Does the white man understand our custom about land?” “How can he when he does not even speak our tongue? But he says that our customs are bad; and our own brothers who have taken up his religion also say that our customs are bad. How do you think we can fight when our own brothers have turned against us? The white man is very clever. He came quietly and peaceably with his religion. We were amused at his foolishness and allowed him to stay. Now he has won our brothers, and our clan can no longer act like one. He has put a knife on the things that held us together and we have fallen apart.
Nelson Mandela (1918 - 2013) and Chinua Achebe (1930 - 2013).
“Death is something inevitable. When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace. I believe I have made that effort and that is, therefore, why I will sleep for the eternity.” ~ Nelson Mandela, 1996
Because storytellers are a threat. They threaten all champions of control, they frighten usurpers of the right-to-freedom of the human spirit - in state, in church or mosque, in party congress, in the university of wherever. That’s why.
Anthills of the Savannah
Remembering Chinua Achebe, who died Friday at the age of 82.
There is that great proverb—that until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter…Once I realized that, I had to be a writer… It’s not one person’s job. But it is something we have to do, so that the story of the hunt will also reflect the agony, the travail—the bravery, even, of the lions.
My position is that serious and good art has always existed to help, to serve, humanity. Not to indict. I don’t see how art can be called art if its purpose is to frustrate humanity. To make humanity uncomfortable, yes. But intrinsically to be against humanity, that I don’t take.