Magazine article New African

Lessons Form Chinua Achebe

Magazine article New African

Lessons Form Chinua Achebe

Article excerpt

Chinua Achebe will be really missed not because of Things Fall Apart, but his literary success. There were many words of wisdom he wrote during his illustrious career that should not be forgotten. He was the one who wrote: "If you want to plunder your neighbour's house, first hire a good storyteller." He was right. What does the storyteller do? He diligently spreads false narratives.

We have seen it happen several times with colonialism, apartheid, imperialism and now neo-colonialism. Kwame Nkrumah was supposed to be an evil dictator. Nelson Mandela was a terrorist. We all know what happened to Saddam Hussein and his weapons of mass destruction. And we all know what happened to Muammar Gathafi, who was before his demise feted in European capitals.

There are many lessons we can still learn. Lesson one: For Africa to succeed we need our own storytellers, lest we are plundered over and over again. At the moment, "hyenas" are circling around the news of Africa's rise. Most of us are familiar with the hilarious anecdote of the Snake and the Toad: A toad basking by the roadside saw a snake riding a horse, coiled up in the saddle. That is no way to ride a horse, the toad berated the snake. …

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