African voices

Home and Exile by Chinua Achebe

"Once there was a wizard. He lived in Africa. He went to China to get a lamp." As a youngster growing up in colonial Eastern Nigeria in the 1930s, this was one of the earliest phrases Chinua Achebe, the celebrated Nigerian novelist, read about the Africa in which he lived. For the most part, however, Achebe read and learned about the world of the Europeans who ruled his village, Ogidi. This literature and education was in Africa, but not of or about it. Everything considered civilized and worthy of study came from outside.

 

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