Sunday, March 22, 2015

Man remains legend: Chinua Achebe

If you don't like someone's story, 
write your own. 
- Chinua Achebe

Chinua Achebe is world reknowned for his book Things Fall Apart.  His dedication to HIS story, and the story of HIS Nigeria brought him to become a political activist through literature.  His stories, poems, and essays challenge us to think and to at least recognize the systems in place within and around us, if not to change them.  He believed in the power of the individual voice, but desired that humanity work together as a unified whole.  Achebe understood a fierce hierarchy and power-struggle that he was able to view from multiple perspectives, and wisely penned in Things Fall Apart: 

There is no story that is not true, [...] The world has no end, and what is good among one people is an abomination with others.

Still, Achebe was able to express his story and his personal viewpoint in a direct and eloquent way.

We cannot trample upon the humanity of others without devaluing our own. The Igbo, always practical, put it concretely in their proverb Onye ji onye n'ani ji onwe ya: 'He who will hold another down in the mud must stay in the mud to keep him down.'
- Chinua Achebe

A year after he passed, at the age of 82, Achebe remains a staple in education systems not only for his style but for his content.  

Write your story.  Become a legend.  Remain a legend.  The truth counts.

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