Chinua Achebe’s 7 Supreme Life Lessons for Every Young Person

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Chinua Achebe was a Nigerian novelist, poet, professor, and critic. He wrote his first novel Things Fall Apart, at the age of 25. The novel, often considered his masterpiece, is the most widely read book in modern African literature.

Some of Achebe’s other well-known works include, ‘No Longer At Ease’, ‘Anthills Of The Savannah’, ‘Arrow Of God’ and his last before his death, ‘There was a Country’.

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In today’s video, we bring you Chinua Achebe’s 7 Ultimate life lessons for young people who want be successful.

Before we get to it, we truly appreciate you for your support and engagement. Please keep the comments, questions and engagement coming. And if you haven’t already, remember to subscribe to After School Africa channel for more inspiring and educative videos.

That said, let’s get to the lessons. This is easily one you want to read to the end.

  • Challenge the status quo

Achebe grew up reading a lot of stories; most of which depicted the white man as good looking, intelligent and excellent while the other parties were ugly, savages and stupid.

Instinctively, Achebe took sides with the white man.  He later learnt from this experience that not telling your own story can dangerously have you on the wrong side. As the saying goes, “until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter”.

Achebe said that once he understood this, he resolved that he had to be a writer. He had to be that historian. “it is something we have to do, so that the story of the hunt will also reflect the agony, the travail—the bravery of the lions” he said.

With his first novel, Things Fall Apart, Achebe exposed the false traditional notion of Europeans that Africans were savages and confronted their great failure to “see other human beings as human beings”. Things Fall Apart intelligently challenged the status quo, and brought the true story of Africa to the world. In Achebe’s words “If you don’t like someone’s story, write your own.”

  • Find and develop on what interests you

“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”.

Late Professor Chinua Achebe, discovered his love for writing and storytelling while at the university. He won a scholarship to study medicine, but changed his studies to English literature at the University. He became fascinated with world religions and traditional African cultures, and began writing stories as a university student. His carefully honed craft of writing and storytelling skill was instrumental to the wide acceptance and success of Things Fall Apart. An accomplished businessman once said, “Growth is painful. Change is painful. But nothing is as painful as staying stuck where you do not belong”. Don’t get stuck in a career you feel you don’t belong in. Dare to walk your path.

  • Always have a Plan B

After completing the manuscript of Things Fall Apart, Prof Achebe wanted to have, in his words, “not just a good manuscript but a good-looking manuscript”. He wanted to draw readers and publishers attention to his work. So based on recommendation, he decided to send the book to a British company specialized in polishing manuscripts..

Watch the rest in the video below

A popular statement by Chinua Achebe is “If you do not like someone’s story, write your own.” He believed that in every story, there is a universal aspect of your peculiar story. So, identify your story and tell it.

What’s your story? Let us hear you in the comment section. Share this video with friends in honour of Chinue Achebe. If you are yet to subscribe to our channel, this is likely a good time to subscribe. Until next time, YOUR SUCCESS MATTERS!

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