Quotes

Chinua Achebe Quotes

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

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

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

The story is our escort; without it, we are blind.

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.

The world is so empty if one thinks only of mountains, rivers, and cities; but to know someone who thinks and feels with us, and who, though distant, is close to us in spirit, this makes the earth for us an inhabited garden.

There is no story that is not true.

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.

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

We cannot stand at ease when our love is in chains.

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.

The land is not unsubtle: it has a live to itself and a memory.

Whenever you see a toad jumping in broad daylight, then know that something is after its life.

A man does not challenge his fate, he accepts it and grins.

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.

The world is like a river, flowing through time carrying tales, and we are merely passengers on this journey.

When suffering knocks at your door, rise and let it in for coffee.

The world is a voracious carnivore, always ready to eat up anything that is different.

Those whose palm-kernels were cracked for them by a benevolent spirit should not forget to be humble.

We all know that a man does not go after the good things of life except with the strength of a lion.

As long as I have life, there is hope.

Arrows that struck home surely are hidden, If not, hungry hawks will pounce on them.

A people constantly pushed to use their second-class capacity soon become very good at being second-class.

Only a fool tests the depth of a river with both feet.

It is not the clear-sighted who rule the world. Great achievements are accomplished in a blessed, warm fog.

The sick person dances to forget the pain.

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

A child cannot pay for its mother’s milk.

A fly that does not heed advice will follow the corpse into the grave.

Life, at its purest, is simply an intricate dance between shadows and light.

A child’s fingers are not scalded by a piece of hot yam which its mother puts into its palm.

You cannot plant greatness as you plant yams or maize. Whoever planted an iroko tree – the greatest tree in the forest?

We do not judge greatness in the same way as the Europeans. But there is greatness amongst us.

When an old woman is sleeping and a hand enters her anus, is it the hand of man or of the spirits?

The dog that will get lost will not hear the hunter’s whistle.

The man who has managed to make it in the world of women has done so by following the advice given to him by dancing through the ear of an elephant.

A child who learns to wash his hands properly will eat with the chiefs.

A tree cannot stand in a forest without an elephant leaning on it.

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

The man who has bread to eat does not appreciate the severity of a famine.

With age comes wisdom and with wisdom comes responsibilities.

Success is not measured by money or material possessions, but by the impact we have on others.

History is not complete without the voices of the marginalized.

Knowledge is power, but wisdom is knowing how to use that power for the greater good.

The greatest battles are fought in the mind, not on the battlefield.

Change starts with individual actions.

Our differences should be celebrated, not used as a reason for division.

The past is a part of us, but it does not define us.

Every person has a story worth telling.

In the face of adversity, we find our true strength.

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