Posted in book review

Africa’s Tarnished Name

Title : Africa’s Tarnished Name
Author : Chinua Achebe
Pages : 58
Genre : Classic
My GR rate : 4/5

“The vast arsenal of derogatory images of Africa amassed to defend the slave trade and later, colonization gave the world a literary tradition that is now, happily, defunct, but also a particular way of looking at Africa and Africans that endures, alas, into our own day.

Chinua, a poor, unknown writer back then sparks satire and humor in this short classic book. The short stories arouses oomph that could go for years.

In his ‘Travelling white‘ narration one cannot help but crack up when he boards a bus that has separate entrances and ends up being the only black person. However, he keeps calm when the ticket collector asks of his origins and he proudly answers back,


“I come from Nigeria, and there we sit where we like in the bus.”


Having witnessed the Biafra war to an arrest warrant because of his published book ‘A Man of the People,’ Achebe regretted being a citizen of Nigeria.


“I found it difficult to forgive Nigeria and my country-men and women for the political nonchalance and cruelty that unleashed upon us these terrible events, which set us back a whole generation and robbed us of the chance, clearly within our grasp, to become a medium rank developed nation in the twentieth century.”


Chinua cries of Africa humanity where Western countries view us differently. He creates thought provoking questions like, are they not like us? He wishes the tradition invented where nothing good happens in Africa or ever happened, an Africa that has not been discovered yet and is waiting for the first European visitor to explore and explain it and straighten it up could come to an end. Stop with the tarnish.


I also loved his closing remarks on Africa Is People where Africa is not fiction but real people. He also empathized on a human being human because of other humans; the spirit of Ubuntu.