Quotes by Chinua Achebe

A man who makes trouble for others is also making trouble for himself.
– Chinua Achebe
Democracy is not something you put away for ten years, and then in the 11th year you wake up and start practicing again. We have to begin to learn to rule ourselves again.
– Chinua Achebe
People create stories create people; or rather stories create people create stories.
– Chinua Achebe
People go to Africa and confirm what they already have in their heads and so they fail to see what is there in front of them. This is what people have come to expect. It's not viewed as a serious continent. It's a place of strange, bizarre and illogical things, where people don't do what common sense demands.
– Chinua Achebe
The damage done in one year can sometimes take ten or twenty years to repair.
– Chinua Achebe
The whole idea of a stereotype is to simplify. Instead of going through the problem of all this great diversity - that it's this or maybe that - you have just one large statement; It is this.
– Chinua Achebe
They have not always elected the best leaders, particularly after a long period in which they have not used this facility of free election. You tend to lose the habit.
– Chinua Achebe
What's important is that we recognize the falsehood of the notion that the Third World should be abandoned because it's a waste of time.
– Chinua Achebe
When suffering knocks at your door and you say there is no seat for him, he tells you not to worry because he has brought his own stool.
– Chinua Achebe
When the British came to Ibo land, for instance, at the beginning of the 20th century, and defeated the men in pitched battles in different places, and set up their administrations, the men surrendered. And it was the women who led the first revolt.
– Chinua Achebe
When a tradition gathers enough strength to go on for centuries, you don't just turn it off one day.
– Chinua Achebe
The problem with leaderless uprisings taking over is that you don't always know what you get at the other end. If you are not careful you could replace a bad government with one much worse!
– Chinua Achebe
The only thing we have learnt from experience is that we learn nothing from experience.
– Chinua Achebe
People say that if you find water rising up to your ankle, that's the time to do something about it, not when it's around your neck.
– Chinua Achebe
Nigeria has had a complicated colonial history. My work has examined that part of our story extensively.
– Chinua Achebe
My parents were early converts to Christianity in my part of Nigeria. They were not just converts my father was an evangelist, a religious teacher. He and my mother traveled for thirty-five years to different parts of Igboland, spreading the gospel.
– Chinua Achebe
In fact, I thought that Christianity was very a good and a very valuable thing for us. But after a while, I began to feel that the story that I was told about this religion wasn't perhaps completely whole, that something was left out.
– Chinua Achebe
I've had trouble now and again in Nigeria because I have spoken up about the mistreatment of factions in the country because of difference in religion. These are things we should put behind us.
– Chinua Achebe
I tell my students, it's not difficult to identify with somebody like yourself, somebody next door who looks like you. What's more difficult is to identify with someone you don't see, who's very far away, who's a different color, who eats a different kind of food. When you begin to do that then literature is really performing its wonders.
– Chinua Achebe
I don't care about age very much.
– Chinua Achebe