42 Famous Quotes About Africa

There are thousands of quotes that have been said about Africa, some of which became famous because of the personalities behind them while some others were long lost and forgotten. Quotes usually become famous and well-known depending on the individual it is associated with and the circumstances under which it is proclaimed.

Most of the famous quotes about Africa are from some of the greatest leaders the continent has ever seen; the likes of Nelson Mandela, Kwame Nkrumah, Nnamdi Azikiwe and Julius Nyerere just to name a few. These famous quotes make up some of the longest lasting phrases that have ever been said about Africa. They have the ability to outlive those from whom out of the wealth of their knowledge and inspiration, brought it into existence. Answers Africa brings you some of the most famous quotes about Africa that are much more than inspiring.

Africa Map

1. “I dream of an Africa which is in peace with itself.”- Nelson Mandela

2. “The best way of learning to be an independent sovereign state is to be an independent sovereign state.”- Kwame Nkrumah.

3. “The darkest thing about Africa has always been our ignorance of it.”- George Kimble

4. “Originality is the essence of true scholarship. Creativity is the soul of the true scholar.” – Nnamdi Azikiwe

5. “There is almost no country in Africa where it is not essential to know to which tribe, or which subgroup of which tribe, the president belongs. From this single piece of information you can trace the lines of patronage and allegiance that define the state.” – Christopher Hitchens

6. “European languages must not be considered diamonds displayed under a glass ball, dazzling us with their brilliance.”- Cheikh Anta Diop.

7. “The drums of Africa still beat in my heart. They will not let me rest while there is a single Negro boy or girl without a chance to prove his worth.” –  Mary McLeod Bethune

8. ”We face neither East nor West; we face forward”- Kwame Nkrumah

9. “Africa has her mysteries, and even a wise man cannot understand them. But a wise man respects them.”- Miriam Makeba.

10. “Independence cannot be real if a nation depends upon gifts.”- Julius Nyerere

11. “Music is something I must do, business is something I need to do, and Africa is something I have to do. That’s the way it breaks down in my life.” – Gro Harlem Brundtland

12. “Africa is poor because its investors and its creditors are unspeakably rich.”- Naomi Klein.

13. “The African is not ‘Communistic’ in his thinking; he is – if I may coin an expression – ‘communitary’.”- Julius Nyerere.

14. “If the United States of America or Britain is having elections, they don’t ask for observers from Africa or from Asia. But when we have elections, they want observers.” – Nelson Mandela

15. “Who can be born black and not exult!”- Mari Evans.

16. “We don’t mind having sanctions banning us from Europe. We are not Europeans.”- Robert Mugabe.

17. “I have always thought that underpopulated countries in Africa are vastly underpolluted.”- Lawrence Summers

18. “Let’s face it – think of Africa, and the first images that come to mind are of war, poverty, famine and flies. How many of us really know anything at all about the truly great ancient African civilizations, which in their day, were just as splendid and glorious as any on the face of the earth”? – Henry Louis Gates

19. “The only man I envy is the man who has not yet been to Africa- for he has so much to look forward to.”- Richard Mullin.

20. “As Africans, we need to share common recognition that all of us stand to lose if we fail to transform our continent.”- Thabo Mbeki.

21. “It is better we disintegrate in peace and not in pieces”. – Nnamdi Azikiwe

22. “During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.” – Nelson Mandela

23. “No other continent has endured such an unspeakably bizarre combination of foreign thievery and foreign goodwill.” – Barbara Kingsolver,

24. “They say that somewhere in Africa the elephants have a secret grave where they go to lie down, unburden their wrinkled gray bodies, and soar away, light spirits at the end.” – Robert R. McCammon

25. “Africa gives you the knowledge that man is a small creature, among other creatures, in a large landscape.”-Doris Lessing

26. “My African roots made me what I am today. They’re the reason I’m from the Dominican Republic. They’re the reason I exist at all. To these roots I owe everything.” – Junot Díaz

27. “Africa doesn’t need strong men, it needs strong institutions.”- Barack Obama

28. “The last four or five hundred years of European contact with Africa produced a body of literature that presented Africa in a very bad light and Africans in very lurid terms. The reason for this had to do with the need to justify the slave trade and slavery”. – Chinua Achebe

29. “African leaders should not turn the continent into a giant collector of donations and loans from wealthy nations—they must find other plausible means to help established their economic security so as to minimize poverty. This incoherent blunder on the mainland must be scrutinized.” – Duop Chak Wuol

30. “Africa for the Africans… at home and abroad.”- Marcus Garvey.

31. “Every morning in Africa, a Gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a Lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest Gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn’t matter whether you are a Lion or a Gazelle… when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.”

32. “In Africa, there is much confusion…. Before, there was no radio, or other forms of communication…. Now, in Africa … the government talks, people talk, the police talk, the people don’t know anymore. They aren’t free”. – Youssou N’Dour

33. “When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said, ‘Let us pray.’ We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land.” –  Bishop Desmond Tutu

34. “Africa is poor because its investors and its creditors are unspeakably rich.”- Naomi Klein

35. “The United Nations is an uplifting experiment, dedicated to raising the standards of living in Africa, the consciences of democracies, and the price of prostitutes in New York” – Frank Dane quotes

36. “Revolutions are brought about by men, by men who think as men of action and act as men of thought.”- Kwame Nkrumah

37. “When traveling in rural Africa, it’s important to not actually *go* to a hospital until the patient is on the brink of expiration, otherwise things are apt to get worse.” – Josh Gates in Destination Truth: Memoirs of a Monster Hunter

38. “Our children may learn about heroes of the past. Our task is to make ourselves architects of the future.”- Jomo Kenyatta.

39. “Disgust with injustice may sharpen the desire for justice. Readers who don’t see this connection merely wish to be entertained, and I have neither skill nor desire to turn the agony of a people into entertainment.” – Ayi Kwei Armah

40. “Why did Africa let Europe cart away millions of Africa’s souls from the continent to the four corners of the wind? How could Europe lord it over a continent ten times its size? Why does needy Africa continue to let its wealth meet the needs of those outside its borders and then follow behind with hands outstretched for a loan of the very wealth it let go? How did we arrive at this, that the best leader is the one that knows how to beg for a share of what he has already given away at the price of a broken tool? Where is the future of Africa?” – Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o

41. “The magician and the politician have much in common: they both have to draw our attention away from what they are really doing.”- Ben Okri.

42. “If more Africans had eaten missionaries, the continent would be in better shape” – Maya Angelou

Emeka Chigozie
Emeka Chigozie
Emeka has a keen interest in tech, entertainment, and politics. He likes to stay up to date with global news when he is not thinking about future trends in tech.


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