Classic Chinua Achebe Quotes You Need To Know – Wisdom For Free


Albert Chinua Achebe is one of the greatest African writers of all times. Known for clarity and simplicity of expressions, the patriotic Nigerian novelist, poet and educationist constantly depicts the African society in his literary works – using African characters, plot and experiences. He never failed to embellish his works with ‘well translated’ African proverbs which leaves a vivid picture in the reader’s imagination; he told African Stories in the African way.

Chinua Achebe authored the largely recognized Things Fall Apart which has been translated into 50 other languages. Till the time of his death in March, 2013, he was a professor at the David and Marianna Fisher University as well as the Professor of Africana Studies at Brown University,Providence, Rhode Island.

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Here are the thoughtful quotes of this African social observer and intellectual personality:


1. A man who makes trouble for others is also making trouble for himself.

2. If you don’t like someone’s story, write your own.

3. Nobody can teach me who I am. You can describe parts of me, but who I am – and what I need – is something I have to find out myself

4. 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

5. 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.

6. One of the truest tests of integrity is its blunt refusal to be compromised.

7. We cannot trample upon the humanity of others without devaluing our own – He who will hold another down in the mud must stay in the mud to keep him down

8. When old people speak it is not because of the sweetness of words in our mouths; it is because we see something which you do not see.

9. The world is like a Mask dancing. If you want to see it well, you do not stand in one place

10. While we do our good works let us not forget that the real solution lies in a world in which charity will have become unnecessary

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11. Charity . . . is the opium of the privileged – Anthills Of The Savannah

12. The damage done in one year can sometimes take ten or twenty years to repair.

13. Art is man’s constant effort to create for himself a different order of reality from that which is given to him.

14. 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.

15. 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.

16. It is praise worthy to be brave and fearless, but sometimes it is better to be a coward. We often stand in the compound of a coward to point at the ruins where a brave man used to live.

17. The language of young men is pull down and destroy; but an old man speaks of conciliation

18. What a country needs to do is be fair to all its citizens – whether people are of a different ethnicity or gender.

19. The only thing we have learnt from experience is that we learn nothing from experience.

20. When we are comfortable and inattentive, we run the risk of committing grave injustices absent-mindedly.

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