Category: Blog

An avid reader perusing the bookshelves at Africa Writes 2014

Five lists of African literature we love

Chinua Achebe. Things Fall Apart. Wole Woyinka. Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o. These are the familiar writers and book titles that feature on African literature lists.  It’s hardly surprising since they are among the greats – and we are of course big fans…

More Fishes Than Stars

I’m not too certain about many things. And I’m not sure who I am. I ain’t got no mother and no father. I’m slow like the trees when they grow. I’m sluggish, like the ocean when it moves.   Ben…

A Discussion on Starbook and Inspiration

When asked to shed light on the opening of Starbook, Ben Okri gives a typically whimsical response, “Artists, composers, when they work magic it’s because they make connections with that mysterious book among the stars. You could call it inspiration…

Ten and a Half Inclinations

Books are like Mirrors, Don’t just read the words, Go into the mirror. That’s where the real secrets are, inside, behind. That’s where the Gods dream, Where our realities are born. Ben Okri gives advice on what to read (and…

Ben Okri on Ayuba Suleiman Diallo

I am one on whom providence has worked its magic reversals. Behind me are silent stories, like a storm. I have worn History around my neck, like chains. Freedom is a difficult lesson to learn. I have tasted the language…

Mental tyranny

Ben Okri expounds and exalts “the genius of inner freedom” in this profound yet controversial article for The Guardian. From James Joyce to Homer, Okri argues that great literature transcends subject; the beauty of art giving the work a greater…

Ben Okri: Lines in Potentis

In 2006, visual artists Yeast Culture created an animated journey through Ben Okri’s words for this visual expression of his poem. Perhaps he will give us a live reading at Africa Writes too.