How We Lost Our Capacity to Innovate #TEDx #Nigeria

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A few months ago I got a call from Safiya Yahaya about being a speaker at a TEDxYouth event in Maitama, Abuja. I tried to act cool and stuff on the outside, but on the inside I was dying with excitement, because I am a TEDx addict. I love the videos and watch it almost every day…even when shitting in the toilet!

Sadly, my excitement was doused with the realization that I did not know what to talk about…in fact 3 days to the event, I had not yet decided on a topic…but then I remembered a story my Dad told me about the Biafra war…a story about innovation and the potential we all possess as Nigerians. That story became my inspiration…my TEDx speech. A speech about my Mum’s love for excess luggage, my Dad’s Biafra experience as an Engineer and my life in Corporate America and why I believe that Nigeria still has the capacity and ability to innovate.

Check out the video of: How We Lost Our Capacity to Innovate

PS: Many thanks to the TEDxMaitama organizers especially Safiyya Yahaya and Aisha Sambo. You guys Aso-rocked!

twitterOfili is an author who blogs about life, success and entrepreneurial excellence. Follow him on twitterFacebook or subscribe to his blog for more honest talk and as @ofilispeaks on instagram for more sketches! To bring Ofili to your school or organization as a speaker simply go here. His third book is titled How Intelligence Kills Us and will be coming out in the second quarter of 2013 as soon as possible.



Words by Okechukwu Ofili of
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22 comments on “How We Lost Our Capacity to Innovate #TEDx #Nigeria

  1. I have long since admired you and your style and ways, am wowed.
    However, I wonder why the Ofilis, the Amara Nwankpas, the Nwelues only speak at Abuja and Lagos and then go back to their cozy places while speaking on how to help the average youth who cannot get a ticket or t fare to such events.

  2. Ofili

    lol…I go only where I am invited. Funny enough I rarely get invited to speak in Lagos, my major speaking engagements have been in Abuja. But it is where you call me I go.

  3. Uzoamaka on said:

    I listened to your Ted Talk a couple of days ago and it is truly an inspiring talk. You made some profound points. A few years ago, my mum told my siblings and I that the economy of Eastern Nigeria was moving faster than that of Japan. We all thought she was exaggerating.
    After listening to you talk about your day’s experience as an engineer during the ‘Civil War’, I realised that she did not exaggerate one bit.
    Congratulations on such a brilliant and inspiring talk.

  4. Wow! This is a great talk! Thank you for voicing out concerns that many of us ponder about in silence.

    I love to hear those civil war stories. My dad tells me about how the Biafrans were able to build airplane landing strips overnight when they needed food aid delivered. I have never heard the refinery stories before and I wonder where they all are now.

  5. I just watched your Ted talk on YouTube and really impressed by the sincerity of your talk. Even in your writing, you have this simplicity method of giving your ideas or stories that everyone can understand or relate to. About your talk, I remember going to the National War Museum in Umuahia in year2000 thereabout from my secondary school and amazed at the stories of innovation and ideas on the Biafran side during the war. That was 1967. How we left all our talents and ideas to slip by so much that we still import everything in 2015 is such a sad story. Maybe its the colonial mentality of white is better, or the shameless corruption of our leaders, or the educational system that focuses on students coming ‘first’ and not on really learning – whatever it is, those who fought for our independence will be turning in their graves, alarmed at our stagnancy.

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