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 But not just any books, African books, by African authors published or unpublished, our vision was a fusion of smashwords, amazon and some ancient juju sprinkled in between.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
Okechukwu Ofili



Words by Okechukwu Ofili of
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32 comments on “How Okadas Saved My Life

  1. God bless Nwoke oma Ofili Okechukwu. This is what i have been praying for: that the okadabooks gospel spreads like wild fire. There is so much that needs to be done still. But i believe we are taking a step in the right direction. By the way, Ofili just gave a tip of the iceberg. You can check out the untold secrets of the Okadabooks prospects here:

    • Ofili
      Ofili on said:

      Thanks harold for the support and biko mee osiso with How I Met Your Murder! We want to carry it on the platform o!

  2. Hey man.

    Been ‘stalking’ you for a while now – and I must say KUDOS to you bro!

    Now I’d like to ask – I have a free ebook I’ve been promoting, and do allow me brag a bit and say ‘you’ve never seen anything like it’.

    Is there anything Okada Books can do with it?

  3. How okada (also known as achaba or inaga depending on your location) saved my life. This is an addictive app. Abeg the update should carry a rehab therapy oh… Lol!

  4. Natalie on said:

    Rily Awesome. Very much needed coz its rily difficult for some of us to get our hands on these books. Am a nigerian in ghana who lovesss nigerian literature n u literarily hav to give an arm 2 find a book by chimamanda here. N am glad it will help expose more talented ppl. Great job Ofili.

  5. Okoro John on said:

    Please I would love if you can come and share this story during the July edition of the Role Model Forum coming up on the 27th of July. Plssssssssss!!!!!!

      • Okoro John on said:

        You are a great man, Abuja needs so much of your inputs….Very soon you will be flying in to teach our civil servants and some of our youths to think; this app is a great social product and it is inestimable what cost savings it portends for people like us who invest a lot in buying books.
        I just thought it would be a great idea to do a launch of your new app during our event and even demonstrate how it works. I will be so happy if this can be possible; we need more people to start appreciating this great app. And i believe the story would compel more youths to think.

  6. Onyeka on said:

    great moves from a dude that can’t dance, the worm becomes a bird, how Ofili gave others a chance, will become a catch-phrase forever heard

    great stuff bro. Your ‘laziness and stupidity’ has taken you places

  7. I like that you walk your talk (changing Nigeria and the way we do things) Good job Ofili!!
    Wait a minute! Is that my name on the top right as a Top Ninja Commentator? Do I get a prize? Do I? Do I?? Do I??? *shrieking with glee*
    See my other top ninja commentators. Yes! I now have a clique *ain’t nobody fresher than my clique, clique clique clique clique* 😀
    For real though. Thank you for giving many of us a platform to show our work. You are truly an inspiration!
    Ogechi latest post is The Best Free MoneyMy Profile

  8. rovina on said:

    You kill me with these track changes in all your articles. I’m a bonafide stalker now, utterly in love with your use of words.

  9. Should I say this is an answer to prayer or a dream come true? I’m not sure which to categorise yet. Anyways, I can’t wait to have my work on the okada platform and keep enjoying the array of works available on the app. Great job Ofili and your Team!

  10. Pingback: Opinion: The Okada Books revolution and what it means for African authors | YNaija

  11. Ojuola on said:

    Hi Ofili,
    This sounds exciting, I’m going to download it onto my phone right away and test it out. Will come back to let you know how it goes 🙂 Thank you for being true 🙂

  12. Ofili, you too much! when are you going to be in Abuja, would love to hear you speak and would also want to introduce you to a friend of mine that has 12 unpublished books, am very sure would jump at Okadabooks.
    when are we going to have okadabooks for blackberry users na?

  13. Ofili, what’s up? Great idea, i must say…. Is the app free? and also are you really speaking at TED??????????????????????????? 🙂

  14. Pingback: OnePageWeekly » Opinion: The Okada Books revolution and what it means for African authors | YNaija

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