it is), we are the ones that are coming up next. Some of us are already company managers, successful entrepreneurs, up and coming politicians, in various positions to make a difference, but the question is would we make a difference or repeat the same old mistakes? I pray not.

But just in case, just in case we forget about the mistakes that generated the generator generation, here is a little reminder simply called…7 Mistakes Our Generation Must Avoid If We Don’t Want To Screw Up Nigeria Again!

Deadly Mistake #1: BELIEVING IN VISIONS – First we were told it would be vision 2000, the millennium vision. This was when Nigeria would reach its greatness…then that got postponed to 2010 and now we have the optometrically cute vision 2020! Our generation has to realize the urgency of the situation. People are not looking for vision 2020; they are looking for vision now-now. What can we get done now? Immediately…not in 10 years time or 5 years time or whenever another cute year comes along. The visions have to stop in our time, because there is just too much work to be done now. 

So when we talk about fixing things like NEPA it should be with a sense of urgency, when we talk about fixing roads it should be with urgency. People want to know see what you can do now and not what you can do in the future!

heaven hellDeadly Mistake #2: BELIEVING THAT PRAYER IS THE KEY – I know I am going to get in trouble with this, but prayer is not the key. I mean if the amount of times a nation prays was directly proportional to its success and prosperity, then Nigeria will be #1 in Africa the world. But sadly we are not; because prayer is not the key! It is actually an excuse that conditions us to wait around for someone else to solve our problems. It has made us lazy as a nation. American probably has fewer churches per square meter that Nigeria. And it is simply because they pray but with action.

I don’t believe God’s vision when he said “pray without ceasing” was for people to pray 23 hours a day and then spend 1 hour waiting around for a miracle to happen. It does not work that way. It reminds me of an excerpt from the classic Things Fall Apart, when Okonkwo’s father went to complain to the priestess Agbala about his poor harvest:

“Every year,” he said sadly, “before I put any crop in the earth, I sacrifice a cock to Ani, the owner of all land. It is the law of our fathers. I also kill a cock at the shrine of Ifejioku, the god of yams. I clear the bush and set fire to it when it is dry. I sow the yams when the first rain has fallen, and stake them when the young tendrils appear. I weed-“

“Hold your peace!” screamed the priestess, her voice terrible as it echoed through the dark void. “You have offended neither the gods nor your fathers. And when a man is at peace with his gods and his ancestors, his harvest will be good or bad according to the strength of his arm…Go home and work like a man.”

If God could talk to Nigerians today, he would probably say the same thing as the priestess and that is for us to go home, go to our communities, go to school and work! Not sleep in church all day wondering why things are not getting better. Because the fact is that God has heard Nigeria’s prayers, we don’t need to repeat it 7 times a day or sleep in the church. What we need to do is get out and make a difference in our community. Prayer is not the key…prayer with LOTS (intentionally capitalized) of action is the key

nigeriapixlrxDeadly Mistake #3: ASSUMING PATRIOTISM IS GUARANTEED – Because a person is born in Nigeria, has a green passport and bears Chukwu or Olu or Mohammed in his name does not automatically mean he owes his country anything. A country has to earn its citizens respect and patriotism. I repeat that…a country has to earn its citizens respect and patriotism.

It does not earn its citizens respect, by frustrating them with needless bureaucracy, by pilfering tax payers money, by setting up road blocks upon road blocks for them. No! it does so by doing the reverse, by showing its citizens it cares for them, about their image and about their well-being. By fighting for them when they are persecuted in other countries, but most importantly when they are persecuted in their own country!

Do not make this deadly mistake to assume patriotism should be given simply because one was born in a certain country. People are not patriotic to America simply because they were born in America, but rather because of what America has done for them.

Sadly, this is something that Nigeria has not gotten right, just take a look at our NYSC program! We have a national service program being mandated by a government that is not in the position to mandate it. When you provide mandatory free health care for your citizens, free education for your citizens, scholarship and interest free loans for your citizens, then you can mandate their service.

We don’t do any of the above and worst still we mandate their service rather arrogantly. Spend one day in an NYSC office and you will understand what I mean by arrogantly, you will see how the officials talk down to students as if they are mosquitoes that need to be swatted away!

When a student comes to you to serve your nation, you should ensure that you treat that person with respect. You do so by extending proper customer service to them. But NYSC does the reverse. The customer service is terrible. Little wonder, why majority of NYSCers are relishing the moment that the program is over. 

Our generation has to change this…we need to look to earn our citizens patriotism and respect. Our citizens are immigrating out of Nigeria in large volumes. Not because they don’t love their country but rather because they don’t feel the country is looking out for them. We have to create a country where  Nigerians have a reason multiple reasons to be patriotic.

ironypixlrDeadly Mistake #4: MISCONSTRUING PAPER INTELLIGENCE FOR PRACTICAL INTELLIGENCE – How many degrees we have, the number of distinctions we got in school or how young we were when we graduated is absolutely meaningless in the grand scheme of things. What matters instead is how we are able to transform our intelligence and our degrees into practical solutions for our nation. I mean we all know that Nigerians are the smartest people in Africa and the World sef[sic], we have broken all the global university records that can be broken…from youngest graduate to valedictorian and more. Yet, the degrees do not correlate to any form of improvement in our nation.

I think it is because we are focused on the wrong intelligence, the paper intelligence that looks good in newspapers and church bulletins. What we need is to get off our addiction to paper intelligence and instead focus on real tangible intelligence.

When William Kamkwamba designed a wind mill in his village in Malawi he did it without a high-school diploma but yet his impact was much more than thousands with PhDs. Not to say that we don’t have Nigerians making that type of difference, but with our degrees and potential we should be doing way more. But I really don’t blame the students, our Universities do not help either.

I’ll explain…

We all know that mobile devices are the future, more people are using mobile devices more than any time in the world (especially in Africa). They are using it to access the internet, read books and even make mobile transactions. All of these are powered by Mobile apps, which are becoming the future. You would think that our universities would have made mobile app programming a core part of our national curriculum, but they haven’t and some Universities even take it a step further and ban mobile devices on campus! So at the end of the day we have a first class upper computer engineer, with all the honors in the world draped around his poor neck, but yet he is not able to design a mobile app, that a 13 year old, high-school kid in Ukraine can design! That is sad. We need to avoid making this deadly mistake of paper intelligence and focus on practical intelligence that can help our nation!

Deadly Mistake #5: OVER RESPECTING ELDERS – Nigeria is an egotistic country….if you don’t believe me, then just open your local newspaper on the birthday of a famous politician. You will see that all your pages would be filled with praises from adoring sycophants. I have never seen anything like that, from the gate-man to the security guard…everyone wants to be addressed as “Oga” or “Chief.” After some time it becomes quite comical.

But, beyond the comedy is a very dangerous aspect. When a nation over respects its elders to the point that even when they (the elders) are messing up, nobody below them can speak u,p it leads to idea regression. So we end up accumulating a glut of inept older people, with smarter younger (might I mention respectful people around them), that are too afraid to speak up because of the thing we call respect. 

If we are to avoid this mistake in our time, we would have to swallow a truck load of humility and accept criticism and ideas from anyone no matter who they are or how young they are. The phrase “do you know who I am” would have to disappear from our vocabulary, because to be honest nobody should care who you are, but rather what you can do to make their lives better.

PS: If I had my way, a bunch of the civil servants and university professors would be fired, not just because they are old, but because they have blocked their minds from receiving criticisms from subordinates and from getting new ideas. This is why our politics is run by older people repeating the same mistakes, because there is no fresh influx of ideas. Let us get rid of this shenanigans called ‘respect’! Nigeria is more important than a persons ego.

revxDeadly Mistake #6: FOCUSING ON INDIVIDUAL WEALTH – Banana Island and Parkview estate are one of the richest pieces of real estate in West Africa. However, yet when it rains both Banana Island and Parkview estate turn into rivers! These estates with their collection of multi-millionaires (US dollars not Naira) living in the fanciest houses have not been able to bring their individual wealth together to address their estates flooding problem. This is the irony of Nigeria! And it stems from the misunderstanding that individual wealth in the midst of communal poverty is somehow still wealth. Sadly it is not! It is poverty and mass stupidity.

But people fail to realize that and are instead interested in filling their pockets and leaving nothing for their communities. So they buy the flashiest cars, but neglect to fix the roads they will drive it on…build the largest houses in their villages so that people can gawk and adore them, but yet the community is in shambles. Some even go aboard to spend this individual wealth and that is where it gets ironic.

I attended the University of Houston (main campus), which was located smack dab in the middle of 3rd ward. Now 3rd ward is not the greatest neighborhood out there…it is technically considered a ghetto in Houston. But the irony is that the roads in 3rd ward are as good as the roads on OUR famed Bourdillon boulevard. As a community 3rd ward is way richer than Bourdillon and that is a lesson. Because as rich as Nigeria claims to be, we are simply living on individualistic wealth. Until the community, the village, the facilities the roads start reflecting that wealth we would be poor.

We need to ensure the focus is not on individual wealth but rather on the wealth of our community. Only then would we acquire true national wealth.


Deadly Mistake #7: CONTRACT IS NOT A LOTTERY – When I was growing up I used to think that contract was cash given to Nigerian citizens lucky enough to get it but who could blame me for my stupidity. The average Nigerian that I met was always talking about the greatest and latest contract that was available and how one uncle or sister had hit the contract jackpot. So it is no surprise that when I attend speeches of successful Nigerian businessmen and women. The average Nigerian businessman vagues you out about the origins of of his wealth. He or she does not give you details or specifics about their wealth. If they did, it would sound like this:

“I got a contract, I chopped the money and I started my own business and I became rich. The End.”

That is why we rarely have well-written Steve Jobs-like biographies of our wealthy. There is just not enough honest detail to create those sorts of books. Our generation needs to change that. Our stories should be like the Linda Ikeji’s and Jason Njoku’s. Stories that are transparent and reflect hard work and determination, but more importantly stories that contain the details: how, when, where and what!

Before I get carried away with the story aspect of contract, let our generation not forget that contracts are to be executed. The execution of contracts is what builds a generation’s legacy.

Imagine the individuals contracted to build the Taj Mahal in India or the 7-star Palm Hotel in Dubai (the Burj Al Arab)…imagine if these individuals pilfered the funds and created a substandard version of both properties or nothing at all…  imagine what would happen?

Let me tell you what would happen, they would probably become very rich, probably build a huge house somewhere, but that home they build will never be as magnificent as the Taj Mahal and it would not create a legacy and it will not make a country better or add to its economy.

This has been the issue with Nigeria for years, contracts that are meant to make the nation greater are instead pilfered to make an individual richer. If our generation is to make a difference, we would have to execute contracts, honestly and diligently. We would also have to execute grand contracts not so that we can steal more money, but so that we can make our country greater…by so doing our legacy will survive for years.

one9jaxBonus Deadly Mistake: Asking What Village Are You From – Whenever I introduce my friends to my mum, male or female and especially female, she asks me this question “where are they from?” I normally stare with a blank look, not because I don’t have an idea what the answer but because my mum wants to know the village they are from. Growing up, I never thought about anything like that. To me everybody that was black was Nigerian. But as I grew older I started learning that there were “ndi Yoruba,” “omo Igbo” and “awon Hausa dem.” And even within each of the major three divisions, there were subsets…the subsets and divisions where meaningless to me, but as I began growing up and experiencing the real world I started noticing them in companies, in ministries and everywhere.

People make decisions based on ethnicity: decisions to hire and decisions to get married. The truth of the matter, is that we would need to see ourselves firstly as Nigerians before any other ethnic group break down we have fabricated. Until we do this, Nigeria, will just be a fragmentized shell of its true self and yes this applies to the whole North-South power rotation thing going on. That has to go in our time!


All in all, if we are to make a difference, we would have to stop over praying, stop over respecting, stop focusing on good grades, stop focusing on being individually wealthy and stop fighting for contracts. We would simply in summation have to strive to do things differently by doing them better. Which brings me to my final advise to my generation: Let’s leave things better than we met it.

That is the basic motto our generation needs to adhere to. Leave Things Better…no matter how small. When you go to a toilet and you see it dirty, wipe it down and leave it better than you saw it. If you go to work and it is disorganized, seek for ways to improve it.

That simple statement is the key to growth, not just for us to push ourselves, but for us to push others around us to leave things better than we met it! When we instill this philosophy of making things better, we will progress. At the end of the day, when our generation retires (and we would) Nigeria can say it was truly better…that is our hope…that is our goal because it’s time to turn off the generators and inverters!

Illustrations courtesy of ofilispeaks.com and picture courtesy of lifelineenergy.org

This article is an excerpt from the upcoming book How Intelligence Kills Us: A Critical Look At Our Dangerous Addiction To Religion, Intelligence and Respect.

Ofili is an award winning Generator Importer motivational speaker, author, success coach and Generator Distributor entrepreneur who blogs about life, success and entrepreneurial excellence. Follow him on twitter , facebook or subscribe to his blog for more success TIPS!” To bring Ofili to your school or organization as a speaker simply go here. He has written two books, How Laziness Saved My Life and the best-selling How Stupidity Saved My Life, to find out how they both saved his life visit ofilispeaks.com his latest book is titled How Intelligence Kills Us and will be coming out in the first quarter of 2013 (he hopes). To read his latest book on your blackberry text “laziness” or “stupidity” to 33110 (only works for MTN).

187 Comments on Ofilispeaks: 7 Mistakes My Generation Must Avoid
  • Doll February 26, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    I must say that I agree 100% with every single point.

    • Okechukwu Ofili February 26, 2013 at 5:14 pm

      I 100% agree with your comment =D

  • Blossom February 26, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    Love it but ‘An Hausa’???

    • Okechukwu Ofili February 26, 2013 at 5:15 pm

      What is the correct thing =/

      • Bleed blue February 27, 2013 at 10:02 am

        A Hausa….seeing as the “H” isn’t silent 🙂

    • Blossom May 15, 2013 at 2:23 pm

      Lol! No be my own Blossom oh! Nice article Ofili.

  • Ms lala February 26, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    OMG…I DIED AND WENT TO HEAVEN…finally …ALL HAIL OFILISPEAKS..you spoke my mind from A to Z. Nigeria has a long way to go and yes prayer is not a fundamental tool to making it happen. Its so sad that for one to get a good job one has to get a masters degree from a foreign nation just to supersede the average graduate Joe. God will bless you Ofili, right on brother…a big fan and looking forward to a seminar whenever am in Nigeria. ps University of Houston in da hizzzhouse!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Okechukwu Ofili February 26, 2013 at 5:16 pm

      lol…goooo COogs! UH rocks. And thanks for the comment…we do have a long way, but we will get there as long as we start urgently and now-now.

  • ALEXIA February 26, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    Bella Naija this is a user complaint. commenting on ur blog is tedious in comparison to the other bogs pls update to stay relevant else the market will leave u behind
    That said, this article could not not been written better. Its the truth and will help every one of us not just to make our country better but help us as individuals as well

    • Italian Princess February 26, 2013 at 3:03 pm

      Lol Funny complaint! Leave BN behind because of comment moderation? *chuckles*

    • Okechukwu Ofili February 26, 2013 at 5:17 pm

      Thanks Alexia…glad you liked the article. Hopefully it transitions from written words into physical action from us all including myself.

  • nnenne February 26, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    ‘truer’ words have never been said. nice one Mr.Ofili but i will still ask where you are from cos there’s a family that bears Ofili in my town so pls do tell me where you are from. my town is Awkuzu in Anambra state by the way

    • Okechukwu Ofili February 26, 2013 at 5:19 pm

      I am from Ugbodu…Asaba area, close to the River that separates Delta from Onitsha. That’s were a lot of Ofili’s come from. Do you want to give me contract =D

  • Karen February 26, 2013 at 1:58 pm


  • sister in the Lord February 26, 2013 at 1:58 pm


  • obitalk February 26, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    well done, total love for this piece

    • Okechukwu Ofili February 26, 2013 at 5:20 pm

      Thanks obitalk…total love for your comment

  • Chi February 26, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    Great article. Well written, and everything written is so true! Definitely learnt from it, especially from the contract section. I usually ask people where they are from though, not for ethnic prejudice but to understand a bit more about them or just out of plain curiosity. Lol @ “bonus mistake” by the way.

  • SISTER IN THE LORD February 26, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    I haven’t commented on any post in a while but this article is just too amazing to be ignored.
    Our priorities have been so misplaced, and the concept of wealth and success; twisted. Sometimes I wonder if the white men left too early!

  • QueenBee February 26, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    Awesome! Ofili I just love the way u think!, keep it up

    • Okechukwu Ofili February 26, 2013 at 5:48 pm

      Thanks QueenBee…i love the way you comment ;D

  • kikelomo February 26, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    This is just three much….dont know where to start from…..”Ofilispeaks”

  • trace February 26, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    I havent read the article, but the first line is solid. U my guy, are a writer!

  • Anonymous February 26, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    Couldnt have said it any better. Tribalisim, nepotism, selfishness, greed and over religiousness is the bane to our collective growth and success in Nigeria. Over respect kills innovation and creative thinking in our youths. It is so glaring in the work place, where the “oga” most times, blindly and stupidly knows all. I am sure most of our generation will admit to all of your points, but are we not guilty of malking the same mistakes, even those that you feel are enlightened and better exposed, still do. God help us and may God bless Nigeria.

    • ao February 26, 2013 at 4:36 pm

      Tribalism is one of the worst things that has ever happened to Nigeria. Look at the recent AFCON. The coach was berated for using players of a particular ethnic group. The coach’s critics did not stop to think that he was actually putting players on the field that were the best in the team as of that time and that their affiliation to a particular ethnic group was a mere coincidence. Had the coach listened to his critics, Nigeria would have probably lost.

      • Okechukwu Ofili February 26, 2013 at 5:43 pm

        That is true…when we pick based on tribe versus talent, we short change our country. We should pick the best…all this North-South rotation ish has to go. We want the best and we need the best!

  • ij February 26, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    i couldn’t add or take away from this article , very well written

  • 5’5 February 26, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    I love Ikechukwu Ofili.

    • Italian Princess February 26, 2013 at 3:05 pm

      His name is Okechukwu sha! But I’m sure he gets your point. :p

      • Okechukwu Ofili February 26, 2013 at 9:50 pm

        My brother is Ikechukwu…maybe she likes him =(

  • Kike Moronkeji February 26, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    Well said!

    Please write more of these articles and maybe people would realise that God gave man control over the earth, so we must work hard at making the best of what God has given us. That’s why people will continue to pray and see nothing happen, if they don’t do anything about. When Jesus said “get up and walk, you are healed” – the healed person had to do something, which was to get up. I don’t recall the healed person praying for God to help him to get up.

    The bible equally says faith without works is dead, so it means that the evidence of your faith is how hard you work. Nigerian churches have turned people into lazy people, that can no longer use their brains for changing their landscape. Research into the great scientists like Newton etcetera – these scientists believed in God and worked hard and uncovered great discoveries that the West have built on.

    WAKE UP NIGERIA, the greatness in you is untapped, if you sit back and do nothing!

    • Okechukwu Ofili February 26, 2013 at 5:50 pm

      “WAKE UP NIGERIA, the greatness in you is untapped, if you sit back and do nothing!” I think we can summarize the article with this!

  • J.O February 26, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    This is a great piece! Something we need! Nigeria will be the same if we follow the paths of our forefathers. I have friends in America who state that they cannot move back to Nigeria, but these are the same people who were born and bred in Nigeria, they were lucky and blessed to have the opportunity to come to America. That doesn’t mean you can’t help your country out. We all need to put our heads together and figure out a way.

  • Nelo February 26, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    Thank you Ofili….the biggest truths i have read in a long time!

    • Okechukwu Ofili February 26, 2013 at 5:49 pm

      Thanks Nelo for the comment and for commenting.

  • Cynthia February 26, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    Thank you for this. I hope a lot of us get to read this article and apply it to our daily lives. Especially that “God” excuse. To me that’s actually using the name of the Lord in vain. People need to hold up to their misfortunes and work hard to get back on track. Nuff said

    visit http://www.emuafashions.com for all Africa inspired fashion

  • taiwo February 26, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    True words!

  • nich February 26, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    inteligent young man……….every nigerian needs to hear all of this…..

  • nikky February 26, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    Please Bellanaija, how can one get his books?

    • Okechukwu Ofili February 26, 2013 at 5:44 pm

      You can get them at Patabah at Surulere or off my website http://ofilispeaks.com (If you are interested in how to get them both for free…then contact me through my website #okbye)

  • winnie February 26, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    i am waiting for your third Book Biko. God bless you! pls put this in the DAILY PAPERS where all and sundry WILL read.

    • Okechukwu Ofili February 26, 2013 at 5:41 pm

      Thanks winnie. Will definitely try and feed it to a newspaper if I find one.

  • 9japerson February 26, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    Believing in visions is not a mistake, the bible says in Habakkuk 2, to write down the vision. So the reason the vision is not coming to pass its because we don’t the right candidate. And that leads to the point that PRAYER IS THE KEY. We need to pray to GOD for the right leader, to lead us and keep his promises. Prayer is also the Key, we can pray for people to rise up and do what they ought to do. In James 2: 14-26, the bible says FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS DEAD. The problem is that we Nigerians, we pray and fold hands waiting for someone to rise up to do the work. We all have a role to play in building our nations. Your prayer goes along way, many of us are enjoying the prayer our parents or grandparents prayed for us. The whole summary, we should not tag these two points as deadly mistakes, it’s the way our people use them. So for everyone commenting to this article, don’t just agree and say Ofili is right. Stand up and do your own, and Please continue to pray without cease BUT YOU NEED TO TAKE ACTION. AND GOD ALMIGHTY WILL BACK UP YOUR WORKS TO BUILD NIGERIA.

    • Okechukwu Ofili February 26, 2013 at 5:47 pm

      This is what I said and I quote: “prayer is not the key…prayer with LOTS of action is the key” how does that differ from “FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS DEAD.” In the other point about visions, you are misconstruing spiritual vision with political vision. You cannot be telling people that you have a vision to make roads better in 2020 when you have the capacity to fix it now. Those are my points there.

  • nich February 26, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    although i live in america……but i am still nigerian in everyway……..there is no way i can deny being nigerian………….i believe that those who are fortunate to travel abroad should help in the developement of nigeria since the government is not coming to the rescue of the citizens…..
    despite all the problems in africa and nigeria…i still believe that some good progress would come…………i do not have kids yet but i will still want my kids to grow up in nigeria…….

    • Okechukwu Ofili February 26, 2013 at 5:41 pm

      awesomeeee! There is no place like home…except when home frustrates you…but if we fix that more people would reverse-immigrate into Nigeria. At least that is my prayer!

  • seymour February 26, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    EXCELLENCE. That’s what this write up is. I will bookmark this, print and share this with everyone I know. Kudos.

  • lilz February 26, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    i’ve learnt something… leave things better than you met them…

  • lolly February 26, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    GBAM! Well said bruv, well said….

  • Somebody February 26, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    This!!!!!!! Ofili, you hit the nail on the head with all your points. Let’s read and make changes individually (as needed). Thanks Ofili.

  • Thelma February 26, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    Wonderful article. Wish the whole nation could read this. It’s simply the truth. U could make it a book Ofili.

    • Okechukwu Ofili February 26, 2013 at 5:39 pm

      Its already a book. Actually this is the afterward of the book. I am just working to clean up 3 more chapters, once that is done we would go into full scale editing. The title of the book is our dangerous addiction to intelligence.

  • ANNIE February 26, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    Chai so true

  • Yewande Aje February 26, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    Amazing article. Everything you’ve pointed out is the truth. On a more optimistic note, there are definitely some Nigerians who are trying to make a difference. They receive their own fair share of push-back from the government but they are honest individuals who are really trying their best eg. Mitchell Elegbe, Aig Imoukhuede, Tomi Davies, Ernest Azudialu, Jim Ovia. They are actually interested in elevating the youth and creating jobs!!! Nigeria’s problems will be solved with two things only: honesty and hardwork. These are Godly virtues and without them, nothing will be done. We also need a LOT MORE youth empowerment programs. We are not taking care of our future. I LOVE the part where you talk about the first class upper computer engineer who can’t write a basic software app. It’s really a shame, but this is where the “more privileged” Nigerians and companies can come in (via corporate social responsibilities). Create summer programs where kids can learn how to code in 3 months, have more workshops on entrepreneurship, invite renowned global scholars to events to speak with the youth and help them understand why their education in adequate and why it is up to them to change the way universities are structured. The masses have all the power, they only have to speak up and things will be shaken!

    • Tincan February 26, 2013 at 5:24 pm

      Great response, although I don’t think we need more youth empowerment programs. I think we need to empower our youths. We need that holistic approach. Now that is not to say the programs are not of benefit.

      Mr Ofili, truer words have never been spoken.

    • Ade March 10, 2013 at 12:25 pm

      Excellent write-up. “Individual wealth in the midst of communal poverty”. Aptly put. The answer to:

      Bad roads is SUV.

      Traffic is police convoy with siren and threat of bodily harm to you and/or your car.

      Security threat is an even higher fence with electrified barbed wire (don’t forget burglary proof everywhere turning you home into a deathtrap during a fire).

      Power problem is generator (which may include senior and junior back-up).

      I can go on but I won’t.

  • Einstein February 26, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    Great great article….we can all start this change by joining KICKSIDDONLOOK on twitter…let’s make Nigeria great people….let’s start right now,individually.

  • ao February 26, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    Great article. Mistake #6 is on point. Rich Nigerians – especially those in government that are busy stealing public funds – think that their wealth will insulate them from the pervasive poverty (and the impact of corruption) in Nigeria. It will not. Under-development of Nigeria affects everyone living in Nigeria. Flying abroad is only a temporary reprieve. Unfortunately, poor Nigerians are not any better and in my opinion are only waiting for their turn to chop their own.

    • Okechukwu Ofili February 26, 2013 at 5:29 pm

      ” stealing public funds – think that their wealth will insulate them from the pervasive poverty” could not have said this better…that is the best way to put it. I am stealing this line for the book =D

      • ao February 27, 2013 at 4:25 pm

        You owe me royalties! LOL!

  • Nwachidinma February 26, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    WOW! Thank you for writing the article. The truth must be said.

  • Knight February 26, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    Ok, another one bites the dust. Nice one bro. May you never walk alone!

  • ALEXIA February 26, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    @ italian princess: it’s not comment moderation but the fact u have to put in a name, an email and all that. and when i said the mkt will leave bn behind i meant u need to keep up with changing demands of u consumers to stay relevant. 🙂

  • Jolla February 26, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    Spot on! Kudos to you Ofili…….am sure we wont get much comments thou cos its not about the usual no brainers…..Hmmm…..Nigerians and shallow stuff.

    • Okechukwu Ofili February 26, 2013 at 5:28 pm

      I won’t count us out just yet. I think people are just frustrated.

    • SASSYCASSIE February 27, 2013 at 2:42 pm

      137 comments and counting! You must really feel silly for this comment

  • Benson February 26, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    I had to print this article so i can read it to my friends and family.What a piece.I pray every body that will get to write this article will have a rethink and a change of attitude then we will get the desire transformation that we long for.The truth is that it start here and now,it is all about me and you,the youths,the future of Nigeria.Let us all do the right thing and Nigeria will be on the path to greatness,not all this vision thing.The truth still remain that our past leaders have failed us.And what bothers me most is that they don’t want to give space to the young blood to contribute,i wonder when they will.God bless NIGERIA.

    • Okechukwu Ofili February 26, 2013 at 5:27 pm

      Benson you said it right…the older generation does not want to step down. But eventually it would happen. I just hope that our generation has the humility and wisdom to step down when our time has passed.

  • Prism of an Immigrant February 26, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    Well said

  • shalewa February 26, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    this is jsut so awesome…absolute analysis of the state of the country. if only we can put aside all the bias, we will sure grow

  • Leila February 26, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    I am all smiles right now. Finally we hv someone who is not afraid to say HIS mind. Loving this all the way, about the ‘over respecting elder’s’ point it drives home like mad thot i was the only one who thought we have a lot of sycophants in our society who would rather kiss ass than say their mind. Thanks 4 a refreshing write-up *Kisses. Btw way if ur single pls holla!!!!!!!! 😉

  • ify February 26, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    Great article. Well said…

  • KA February 26, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    This is the best article I have read on this blog. I agree with him 1000% (I know thats not possible) but you understand.

    • Okechukwu Ofili February 26, 2013 at 5:22 pm

      This is the best comment I have read on this blog. I agree with you 1001% =D thanks for the support KA!

  • Underdog February 26, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    Arguable the best article by a nigerian, in nigeria media that I’ve ever read (And I’ve read a lot of them). OMG, you nailed it so well. Every single point couldn’t more true. My hat goes off to you. Deadly Mistake #6: This is the irony of Nigeria! And it stems from the misunderstanding that individual wealth in the midst of communal poverty is somehow still wealth. Sadly it is not! It is poverty and mass stupidity….my favorite part. It finally addresses the underlying problem which is the mentality of nigerians that needs to be changed. You can put band aids by opening fancy malls, having extravagant shows with people wearing the greatest designer outfits and continue with our obsession with new but it ain’t going to fix Nigeria. These are core principles that if we could ever have a generation build on, Nigeria will be one of the greatest nations on earth and everyone home and abroad would be proud of and want to be associated with. Let’s celebrate the men and women who through genuine efforts try to make a difference. Ofili, I celebrate you for daring to speak the truth.

    • Okechukwu Ofili February 26, 2013 at 7:32 pm

      Thanks Underdog and thanks for also speaking the truth. If we all keep speaking out things will change. Look at what Channels did with the Police College and today they are fixing it…anyway let’s keep believing.

  • MissBrown February 26, 2013 at 5:11 pm

    very well said. i especially like mistake no. 2. GOD WILL NOT COME DOWN FROM HEAVEN TO SOLVE OUR COUNTRY’S PROBLEMS. We just have to put in some hard…this combined with prayers will work.

  • oyin February 26, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    Nice one Ofili, you spoke all our minds, even the ones that cant word their minds properly. Bless!!!!

  • Mobb deep February 26, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    Well not that I don’t agree with the above but I‘ll like to share or challenge the writer on few points made.
    We all have different views- background, education and financial stability & so on. Nigeria, is what it is today because of everyone’s involvement in power, control and authority either directly or indirectly. Humans are selfish (good or bad) and that’s what has lead to our contribution to the state of the nation.
    Reviewing your points one by one briefly-
    #1# – Vision; Are you suggesting eradication of the word “VISION” from Nigeria’s history or existence? Remember there are little kids that are not aware of the damages.
    #2# -Prayer; It’s a wrong analysis to say Christians go to church more than normal to pray for their country but the truth is they go to communicate with God about their personal life and their environment(Nigeria) with the hope that prayers would bring changes beneficial to all plus the writer. So let’s not be judgemental by comparing Nigeria and people’s beliefs.
    #3# – Patriotism; it’s a shame that our values are going down daily but in order to live and survive in Nigeria, there are stages that come across as inevitable. Many people can’t afford to go abroad as they would wish so in order to survive in a nation that rarely cares about its citizens; they have to make use of what’s available here. So regardless of how the writer views this point, you can’t but help to be grateful for the little we have. There are African countries as rich as Nigerian but they suffer more.
    #4# – Let me ask the writer, how have you helped the society with your intelligence? Because based on your article, you have schooled abroad. Not meant to be rude but I think you can give back more than some lines you have written because I am not sure of how it would encourage some people.
    #5#- Respecting Elders#- has played a great role and I reckon that path stays forever. I am not sure of the context at which this point is trying to drive at but I can surely say it is referring to how people address people that can either be beneficial to them in one way or the other and not been able to correct their flaws directly because you don’t want to be termed disrespectful. In cases like this, wisdom is the key.
    There’s nothing wrong with congratulatory messages because it’s a way of life in Nigeria and that’s someone’s revenue.
    #6# – for sure living in a flooded zone isn’t sensible but also remember that there are few who worked hard for their money and are not involved in any illegal deals; are they not allowed to live in area of choice or you call that stupidity too? Are you aware that lot of people give back to their community even though it might not be big enough to be noticed or it’s not just made known? Hmm
    #7#Contract# – Yes, Nigerians see contracts as an opportunity to enrich themselves and I don’t mean to be funny but how do one intend to change their mindset about stealing or enriching the nation when the government or director that allocated the job are asking for a % cut! So automatically as much as the contractors I believe would want to help enrich the nation, he gets to think about it as an opportunity to quickly earn for himself, the director and give back the little to the nation. Honestly, when it comes to Nigeria matters, I just think we should leave it to the same prayers you say it’s not the exact key because we are all selfish and as long as we have than desire, nothing can be done or improved.
    I hope my view wouldn’t be judged but considered.

    • funke.faweya February 26, 2013 at 6:30 pm

      Ofili, please respond to Mobb Deep because many Nigerians feel this way and I think this is part of the problem. O ma she!

      • Okechukwu Ofili February 26, 2013 at 7:20 pm

        #5#- Respecting Elders#- has played a great role and I reckon that path stays forever. I am not sure of the context at which this point is trying to drive at but I can surely say it is referring to how people address people that can either be beneficial to them in one way or the other and not been able to correct their flaws directly because you don’t want to be termed disrespectful. In cases like this, wisdom is the key.
        There’s nothing wrong with congratulatory messages because it’s a way of life in Nigeria and that’s someone’s revenue.

        RESPONSE: Not sure I understand the point you are making in the first paragraph. If you can clarify I might be able to respond.

        On your second one, there is nothing wrong with congratulatory messages. I just feel it is a bit much…that is just my opinion. You don’t need 20 newspaper pages to tell someone congratulations.

    • Okechukwu Ofili February 26, 2013 at 7:07 pm

      #1# – Vision; Are you suggesting eradication of the word “VISION” from Nigeria’s history or existence? Remember there are little kids that are not aware of the damages.
      Response: Nope, what I am saying is that we should not abuse visions. Nigeria has the capacity to fix its light problem now, but yet politicians are talking about vision 2020. That to me is a cop-out…it is like political procrastination.

    • Okechukwu Ofili February 26, 2013 at 7:09 pm

      #2# -Prayer; It’s a wrong analysis to say Christians go to church more than normal to pray for their country but the truth is they go to communicate with God about their personal life and their environment(Nigeria) with the hope that prayers would bring changes beneficial to all plus the writer. So let’s not be judgmental by comparing Nigeria and people’s beliefs.
      RESPONSE: I have nothing against praying. I just think Nigeria prays way more than other progressive countries and does way less in terms of practical action. I would like for us to change that balance.

      • Okechukwu Ofili February 26, 2013 at 7:15 pm

        #3# – Patriotism; it’s a shame that our values are going down daily but in order to live and survive in Nigeria, there are stages that come across as inevitable. Many people can’t afford to go abroad as they would wish so in order to survive in a nation that rarely cares about its citizens; they have to make use of what’s available here. So regardless of how the writer views this point, you can’t but help to be grateful for the little we have. There are African countries as rich as Nigerian but they suffer more.

        RESPONSE: Being grateful does not change the fact that Patriotism still should be earned. I don’t want citizens that are grateful because they have 1 hour of light a week while their neighbor has zero light. I want citizens that have 24 hours light that enable them start businesses and sustain their family dreams. So that at the end of the day they can stand up proud and say I am where I am because of Nigeria and not in spite of Nigeria…which is what happens currently…

      • Okechukwu Ofili February 26, 2013 at 7:25 pm

        #7#Contract# – Yes, Nigerians see contracts as an opportunity to enrich themselves and I don’t mean to be funny but how do one intend to change their mindset about stealing or enriching the nation when the government or director that allocated the job are asking for a % cut! So automatically as much as the contractors I believe would want to help enrich the nation, he gets to think about it as an opportunity to quickly earn for himself, the director and give back the little to the nation. Honestly, when it comes to Nigeria matters, I just think we should leave it to the same prayers you say it’s not the exact key because we are all selfish and as long as we have than desire, nothing can be done or improved.

        RESPONSE: All your points were great up to this one. If I get you, you want us to keep praying and hoping that things will get better. I disagree with that line of thinking. Also you said some Nigerians give back to the community in point #6, but in your next point you say “we[Nigerians] are all selfish” seems you are contradicting your points. But thanks for sharing and countering.

    • Okechukwu Ofili February 26, 2013 at 7:16 pm

      #4# – Let me ask the writer, how have you helped the society with your intelligence? Because based on your article, you have schooled abroad. Not meant to be rude but I think you can give back more than some lines you have written because I am not sure of how it would encourage some people.

      RESPONSE: Great question! I have done a bunch of stuff…coolest of which is http://okadabooks.com (still being developed) we hope to change the way Nigerians read =D

      • Okechukwu Ofili February 26, 2013 at 7:23 pm

        #6# – for sure living in a flooded zone isn’t sensible but also remember that there are few who worked hard for their money and are not involved in any illegal deals; are they not allowed to live in area of choice or you call that stupidity too? Are you aware that lot of people give back to their community even though it might not be big enough to be noticed or it’s not just made known? Hmm

        RESPONSE: Ain’t nothing wrong with living in a flooded zone. But when you have money to fix it, then that to me is bad. Take for example we have estates where each house has a generator, if the estates came together and paid for one big generator, they could save a bunch of money and not to mention have cleaner air.

        Good for those that give back to their community…that point was not directed at them.

    • Blogger February 27, 2013 at 2:44 am

      SIGH!SIGH!SIGH. The number one problem we have,is the mindset of our people.I mean look at this comment na?

    • Thelma February 28, 2013 at 10:57 am

      @Mobb deep.. Your last line is the SINGULAR reason I wont type out my tirade . You are unfortunately a typical Nigerian and the one for whom this article was written so God has buttered your bread that you MIGHT be able to open your mind. Ofili has done his ”practical” bit by writing and sharing thus causing people to think and possibly take action.

  • Tutu February 26, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    I love the comments the most, all talk, and move on to the next red carpet post. In two weeks time they are back to comment on another Ofili post. If you no longer live in Nigeria, and you really couldn’t really be bothered. Is there something wrong with that? I’m just asking o. Am I proud to be a Nigerian? I’m afraid not. The minute my passport changes, o pari be that. Lol. Do I feel any sense of loyalty, or patriotism? I’m afraid not. My ties, and loyalty are to the very few close friends, and a handful of family (immediate and extended) who still live there. They are my people, they are my “country”. I watched my parents build their businesses, and work tirelessly all day and night, and the system frustrated their efforts. They refused to take short cuts or govt contracts. The only things they have to show for it, thankfully are their children’s education which they had a huge foresight to send us all for postgrad. It took a gap of years in between each child, with a lot of sacrifices to afford it. They couldn’t escape, but they gave us the best tools to escape the crap. With the wealth of experience and knowledge those two have, if they started their businesses abroad, it would be a successfull, fully fledged family business that my siblings and I will gladly take over, and run. We grew up with that business, we spent after school hours, weekends and holidays working there. It was part of our family. My sister works as an Accounts Executive in charge of over seeing SME’s, and it makes her sad to see all the facilities offered to them to start, grow and expand. She keeps saying if only our parents (and other enterpreneurs in Nigeria,) had such opportunities legitimately, they won’t have “suffered” like that. Yes to make a successful business takes hard work, but Nigeria is a country, where hard work does not pay. We know where their contractors friends have gotten to now, but we don’t envy them, we got a chance to leave, and make something of ourselves in a system that is fairer to an extent. We are from enterpreneurial stock, and we are thinking of businesses we can start here and the US. Our parents businesses will die a natural death sadly, no one to take over. We can’t even wait for a few years to convince them to leave. My siblings and I have bought the house they will live in sef, we are just renting it out until old age gives them no choice but to relocate, cos we sure as hell won’t let our parents grow old in that country. The reward for all their years of hard work they will enjoy outside the country. How truly ironic. Ofili, keep at it, I wish all of una all the best.

    • Okechukwu Ofili February 26, 2013 at 9:32 pm

      wow Tutu…when you were writing I could have sworn you were talking about my Dad…

      My own Dad quit his safe job to start his own business, I remember when he sat down at the dining table and was telling us how he would use his company to help give employment and healthcare for workers. The whole family was excited…but what happened…frustration after frustration after frustration. No light, pay this tax and that tax meanwhile the government is not doing anything. He even used Mumsie Teachers retirement fund to try and salvage the company but within 3 months all the money was gone.

      After all his struggles, trying to do things the hoest way, what did he have to show for it? Nothing…except the degrees of his children. Nigeria…Nigeria…let us just make sure that our generation do something different o!

      • Tutu February 26, 2013 at 11:22 pm

        Thankfully my generation will know something different., so honestly, if no one can be honest, I would. At least for my siblings and I, we don’t give a shit. We have signed off to that place, our generations won’t be born or grow up there. Their ties will be ties of family, and love, and of course the food. They will no know suffering, or watch their dreams crushed by an environment who doesn’t give a shit about you. Watching and reading everyone complains just makes me laugh. It is not up to us with the talk and complains to change anything. I’m sure our parents talked like this, so did the parents before them. Generation continues

    • 2-D February 27, 2013 at 12:12 pm

      Tutu, i see you speak the mind of millions of youth in the diaspora, even though i feel so sad that this is the kind of thought process that is being developed by our generation .
      I am always forced to suggest that you all come join those back home and make your contributions to better the lots of the unborn generation. However, i simply cant because of our current awkward, annoying and self serving federalism, with its insistence on ‘state of origin’ as basis of engagement in literally every aspect of service (public and sometimes private, even voluntary sef). How can we develop citizens with ‘national’ consciousness that owe true allegiance to the constitution and not “my people”? To be adjudged a true Nigerian, You must continually answer the question: “Where are you from”!.
      Your case may be better off than some other young brilliant minds in the diaspora (since you still recognize you have roots here) who now suffer from bleaching syndrome- a phenomenon whereby Africans (particularly Nigerians) are in a haste to deny who they are, and distance themselves from their roots- with English names, and their 1st-4th generation (under 35yrs) are proud emigrants.
      These young minds have no form of tie any longer in Nigeria. Such people are mostly brilliant assets that can dissipate so much energy into building a new Nigeria that can work again.
      The present leadership has a lot of convincing to bring back these “lost” children. They need to give them reasons (as ofili stated) to be patriotic and connect back with their motherland.
      Development of critical infrastructure is the best rebranding project that can bring millions of diasporans back “home”.
      The other alternative is a radical revolutionary change by our generation- The Turning Point generation! Which way my people? Posterity shall judge us oo.
      May God bring you all back home safely.

  • Tutu February 26, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    With my dad’s Diabetes and my mum’s athritis, I don’t want to hear story that one doctor was careless, or my mum slipped and fell as there is no proper care for the elderly in 9ja. Lord forbid. Cold or not, we have all made a pact to ship them over, when the time comes. lol

  • omada February 26, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    i agree!!! 1 million percent!

  • Toyin Olaleye February 26, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    Very nice! well done

  • funke.faweya February 26, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    I did not think anything could top Chimamanda’s ‘Danger of a Single Story’ TEDTalk, but you my man have equaled her! So succint, concise and yet spot on! I am printing this out to read over and over again.

    More grease to your elbow!
    I had to put my real name on this one

  • Tobi Donut February 26, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    Hello Ofili, have greatly admired your work since i read your first book. I am not convinced with deadly mistake one because everyman should have a personal Vision and even life mission, write your vision, make it plain on the table so that yea may run with it saith the lord but the mistake people make these days is that they walk by it. If written they only look at it, they don’t take practical steps. Oke i know you have your vision and i understand the context of the point but the subtitle is tacky. Nigeria should run and not be weary with their vision plus they should take your Point two into consideration but with wisdom as Wisdom is profitable to direct, Sir Prayer is always the Master KEY as some people as blinded by Religion but Spirituality is the Key that’s why people are asked to have a relationship with God so they can communicate one on one without shutting out of of their activities and being pretentious. Prayer is a two way call with God . I totally understand all your points and agree with most of them. Keep Inspiring people and speak the truth but i sincerely hope you are a Believer of the Gospel of Christ. P.S Deadly mistake one should have been tagged Believing in Political Visions and two should have been PRAYER is not the Only Key. I don’t mean to belittle your opinions Sir, it just a suggestion God bless you and i might work with you someday perhaps. Great Article sire

    • Okechukwu Ofili February 26, 2013 at 7:05 pm

      No problem man. I see your point…I see what your saying.

    • Damie February 27, 2013 at 9:11 am

      Why do you sincerely hope that he is a believer in Christ? Ugh! You people are so blinded in the faith you claim to have you fail to accept and appreciate people with different or no faith(s) at all. Does being a christian make him the best person out there? Please take several seats back.

    • P February 27, 2013 at 1:32 pm

      You make valid points but I think you’ve misunderstood the reasons he discusses these points. In the end, we as a people have been deceived by empty promises (vision 2010 etc.) that have never been properly executed. The Eko Atlantic thing is the latest example (like out ppl like to say “all na wash”, this project could’ve been done elsewhere that is more in need of development but noooo our leaders in their infinite wisdom have chosen to maximize the island. And on the religion thing, we have been placated with this for so long it disgusts me. People don’t even realize it. It’s very similar to the way African Americans were “tamed” using Christainity. My people “God helps those who help themselves”. We don’t need a Nigerian messiah, we can all be messiahs. Our generation will inherit the mess these current idiots have created and we need to put an end to taking it up the wrong end. Dammit I’m getting irritated writing thing. Cheers ppl

  • gistyinka. February 26, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    lovely and great articles… gistyinka.com

  • ima February 26, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    well spoken and rightly articulated. Just hoping all these plenty talks we have been talking would translate into some revolution.

  • kollegegoodboi February 26, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    Offilispeaks, Great article!
    While this is article breeds a lot of “wishful thinking”, the very sad truth is that great majority of the generation (intended audience) are already making these mistakes, a risky move that needs more mitigation than avoidance.
    Avoiding them will take a lot more than a few articles, but it certainly is a head start. Until young Nigerians, individually take personal responsibility, we will probably see change in during the 4th generation born from 2000s. There is this perspective about life that most Nigerians, both young and old, have ingrained in themselves and it will take a lot “renewing your mind” to do. Here are my 7 cents based on your article.
    — Young Nigerians should first and foremost have a vision for their own personal lives. I don’t know how many have something as simple as a personalized “life plan”. Where do you see yourself in 5, 10, 15 years? -When the generation starts today to create a life plan AND take responsibility for attaining those goals, then we are raising up leaders who know how to cast a vision and see it through. Something our past leaders have no clue about. How do you as a country have a 2020 vision, when your national website (http://www.nigeria.gov.ng/) says “This web portal will be uploaded shortly”?
    –Prayer sure is a key, and also a two way communication, but our young Nigerians today are already too impatient to listen to a response to the prayers. Yes, action is need after prayer, but based on what PLANS?
    –NYSC: Joke of the Nation! And young Nigerians are still the object of the joke until they stand up and demand it completely scraped.
    –Nigeria is the only country, at least in my observation, that you go for a job interview with your degree attached to your resumé or C.V. (whatever the preferred term is now). Offilispeaks is certainly right on the money with this. The problem isn’t that we pride on paper intelligence; the problem is we are focused on getting degrees that we have zero interest in. Hence why we have poor doctors, retched engineers, broke accountants, homeless architects and the list goes on. I look forward to young Nigerians studying Leadership, Public Governance, Health Management, and Strategic Planning as degrees.
    –I don’t think young Nigerians over respect their elders; they respect “their money” (great segue to your next 2 points). Put a youth in front of a average salaried man and watch insults unleashed from Alaska to Zurich
    –Young Nigerians today already dream of being the next (whoever is popular these days). And that can’t be a life dream! Individual wealth is what young Nigerians are focused on, become the next movie star, rapper, singer, or government buddy.
    –And as for the village thing – that won’t stop, it’s just passed down from generation to generation. It’s just another way of finding out how much money you come from.

    Really great piece and I’ll read to the new book when I get my hands on it.

  • UD February 26, 2013 at 8:24 pm


  • Ides of March February 26, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    Oh my, best write up on Nigeria i’ve seen in a while!! Can we take this on the road to rally the troops?! WOW!!!

    • Okechukwu Ofili February 27, 2013 at 8:57 am

      for sure for sure…we can. It will become our campaign slogan…lool

      • Ides of March February 28, 2013 at 8:47 pm

        Seriously, every young person must hear this and be aware that we are at the ‘make or break’ point and it’s up to us to decide which way we want this country to go.

  • My own business February 26, 2013 at 10:05 pm

    This article was spectacular, it drives to point home. All these mistakes listed can be achieved, but it takes every citizen to take responsibility. Most people in Nigeria live on instant gratification….they want what they want and they want it NOW. Alot of people don’t want to work hard to make an impact, rather they want to all drive big cars and live in big houses etc (Nothing is wrong with that…to each, his own). I think Nigeria will remain in its failed state until everyone starts seeing Nigeria as their own….e.x: Cleaning up the roads (stop throwing trash out on the streets, be nice to everyone you come in contact with esp those who work in industries where they provide customer service, be honest in all your dealings, stop gloryfying materialistic items, do charity work, do good without expecting, treat everyone with respect regardless of their social or economic status or age, be productive)….I know all this wont solve Nigeria’s problem overnight but Its a good start.

    • Okechukwu Ofili February 27, 2013 at 10:10 am

      Its the little things that will be bail us out.

  • Ezinne V February 26, 2013 at 10:44 pm

    Wasn’t sure how I managed to be a follower on twitter..had to go check when I saw the similarities,in the names .
    Well,nice write up.
    I won’t lie to you,many have heard similar words before…we knw our problem..believe me.
    Evry nigerian that plays deaf or ignorant still knws the problems,even those that leave abroad knw the problems in this country.
    Now the hard part is that we don’t accept them as problems…i knw someone that knws someone and I get to be something through connections and means,but hey!I didn’t steal anything.therefore,I did nothing wrong.

    We knw our problem,problems we live with all year round…but we never admit they are problems.

    When u see 19yr olds argue about the civil war,putting points forward based on the sentimental stories told by their parents.Kids that were not present at the time,kids that probably play fifa13 more that they watch the news..when u see that then u knw that we won’t change.In a Long Time.

    But I always tell myself when u see something wrong and it hurts,no matter who hears,or no one hears at all, U have to speakifyoucan.
    Once again nice write up.

  • Ezinne V February 26, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    And to prove to u that we knw our problem…read through the comments once again. ‘VERY TRUE’ how would u knw the truth if u weren’t already aware of it.how would u knw its true if it wasn’t already something uve knwn before…

    After this ‘VERY TRUE’ and YOU SPOKE OUR MINDS,tomrw we all go back to our lives. Ignoring the problems

    • Okechukwu Ofili February 27, 2013 at 9:02 am

      Ezinne V, thanks for your comments. My belief is that we are responsible for ourselves. Don’t get caught up on whether others will or will not change. All we have to focus on is doing the little we can. It might not work, it might be frustrating, but we should strive to make a difference.

  • Che February 26, 2013 at 11:06 pm

    You too much jare. I can’t wait for this book to be out so I can buy and devour it. I have your other books and I must commend you on your style of writing. I totally agree with you esp #2. I love to pray and all that, but it irritates me when many Christians just pray and fold their hands and expect manna to fall from heaven. Biko where are the works to back up your faith ehnn?? I was @ a Leaders Summit in a church yesterday and Myles Munroe was one of the speakers. He said the problem with most Christians is that we are preparing very well for when we would get to heaven. There’s nothing wrong with that, but while you are still here on earth, you should live to dominate the earth. We all laughed, but that’s the truth. Back your faith and plenty prayer with works and the results would be phenomenal.

    • Okechukwu Ofili February 27, 2013 at 9:23 am

      Well said Che. Will definitely work to push the book out much faster.

  • Titi February 27, 2013 at 12:11 am

    Great Article! We need a complete renewal of our minds. The average Nigerian thinks he/she is too small/insignificant to change anything while in some counteies, their young people believe they can do anything. Another thing that should be changed is putting age restriction in job ads. There’s no evidence anyway to show that a 24 yr old can out perform a 30 yr old with the same qualifications – it makes no sense!

    • Okechukwu Ofili February 27, 2013 at 10:07 am

      Titi…your sentence here nailed it

      “The average Nigerian thinks he/she is too small/insignificant to change anything while in some countries, their young people believe they can do anything. ”

      The fact is that we can change many things. Look what Channels TV did in exposing the conditions of the Police college, it caused GEJ to change his travel itinerary and now the college is being remodeled. Some people would have told Channels they were wasting their time but look what change the made!

  • milly February 27, 2013 at 12:15 am

    This is one of the best pieces I have seen in a long time! Nigeria is going into doldrums,whether we like it or not ,you have just nailed the issues in Nigeria and believe me it is going to get worse ,as the crop of people in the top corporate ladder and our leaders are vilians with no ethics or integrity.
    Good luck to you on your book, but as far as I am concerned,it’s only by God’s mercy that Nigeria will be delivered.

    • Okechukwu Ofili February 27, 2013 at 8:57 am

      I don’t think it will get worse…I believe our generation can/will change it.

  • Seyi February 27, 2013 at 12:48 am

    100% the truth Ofili!

  • Miss Mo February 27, 2013 at 1:49 am

    Excellent article. Very practical, logical and realistic. If only our people will be true to themselves and others. Stop praying and start acting. Things will be much better. SMH……

    • Okechukwu Ofili February 27, 2013 at 9:00 am

      We can continue praying, we just need to combine prayer with lots of action.

  • uju February 27, 2013 at 3:08 am

    Wowzers Ofili! Great Job!! Im forwarding to the parental units:).

    • Okechukwu Ofili February 27, 2013 at 8:59 am

      Yikes! Parents might not like point #5 ='(

  • Mujer Casada February 27, 2013 at 5:27 am

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE your writeup! Whenever you need a partner in the pen sword, shoot me an email. THe young must take over from the old. THe old ones have not changed in their ways….if anything they are more desperate with age because they have a grand idea of their funerals that their stolen wealth cannot afford because, well, stolen wealth has biblical wings. Lemme stop here. We need to take stock and figure out to ensure that the people in key decision making positions are not the thugs, killers and clinically insane b ut those with actual ideas about how to improve the country. Ofili, how about the process for being nominated to become a minister or Ambassador or appointee in any capacity includes a defense of your proposed advancements and changes to the organization you are nominated to lead? Literally a public debate to show who you are and what ideas you have? If we can start with people who have ideas, we will be closer. Of course, we recognize that ideas is just 50% of the journey. You also need to be an implementer. So how about these folks show what organization they have improved in recent times? What are their accomplishments (not personal accomplishments) but work related accomplishments? Hmph!

    • Okechukwu Ofili February 27, 2013 at 8:56 am

      Mujer Casada I so love that idea! A public defense…let the ministers state their plans to the public so that we can hold them liable and also vet them. Long chances of getting implemented, but still an awesome idea!

  • NK’S PASSIONS February 27, 2013 at 5:43 am

    U are good!!!!!!
    Took the word right out of me mouth!!!
    There’s something inculcated in every Nigerians , I repeat. Every Nigeians that cannot be taken out or changed! And that scares me to death!! … The irony of it all is ..I don’t know the “thing”!!
    I for one can’t stand Nigerians with their church businesses!
    #Mistakes 2,6 and 7# Gbam!!!
    #Wake up Nigeria#

    (Don’t care what tribe am getting married to.. My first child is Okechukwu after u :D)
    Well written! Kudos.

    • Okechukwu Ofili February 27, 2013 at 8:54 am

      awwww…but what if your first child is a girl now =/

  • Lol February 27, 2013 at 5:53 am

    #2,4&5 …….. I soooooo love those points.I wish everybody in Nigeria could get to read this.God has helped Nigeria,we now need to help ourselves

    • Okechukwu Ofili February 27, 2013 at 8:51 am

      that is the truth…God has really helped us…time for us to help not just ourselves but others.

  • pynk February 27, 2013 at 8:44 am

    He has spoken the truth. Ofili keep it up. Maybe if we hear this enough times, things may change for the better.

  • Berry Dakara February 27, 2013 at 9:44 am

    MY GOODNESS, but Ofili lives in my head somewhere. There’s just no way he’s a separate being from the thoughts in my head.

    I don’t want to write a whole essay, but let me pick on some of your points.

    #1. Believing in Visions – The time to act is NOW!!!
    #2. Believing that Prayer is the Key – As it says in the Bible, Faith without works is DEAD!
    #3. Assuming Patriotism is Guaranteed – I LOVE YOU FOR THIS POINT! Why should I automatically die for Nigeria, when it’s hard to even LIVE for the country.
    #6. Focusing on individual wealth – O Nigerians, it’s not about you and you alone. Build up your communities, so that your children have something to look forward to and be proud of.
    #7. Contract is NOT a lottery – A contract means you are paid to DO something. Just freaking do it! Do one well, and you’ll get another and build up your name/company. It shouldn’t be a once-and-for-all get-rich-quick scheme.

    You left out one point.
    Bonus Bonus Deadly Mistake – Focusing on Short Term returns/fixes only: Sustainable development plus an ingrained Maintenance culture would do Nigeria a world of good. What’s the point of just patching up a road with sand/stones for an easy/quick fix, when the rainy season will wash it all off away in a couple of months? What’s the point of building a structure with poor quality materials in a bid to finish quickly, when in 2 years the building’s scattering and you have to fix it all over again? We need to think about the future generations and leave something behind for them to build upon and enjoy.


    • Okechukwu Ofili February 27, 2013 at 6:51 pm

      Thanks Berry. I like your last point. It reminds me of my second home PH…the roads have been reconstructed and reconstructed so many times, but it always erodes away. I often times wonder whose father is executing these contracts and how they get away with subpar delivery. We need to put in quality fixes…o well easier said than done. I pray that our generation is different.

  • Zayt February 27, 2013 at 10:56 am

    Well said, well written! However i have to agree with Blossom. its ‘A HAUSA’ not ‘AN HAUSA’ 🙂
    BTW keep up the good work! cant wait to read ur book!

    • Okechukwu Ofili February 27, 2013 at 2:14 pm

      cool…correction noted.

  • toyin February 27, 2013 at 11:28 am

    This is an intelligent piece but I think it is too long for a write up I did not read all part of it… since you are not telling a story you could have written it in parts so the lessons can be personalized… wonderful work though

    • Okechukwu Ofili February 27, 2013 at 12:02 pm

      cool thanks for the feedback. We wanted to break it into a 7 day series, one point for every day of the week. But we felt that the whole thing at once would be much more effective and better. But o well. You can always read at your pace.

  • doll February 27, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    when i was growing up, on NTA channel 10, there used to be this song that in the new millenium everything go better, light go dey, etc….and i believed it. as a child i yearned so so much for the year 2000 to come, thinking at the strike of midnight, all will be wll.

    13 years later, i am 26 now and completely disillusioned.

    Vision 2020 just like its predecessors are jingles, worth zil

    I have a good job…i earn about 750k a month after taxes…i will like to quit my job and follow my passion…but im scared of uncertainty…the environment is so unsupportive…no light, huge cost, taxes left right and centre…

    In Nigeria, hardwork and passion do not pay off eventually

    • Okechukwu Ofili February 27, 2013 at 2:13 pm

      Wow doll…you hit the nail on the head and splintered the wood on point #1. I used to think 2000 will be magical like you. But at the end of the day they are just meaningless cute dates. We need vision 2013 in 2013 and not all those long long things. Like dbanj will say…no long thing!

  • jah February 27, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    I work with a multinational, good salary with perks et al. I have always had strong interest in good governance and becoming a change agent essentially in the political space (simply because that’s realistically where real change can evolve from, as it were in other clime).
    After complaining and vexed with the kind of governance and disposition of those in public service particularly at the local government (since they are the closest to me), I decided to walk my talk by going for a political party “meeting” in my ward. Fortunately the chairman and councilor were present at the meeting. To my chagrin, nothing developmental was discussed at the meeting. However at the end of the meeting, names on the attendance list were called with a N1000 note handed over after confirmation with a loud YES.
    During the meeting, i looked out for young like minds (not necessarily gainfully employed or “tush”) but found none. I then wondered how funds will not be vandalized, misapplied, mismanaged or better still misappropriated. The faces i saw in that meeting only came to “share the cake” amongst themselves and not necessarily to bake a cake.
    I think we so called middle class are Nigerias problem. We complain, write brilliant articles, evolve into PowerPoint technocrats yet loathe politics with a passion. We even refuse to support or encourage friends or families that are genuinely passionate about defying the norm. We will never register to vote or vote on days of election.
    We forget what Plato said some 2ooo years ago : ““As a just and healthy person is governed by knowledge and reason, a just society MUST be under the control of society’s most cultivated and best informed minds, its ‘lovers of wisdom’…”

    There are very few informed minds in our political landscape. The solution is to join a political party today (no matter how “razz” the gathering may be), take your friends and colleagues along. We need to leave our comfort zones! Lets get “razz” for the sake of CHANGE.
    When those of us with wisdom gradually increase in number,with time, we shall dwarf them with our developmental ideas. But if we continue to give them space to “grow” whilst we complain from a distance, am sorry; CHANGE will elude us.
    Let us have it at the back of our minds that Evil men succeed when good men are uninterested.
    Jah bless.

  • Nne-Nna February 27, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    Okay Oke!! *two snaps*

    Thank you for taking the time out to write such an honest piece. No matter how we may try to embellish it, distort it, and/or ignore it, the truth IS (and will always be) the truth! No one can fix Nigeria’s problems except Nigerians themselves. And, to be quite frank, with as populous as the country is, we have no other choice but to do better for ourselves. Otherwise, we run the risk of (literally) destabilizing the rest of the world if we should all choose to flee.

    I just hope that more people will become privy to these truths and that *enough* young people will be willing to take on the challenge of sacrificing excess personal gain in exchange for excess communal wealth.

    • Okechukwu Ofili February 27, 2013 at 6:47 pm

      all I can say is Amen and Amen

  • ugo February 27, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    Okechukwu is correct when he asks us not to take PATRIOTISM for granted. The word ‘patriotism’ has today become a slogan that falls shamelessly from the self-righteous lips of our thieving leaders. Yet, I am inclined to disagree with the suggestion that a country should ‘earn’ its citizen’s respect and patriotism. For instance, it is difficult to agree with Okechukwu when he claims that Americans are patriotic “because of what America has done for them” (remember Kennedy’s famous quote?) Rather, patriotism should flow from enlightened self-interest. It is the realization that Nigeria is our heritage, our ultimate root, that should lead us to put all hands on deck to build the sort of country that we all desire. It is the absence of this knowledge that leads us to ask what village a person hails from. Nigeria won AFCON 2013 amidst widespread jubilation, yet no one bothers about the ethnicity of the footballer who scored the winning goal simply because when push comes to shove tribalism does NOT matter. It’s the result, the common good, that really counts. Cheers!

    • Okechukwu Ofili February 27, 2013 at 6:47 pm

      Ugo when I worked in Laredo Texas, I met an ex-soldier. I asked him why he decided to join the army and he said it was because of the World Trade Center attacks. That right after it happened he joined the army to fight for America, because of what America meant to him. I don’t know any Nigerian yet…that would join the army if Mali attacks us and that is the gap we face. You simply cannot take patriotism for granted, same thing at work. If you employer hires you he should not take your loyalty as a given. He stills needs to treat you with respect and give you occasional raises from time to time or else another country will snatch…and that is what has happened…check out Gloria Alozie and Francis Obikwelu and all the millions of Nigerian immigrants…

  • Hope February 27, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    Ofili – Good write up but like you have written, your write up still falls in the realm of talk and not action.
    Jah – God bless you, you have hit the nail on the head. Action
    We all know the problem – Bad governance
    Solution – Good Governance, get rid of the people there now.
    Mandela did it, Martin Luther king did it.
    PDP and all the other parties are too corrupt and are financed by powers we dont know.
    We need a new party which is incorruptible, with standards, integrity full of people who are ready to change the status quo. Meaning ready for battle because we know what is at stake here. It means there might be a revolution, bloodhed as the people in power will not give up without a fight.

    Are we ready for this? Can you die for a new Nigeria. If Yes, let us stand up and take back our country.
    In this technological age we can reach so many people, please let us leave our selfish attitiude behind for once and come together. We have seen the Arab spring, nothing good comes easy.

    • Okechukwu Ofili February 27, 2013 at 6:41 pm

      cool. Hopefully you can write something that is all action or teach me how to do it.

  • Dami O. February 27, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    Pls how does one get his books in the uk ?
    Amazon UK still only has the first book and also are there e-book versions available.

    • Okechukwu Ofili February 27, 2013 at 6:37 pm

      Dami there are ebook versions available. I would look into the Amazon UK issue. We should have both books listed. But amazon can get tricky sometimes.

  • na me February 27, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    read the article and nodded yes yes to everything – great article – but you don’t have to live in 9ja for 5mins to come up with these 7 mistakes – it is always easy to write or rant about the issues without focusing on actions – instead of writing a book on what is wrong with 9ja (like we already don’t know) – why no choose activism – – quite frankly 9ja needs people that are ready to die or at lease\t be imprisoned for the cause – so until we get there – it’ll be suffering and smiling like baba fela rightly put it –

    Mr Ofili – this is no personal attack on your very well written article but the highlights really should be on the actions people are taking today – the last controversial article was on someone saying you’re either somebody or nobody in 9ja and blasting that out the world – i want to see/read more on activism – not on feel good articles — each one one us should find something we’re passionate about and dare to do something about it –and lets spread that word-

    Personally i support a lot of charities/org here in the US and would love to see organisations rise up in 9ja for me to support – so bella publicize action groups abeg – now sure how this already old info has motivated me to do anything – but go – yup – so right, so true – i

    again this my opinion no personal attack on mr ofili – peace and love

    • Hope March 5, 2013 at 3:11 pm

      Good point, we should have activits now. The time for softly approach is no more.

  • Olulu February 27, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    Aptly written bro.
    Most of us talk, talk, talk, or is it pray, pray, pray 🙂 . But action, we no go ACT.
    Sadly, I am also guilty in some regard 🙁 .
    But as someone once said, if it that article u can write, write it. if its that song u can sing, sing it. If it that poem u can perform, perform it. No matter what it is is u have in your hand or in your mind, act on it. Those singular positive acts towards growth and development, will come together to be a collective act that will positively impact on our Nation. We are all part of a great jig saw puzzle, lets fill our space and do it well.

    • Okechukwu Ofili February 28, 2013 at 9:50 am

      well said…what ever you do…just make sure you do something! Nothing is not an option…

  • Licia February 27, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    This article is totally on point, though I think the writer missed out one point (lack of respect for women) . Now that we have gotten that out of the way, I have a question for Mr Ofilli *coughs* Are you single?

  • TranKulchitsky February 27, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    Ofilispeaks always does it for me. Very true !!! ‘Leave things better’ is also so realistic!!!!!!!!!!! Thumbs ups 🙂

  • hansel praise February 27, 2013 at 10:47 pm

    contract s not a lottery.funny though bt its true nd dat ova respecting of elders tin. nice 1 ofili

  • Zee February 27, 2013 at 11:57 pm

    Okechukwu, fantastic piece! It’s good to see that the youth of Nigeria are rising up assertively and not taking the garbage that has been shoved down our throats for far too long. With this kind of mindset, I see a Nigeria that will work #proNigeria#

    • Okechukwu Ofili February 28, 2013 at 10:01 am

      Thanks Z…I just pray that our generation makes the difference.

  • msjsbass at www.msjsbass.blogspot.com February 28, 2013 at 8:58 am

    Ofilispeaks spoke my mind. Twas as if he literally went through my mind as said on http://msjsbass.blogspot.com/2013/01/nigeria-will-not-disintegrate-do-you.html. Even the bible says you should pray, work and let God do the rest! Its just so sad bt I really hope there are millions out there in Nigeria that think like this. United we stand, Divided we fall.

  • msjsbass at www.msjsbass.blogspot.com February 28, 2013 at 9:02 am

    just read through the comments again and the point is that we need a mentality CHANGE! I seriously am on TEAM OUR CULTURE ADDS TO THE PROBLEM! One lives to die just once!

  • Ginika February 28, 2013 at 10:09 am

    Jumoing upon this bandwagon quite late… and yet to finish reading but so far it has been impressive…

    • Okechukwu Ofili February 28, 2013 at 4:01 pm

      Thank GInika. Hopefully you enjoy the wagon.

  • John Ebo February 28, 2013 at 11:38 am

    Ok. So we all agree. Nice
    Question is What action are we as Individual Nigerians taking to help solve our issues. A problem cannot be solved at the same level of thinking of which it was created, so where’s the step change going to come from…?

    • Okechukwu Ofili February 28, 2013 at 3:18 pm

      “What action are we as Individual Nigerians taking to help solve our issues?”

      Do you have any suggestions? If so let’s hear it. As much as we criticize we should also have solutions.

      • AMK NAIJA March 16, 2013 at 6:07 pm

        My thoughts exactly….it’s about time we stopped complaining and just search inwards and “do something”….. There are so many young Nigerians doing great things and adding value, join the train or you will be left behind.

  • Oseiwe Idiagi February 28, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    Lovely article! Thumbs up, Ofili! Truth spoken from A to Z. It took M̶̲̅ε̲̣̣̣̥ more than a day to read this partly because of my busy schedule and partly because Phcn supplies power for an average of 1.5 hours a day hence phone charging… In fact let M̶̲̅ε̲̣̣̣̥ drop that gist: we’re all familiar with it already, I believe. I try to do the little I can in my own little corner, tho’ friends tend to call it a waste o f time. I still believe in Nigeria and I hope our generation will be united in achieving these dreams. .*•.Thanks so much for this article. Looking forward to more…

    • Okechukwu Ofili March 1, 2013 at 2:34 pm

      “and I hope our generation will be united in achieving these dreams” I hope so too…

  • jarret February 28, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    Ofili, if these words truly originated from ur head into being, then ur a ‘breathe of fresh’ air and a gift to Nigeria. This article desperately needs to be read by every Nigerian, Great and small, From the President to the Grade 1 scholar. You speak wisdomic Truth. Such a breathtaking, beautifully written, thought provoking piece of work this is. Nigeria needs a multitude of Like minded people such as yourself. Ofili, you just gained yourself an Instant Admirer in me! #BlessYouSon!

  • Nnedimma Gemma Ofili March 1, 2013 at 7:10 am

    Hello, Mr Ofili (We’ve become the Smiths of the West, common as our name is now.). I’m 23years old. You know what else I am?
    Tired. That’s what. I’ve been swimming against the tide my whole young life and my arms are tired and sore. I’ve spent my whole life so far in Nigeria and so, you know what the odds are. Certainly not in my favour, I tell you. I’m simply called odd or weird. And when the fellas want to be real nice, I’m unique.*cynical laughter*. There’s so much more I would say if I could but alas, this is not the medium. The only reason I haven’t stopped the fight is definitely not some notion of nobility but a cursed inability to be anyone or anything else.
    So, thank you for this piece. Hopefully, it’ll make enough of an impact to make this country more habitable for me(well, the “selfish” gene did not totally pass me by).

    • Okechukwu Ofili March 1, 2013 at 2:15 pm

      Wow Nnedimma…thanks for that comment!

      The fight is hard, even frustrating and unlike disney movies it does not always end with a happily ever after, because sometimes evil beats the heck out of good. But it only happens when the good people do nothing, say nothing and be nothing…keep rocking, we will get there.

  • Temitayo March 1, 2013 at 11:12 am

    Mr Ofilli, u rock mehn!God bless You.

  • Briggs J D March 1, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    On the issue of patrotism……………….. i would say we are NIGERIANS. do not ask what your country has done for you, do sometin 4 your country

    • Okechukwu Ofili March 2, 2013 at 5:09 pm

      Nobody is saying do not support your country. Support your country, I will do the same. But if a government continuously steals its nations money, abuses its own people…people will lose their patriotism. My advice is if you are put in a position of power, don’t work as if patriotism is already guaranteed but rather work to earn patriotism…that way you keep pushing yourself to do better things for your country. The latter leads to laziness the country we call Nigeria today.

    • AMK NAIJA March 16, 2013 at 6:04 pm

      My thoughts exactly….it’s about time we stopped complaining and just search inwards and “do something”….. There are so many young Nigerians doing great things and adding value, join the train or you will be left behind.

  • Nnedimma Gemma Ofili March 1, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    Thank you. I won’t do, say or be nothing. I couldn’t if I tried.* But I certainly hope we get there sooner than later because, …….lol, you guessed it. I’m tired.

  • Baba Ikazoboh March 5, 2013 at 8:30 am

    ‘Great piece’, in our country we say “you have spoken well”. We are some distance (in time and ‘place’) from the relative ‘great peace’ of the late 70’s; and the societal norms of those times. Disenthraling ourselves from these new ‘generator norms’, requires both scale and repetition. Mass re-conditioning. Kudos to Bella Naija for helping, certainly helps the cause (its my first time on your website, not what I expected, pleasantly surprised, keep it up!!). Ofili has spoken, but borrowing from a proven model, this message needs more preachers (Apostles) and a wider medium than the lucky 30% of young nationals that are comfortable with (and can afford) the web. So as you read and connect with it, share it with youngfolk on your mailing list, and print one copy for someone (ask him/her to pass it on when done). Nigeria will be great in our lifetime.

  • AMK NAIJA March 16, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    Wao! This is the best article I’ve read in a long time…u hit the nail on the head and you just expressed the views of some of us who hv consistently spoken against over religiosity without substance nor fruits from the faith they profess. thank you Ofili…..!!!

  • Iris March 20, 2013 at 12:26 am

    ‘People are not patriotic to America simply because they were born in America, but rather because of what America has done for them’

    Thank you. Just…thank you. With that statement alone you could have ended this article.

  • Everest March 25, 2013 at 8:56 pm

    i 100% agree with what you said but my question is how do we start this change cos am really sick and tired of what is happening in this country

  • nwachukwu joshua March 27, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    iI must confess that this is a very nice article, I am an alumni of corona secondary school, set of 2009, I knew about this article from mayowa Idowu who made reference to this article with regard to the fact that having a Nigerian name is not a guarantee for patriotism …… on that note I do not angry with you, because by your position you are giving the impression that Nigeria is distinct from its citizens.
    I think the right potion is that we all are ‘Nigeria’ not even Jonathan is ‘Nigeria’, as such it sounds funny to demand that Nigeria should show itself worthy of patriotism
    To buttress my point what will you think of a man who realising that he has a skin cancer on the hand cuts his hand off and tells the hand to go and cure itself, and when it is cured it should come back and reunite with the body. Nobody does this, rather the man struggles to the best of his ability to fight the cancer or the cancer kills him, but either way society learns from his experience.
    On a final note well done you are doing a great job.
    Great corona wide may you wing spread abroad.

  • John d Beloved July 9, 2013 at 11:17 am

    This is one of the best articles i have read all my life. it i time for a U turn. I like the fact that the solution is so simple. LEAVE THINGS BETTER THAN YOU MET THEM… Awesome…

  • Abisoye Ajayi August 31, 2013 at 11:41 pm

    Beautiful article, great insight. I’ve always believed in living things better than you met them, good to know some people also exist with this kind of mentality. Apparently prayer alone is not enough, besides we have been leaving a lot of things to God for quite a while now, waiting for God to give us a better Nigeria and without Nigerians adopting a different mindset/attitude/behavior and of course taking action. The change starts with YOU and I. Keep it up Ofili.

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