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Chinua Achebe Quotes

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Chinua Achebe Quote: “Procrastination is a lazy man’s apology.”

Procrastination is a lazy man’s apology.

— Chinua Achebe



Chinua Achebe Quote: “If you only hear one side of the story, you have no understanding at all.”

If you only hear one side of the story, you have no understanding at all.

— Chinua Achebe


Chinua Achebe Quote: “There is that great proverb – that until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.”

There is that great proverb – that until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.

— Chinua Achebe


Chinua Achebe Quote: “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.”

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.

— Chinua Achebe


Chinua Achebe Quote: “As a rule I don’t like suffering to no purpose. Suffering should be creative, should give birth to something good and lovely.”

As a rule I don’t like suffering to no purpose. Suffering should be creative, should give birth to something good and lovely.

— Chinua Achebe


Chinua Achebe Quote: “My weapon is literature.”

My weapon is literature.

— Chinua Achebe


Chinua Achebe Quote: “If you don’t like someone’s story, write your own.”

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

— Chinua Achebe


Chinua Achebe Quote: “One of the truest tests of integrity is its blunt refusal to be compromised.”

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

— Chinua Achebe


Chinua Achebe Quote: “When an old man dies, a library burns to the ground.”

When an old man dies, a library burns to the ground.

— Chinua Achebe


Chinua Achebe Quote: “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.”

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.

— Chinua Achebe



Chinua Achebe Quote: “The only thing we have learnt from experience is that we learn nothing from experience.”

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

— Chinua Achebe


Chinua Achebe Quote: “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.”

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.

— Chinua Achebe


Chinua Achebe Quote: “The world is like a Mask dancing. If you want to see it well, you do not stand in one place.”

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

— Chinua Achebe


Chinua Achebe Quote: “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.”

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.

— Chinua Achebe


Chinua Achebe Quote: “The lizard that jumped from a high Iroko tree to the ground said he would praise himself if no-one else did.”

The lizard that jumped from a high Iroko tree to the ground said he would praise himself if no-one else did.

— Chinua Achebe


Chinua Achebe Quote: “When brothers fight to death a stranger inherit their father’s estate.”

When brothers fight to death a stranger inherit their father’s estate.

— Chinua Achebe


Chinua Achebe Quote: “There is a moral obligation, I think, not to ally oneself with power against the powerless.”

There is a moral obligation, I think, not to ally oneself with power against the powerless.

— Chinua Achebe


Chinua Achebe Quote: “When a tradition gathers enough strength to go on for centuries, you don’t just turn it off one day.”

When a tradition gathers enough strength to go on for centuries, you don’t just turn it off one day.

— Chinua Achebe


Chinua Achebe Quote: “An angry man is always a stupid man.”

An angry man is always a stupid man.

— Chinua Achebe


Chinua Achebe Quote: “When a mad man walks naked, it is his kinsmen who feel shame, not himself.”

When a mad man walks naked, it is his kinsmen who feel shame, not himself.

— Chinua Achebe



Chinua Achebe Quote: “There was a saying in Umuofia that as a man danced so the drums were beaten for him.”

There was a saying in Umuofia that as a man danced so the drums were beaten for him.

— Chinua Achebe


Chinua Achebe Quote: “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 or wherever.”

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 or wherever.

— Chinua Achebe


Chinua Achebe Quote: “If you don’t like someone’s story, write your own. If you don’t like what somebody says, say what it is you don’t like.”

If you don’t like someone’s story, write your own. If you don’t like what somebody says, say what it is you don’t like.

— Chinua Achebe


Chinua Achebe Quote: “People create stories create people; or rather stories create people create stories.”

People create stories create people; or rather stories create people create stories.

— Chinua Achebe


Chinua Achebe Quote: “The damage done in one year can sometimes take ten or twenty years to repair.”

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

— Chinua Achebe


Chinua Achebe Quote: “Nigeria is what it is because its leaders are not what they should be.”

Nigeria is what it is because its leaders are not what they should be.

— Chinua Achebe


Chinua Achebe Quote: “Every lizard lies on its belly, so we cannot tell which has a belly-ache.”

Every lizard lies on its belly, so we cannot tell which has a belly-ache.

— Chinua Achebe


Chinua Achebe Quote: “If a child washed his hands, he could eat with kings.”

If a child washed his hands, he could eat with kings.

— Chinua Achebe


Chinua Achebe Quote: “Art is man’s constant effort to create for himself a different order of reality from that which is given to him.”

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

— Chinua Achebe


Chinua Achebe Quote: “Wisdom is like a goatskin bag; every man carries his own.”

Wisdom is like a goatskin bag; every man carries his own.

— Chinua Achebe


Chinua Achebe Quote: “Age was respected among his people, but achievement was revered. As the elders said, if a child washed his hands he could eat with kings.”

Age was respected among his people, but achievement was revered. As the elders said, if a child washed his hands he could eat with kings.

— Chinua Achebe


Chinua Achebe Quote: “A man who does not lick his lips, can he blame the harmattan for drying them?”

A man who does not lick his lips, can he blame the harmattan for drying them?

— Chinua Achebe


Chinua Achebe Quote: “There is no story that is not true.”

There is no story that is not true.

— Chinua Achebe


Chinua Achebe Quote: “The sun will shine on those who stand before it shines on those who kneel under them.”

The sun will shine on those who stand before it shines on those who kneel under them.

— Chinua Achebe


Chinua Achebe Quote: “An old woman is always uneasy when dry bones are mentioned in a proverb.”

An old woman is always uneasy when dry bones are mentioned in a proverb.

— Chinua Achebe


Chinua Achebe Quote: “I feel that the English language will be able to carry the weight of my African experience. But it will have to be a new English, still in full communion with its ancestral home but altered to suit new African surroundings.”

I feel that the English language will be able to carry the weight of my African experience. But it will have to be a new English, still in full communion with its ancestral home but altered to suit new African surroundings.

— Chinua Achebe


Chinua Achebe Quote: “You do not know me,’ said Tortoise. ‘I am a changed man. I have learned that a man who makes trouble for others makes trouble for himself.”

You do not know me,’ said Tortoise. ‘I am a changed man. I have learned that a man who makes trouble for others makes trouble for himself.

— Chinua Achebe


Chinua Achebe Quote: “The women are, of course, the biggest single group of oppressed people in the world and, if we are to believe the Book of Genesis, the very oldest.”

The women are, of course, the biggest single group of oppressed people in the world and, if we are to believe the Book of Genesis, the very oldest.

— Chinua Achebe


Chinua Achebe Quote: “There is nothing to fear from someone who shouts.”

There is nothing to fear from someone who shouts.

— Chinua Achebe


Chinua Achebe Quote: “When mother-cow is chewing grass its young ones watch its mouth.”

When mother-cow is chewing grass its young ones watch its mouth.

— Chinua Achebe


Chinua Achebe Quote: “When a man is at peace with his gods and ancestors, his harvest will be good or bad according to the strength of his arm.”

When a man is at peace with his gods and ancestors, his harvest will be good or bad according to the strength of his arm.

— Chinua Achebe


Chinua Achebe Quote: “It is the storyteller who makes us what we are, who creates history. The storyteller creates the memory that the survivors must have – otherwise their surviving would have no meaning.”

It is the storyteller who makes us what we are, who creates history. The storyteller creates the memory that the survivors must have – otherwise their surviving would have no meaning.

— Chinua Achebe


Chinua Achebe Quote: “We cannot trample upon the humanity of others without devaluing our own.”

We cannot trample upon the humanity of others without devaluing our own.

— Chinua Achebe


Chinua Achebe Quote: “You must develop the habit of skepticism, not swallow every piece of superstition you are told by witch-doctors and professors.”

You must develop the habit of skepticism, not swallow every piece of superstition you are told by witch-doctors and professors.

— Chinua Achebe


Chinua Achebe Quote: “Even the village rain-maker no longer claimed to be able to intervene. He could not stop the rain now, just as he would not attempt to start it in the heart of the dry season, without serious danger to his own health.”

Even the village rain-maker no longer claimed to be able to intervene. He could not stop the rain now, just as he would not attempt to start it in the heart of the dry season, without serious danger to his own health.

— Chinua Achebe


Chinua Achebe Quote: “Once a novel gets going and I know it is viable, I don’t then worry about plot or themes. These things will come in almost automatically because the characters are now pulling the story.”

Once a novel gets going and I know it is viable, I don’t then worry about plot or themes. These things will come in almost automatically because the characters are now pulling the story.

— Chinua Achebe


Chinua Achebe Quote: “A boy sent by his father to steal does not go stealthily but breaks the door with his feet.”

A boy sent by his father to steal does not go stealthily but breaks the door with his feet.

— Chinua Achebe


Chinua Achebe Quote: “It is praiseworthy 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.”

It is praiseworthy 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.

— Chinua Achebe


Chinua Achebe Quote: “A man who makes trouble for others is also making trouble for himself.”

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

— Chinua Achebe


Chinua Achebe Quote: “The price a world language must be prepared to pay is submission to many different kinds of use.”

The price a world language must be prepared to pay is submission to many different kinds of use.

— Chinua Achebe

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