‘How intelligence Kills’ is simply the most hilarious and controversial book I have read this year. It somehow manages to tackle hardcore issues like Religion, Gender gap conflicts, Corruption, Illiteracy and tons of other major sagas facing Nigeria as a Country; with the funniest comic strips ever. This book of 274 pages is made up of random uneven chapters with extremely funny and unconventional titles. Some of these headings are:
- The Akpos Dilemma: Is He Stupid or Not
- How Ajebotas Could Save Nigeria
- Why All Great Business Should Tell Great Lies
- Corruption is Like Sex So Let’s Legalize It
- How Respect is Killing Nigeria.
The issues analyzed tackled in this piece are centered on direct issues facing Nigeria today as well as a number of misconceptions present. His view of some of the few issues facing Nigeria, are critical in nature. For starts, he believes that the Nigerian educational system has decapitated creativity by making kids ‘dead-head memorizers’. The rigidity in the system has made creative kids sound stupid, forcing them to follow the status quo. He also notes that Nigerians have gotten acclimated to suffering.
“The current generation of Nigerians tends to talk about their suffering as a thing of pride…as a badge of honor…as a passport for being Nigerian. If you did not suffer in one way or the other, your Nigerian citizenship is all of a sudden in jeopardy, or at best questionable.”
He believes that our addiction to Religion has made us dangerously optimistic and that is apparent in the survey that ranked Nigerians as the happiest people in the world. Corruption should be legalized…well the right kind of corruption; Businesses should tell great lies…the right kinds as well. There were very random but highly delicate issues of the Nigerian System that Ofili brought to light. Other issues regarding Social media, how news is divulged in the country, our obsession with importing everything, our history of forgetting history, and tribalism were analyzed with intense criticism.
Two topics that caught my attention were the chapters on “My Beef with Things Fall Apart” and “How Respect is Killing Nigeria”. For those who cannot remember the story or never read the Chinua Achebe book “Things Fall Apart”, you can view a summary here. His beef with this book is its ending which I also support. The Nigerian hero – Okonkwo – not only died but also died a cowardly death. One of the most popular books that every Nigerian Child is made to read, showcases cowardice; something the western books and movies almost never portray. As for the second issue on “How Respect is Killing Nigeria”, a lot of us would rightly agree that our culture may have caused us to place respect over logic, thus, stunting our growth.
This book has just about every issue facing Nigeria. However, that is in itself a flaw. We are usually too quick to point out the problems over and over again with sometimes even more compelling points. His complete bashing criticism of the entire Nigerian System is not only restating the problem, but also presenting the poor state of affairs of the country to the masses. However, this book is absolutely a must read for every Nigerian. I recommend it for every Nigerian that is above 18 years old.
How Intelligence Kills is a completely humorous book with wonderful illustrations that sheds light on a number of issues. I spoilt a few chapters for myself by watching his TEDx talk before reading the book, but it still had me on my feet. Its presentation is so catchy that everybody who caught a glimpse of the book with me eventually took turns to read it. Although most parts of the piece were written in informal language, it was worth every Naira spent and more.
I rate this book 4 out of 5. You can also give it your own rating below.
About the Author
Okechukwu Ofili is a blogger (ofilispeaks.com) known for his witty illustrations, an author of 4 books including “How Intelligence Kills,” is the founder of the fastest growing mobile book reading app in Africa in okadabooks.com; all while holding down a full time job as a Design/Project Engineer at a fortune 500 company.