The Genius Who Could Not Read

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Lagos Country Club, Nigeria – I reached out to shake the older lady’s hands but she instead pulled me in for a long hug. She was excited … but I had no idea why … until she released me from her clutch and started narrating a story…

A story of how her Husband who now sat smiling at the top of the table got my book “How Intelligence Kills” from my Dad. He loved the book so much that he subsequently gave her a copy, which she did not drop until she finished reading.

But her husband was not done, he bought all 3 books “How Stupidity Saved My Life,” “How Laziness Saved My Life” and “How Intelligence Kills” for his daughter-in-law … who loved the book so much that she bought a whole-nother set for her school’s library. Their family clearly loved the book, I could tell from the hug … because my ribs still hurt! But why so much LOVE?

And that’s when the second lady (the daughter-in-law above) who had been quietly nursing her daughter the whole time told me yet another story … one that really moved me. It was about her 16-year-old son…

One day she called for him to go and do some house chores, but she was shocked when he replied “I am reading!” Now there is nothing crazy about a child saying they are reading … but his mum was shocked, and here is why.

Her son had been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), the same ADHD I talked about in chapter 3 of “How Intelligence Kills.” But it was not just the ADHD … for the longest time they had struggled to get him to read.

So when she heard the words “I am reading” she was surprised and had to go into the room to see what exactly he was reading. And there he was perched in the corner reading “How Intelligence Kills!” He read not just one, but all three of my books.

I never got to meet her son…I think I will … actually I have to.

But I was moved by his story, because when I wrote that book, I did not know if people will accept it especially in Nigeria, because of the language and the frankness. But it has been accepted in many places that have come as a surprise to me even Pastors love the book. At the core I presume that the book seems to relate to people.

In fact in the words of her son the genius as I would like to call him, he said he had finally found a book (How Intelligence Kills) that understood him, a book that did not look down upon his ADHD or his reading difficulties. I was beyond touched and all I can say is for authors out there to keep writing and remember don’t write for applause write because you have a powerful message to share!

twitterWords By Okechukwu Ofili of
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Words by Okechukwu Ofili of
Follow him on Twitter
Stalk him on Instagram
Read his crazy titled books on okadabooks 




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