How Okadas Saved My Life
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One day while riding an okada (obvious lie) a
complex simple question popped into my head….through my helmet off course. And the question was “Why?”
Why do okadas exist in Nigeria?
And the answer is that they exist because people patronize them, and people patronize them because of the heavy traffic jams in Nigeria. And because of the okadas ability to navigate seamlessly between cars and narrow streets, they (the okadas) can effectively by-pass the poor road network. And that is why okadas exist.
With this in mind, I dusted up my old engineering text books and began working on a mobile book reading app…ok ok I studied engineering but app design is not my forte…I can only design pipes. And since pipes were not what I needed, I had to get a friend of mine in Seattle and some awesome engineers to begin working on an app we called okadabooks.
The idea was that similar to okadas in Nigeria, we will be able to by pass the bureaucratic network of book distribution in Nigeria, by by-passing the typical and ineffective (if you don’t believe me…just read this article) bookstore distribution networks and putting books directly into phones. But not just any books, African books, by African authors published or unpublished, our vision was a fusion of smashwords, amazon and some ancient juju sprinkled in between. The app has been quite a journey, one that started out from annoyance with Nigerian bookstores, one that was funded with sweat and personal funds and no support from big wigs or loans of any sort, an app powered by the belief that if Nigerians and Africans are given the opportunity to read books…they will read. It is this belief that has driven the creation of okadabooks.
We hope you share our passion and our belief. If you do, then grab a helmet and take our app for a ride at http://bit./ly/okadabook tell us what you think about it. And o…if you know anyone looking to get published…such as that talented co-worker with a great manuscript but too shy/busy to publish their works, or you know an awesome guy with great talent but no funds to get published…do let us know at @okadabooks and we will help take their imagination places!
Okadabooks Association President