Things fall Apart – Chinua Achebe

Things fall Apart follows the story of Okonkwo, who belongs to the fictitious Umuofia clan, who’s “fame had grown like a bush-fire in the harmattan.” The story is based on the Igbo people, from whom Achebe himself has descended, and is based in Nigeria.

What is amazing is in a book as concise as this, you get an authentic peek into the lives and beliefs of people, in pre-colonial times and how things started to change with the onset of an utterly new system – administrative and religiously speaking.

The resistance, survival and situation of age old tribes and their customs in the face of missionary activity, rings similar, sharp bells across many of the colonies around the world.

This book is a great place to start, if you (like me), are new to this subject and yet, have been a “subject”, through generations before you, of colonization.

‘Achebe writes so economically and pithily, that he has managed to say more about the genesis of modern Africa than any other living author’

Alastair Niven, Independent

Storytellers create history

Freedom and its boat had arrived. And out of the freedom boat, almost imperceptible, just behind – some would say hand in hand with freedom itself, stepped memory, the vengeful, unforgiving brigand of all time. ‘It is the storyteller,’ Achebe has said, ‘who makes us what we are, who creates history. The storyteller creates the memory that the survivors must have – otherwise their surviving would have no meaning.’ Memory heals, it regenerates.

Biyi Bandele

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