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The Nigerian intellectual guide: 5 random principles

The Nigerian intellectual guide: 5 random principles

By: Favour Olajide

Disclaimer​: Random Noun ‘A roving motion; course without definite direction; lack of rule or method; chance.’ 

1. As an intellectual, you need to always be armed with dozens of quotes by notable men (and women) in history. There are now mobile apps you can consult. Who knows when you might need them? A stranger might disagree with your opinion that I (the writer of this article) am a better footballer than Messi at Kasali’s football match viewing centre. Boom! You proclaim one of Lee Kuan Yew’s strongest quotes and everyone stays quiet and begins to fear you. “Don’t argue with that guy; the guy sabi dieeee.” 

2. Cram names of famous people, especially writers. I didn’t say read their works; I said cram their works. I know that with your minuscule attention span, you probably wouldn’t even finish reading this. But don’t worry, once you know who wrote what, you’re covered. The harder-to-pronounce the names are, the better for you. Say ‘Nietzche’. Imagine shouting, ‘according to Nietzche’ while trying to explain how your Camry hit a big man’s Porsche. But start small, with something like ‘Shakespeare’.  

3. Learn the ropes of social media and always contribute your one kobo of ideas to every discussion. It doesn’t matter if they are talking about Trinidad and…is it Tobago, or Tobacco? Whatever. Just talk. If people mock your shallow reasoning, console yourself with your intellectual status. The lowlifes have not reached your level of ingenuity yet. Your aim is not really that you become an intellectual; it is that people recognise your intellectualism.  

4. Be a fighter. Fight for something, anything. If you like, fight for the rights of Mosquitoes to go about their vampiric business, with their human hosts having a responsibility to not hurt them. It’s free speech. Note the following set of words, I won’t write them twice: radical, fighter, comrade, honourable. Use them to refer to yourself as often as possible with an accompanying-ism. You are an intellectual, you are a fighter.  

5. There is no better place to show your intellectualism than as a student at a tertiary institution. Contest elections for the sake of it; campaign using words even incomprehensible to lexicographers; cause trouble. Your intellectual status cannot be any more confirmed than when you and your fellow fighters decry your management’s action and go on to destroy school properties. If you’re eventually punished, you’ve unlocked level 2: martyr status.  

In conclusion, if you were able to read up to ‘in conclusion’, I’m sorry for you. You should give up every hope of becoming an intellectual. True intellectuals don’t (need to) read that much.

I am a graduate of English Language from the Obafemi Awolowo University. I currently work as a Content Writer and sometimes, I write literary pieces as a pastime.

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The only thing you need to know about me is I speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth ―― well, except when writing.

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