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2008 – Achebe On Africa 50 Years After ‘Things Fall Apart’

In this video from a news clip in 2008, Chinua Achebe [born 1930 – died 2013] discusses his classic book Things Fall Apart 50 years after its publishing. In his interview he speaks to the idea of a “gap in the book shelf” which, even now, another 6 years later is still relevant. 

He also talks about why in his book he made an effort to illustrate pre colonial Africa in “all its grander and in all its weakness”.

He touches on his own religious background and Christianity’s incomplete story.

He is asked about the success of Things Fall Apart and talks about the book’s relatability to people internationally especially other colonized peoples.

Towards the end Achebe makes a statement about the tradition of european’s telling the story of Africa: “The reason for that is not very far from the reason for the slave trade… it is as deep as that, to present a people’s story in such a way as to make them look bad.”

And finally, in this 2008 interview, he ends by saying that an authentic african voice is just being developed.

What do you think of these ideas now? 6 years after this interview…

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