17 Chinua Achebe Quotes: Too Funny, Thoughtful or Masculine?

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Chinua Achebe was a Nigerian novelist, poet, and professor whose literary works have left an indelible mark in the literary world. His debut novel, “Things Fall Apart,” is a classic of world literature and has been translated into over 50 languages. In this blog post, we have compiled 21 of the most thought-provoking, sometimes funny, quotes by Chinua Achebe that offer a glimpse into the mind of one of Nigeria’s greatest literary icons.

Chinua Achebe Quotes
Albert Chinụalụmọgụ Achebe


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

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.

A child cannot pay for its mother’s milk.

A man who pays respect to the great paves the way for his own greatness

Procrastination is a lazy man’s apology.

The fly that has no one to advise it follows the corpse into the grave.


To show affection was a sign of weakness; the only thing worth demonstrating was strength.

Fortunately, among these people a man was judged according to his worth and not according to the worth of his father.

No matter how prosperous a man was, if he was unable to rule his women and his children (and especially his women) he was not really a man.


If I hold her hand she says, “Don’t touch!” If I hold her foot she says “Don’t touch!” But when I hold her waist-beads she pretends not to know.

When a coward sees a man he can beat he becomes hungry for a fight.

A man who calls his kinsmen to a feast does not do so to save them from starving. They all have food in their own homes. When we gather together in the moonlit village ground it is not because of the moon. Every man can see it in his own compound. We come together because it is good for kinsmen to do so.

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.


A toad does not run in the daytime for nothing.

Until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.

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


My position is that the Nobel Prize is important. But it is a European prize. It’s not an African prize … Literature is not a heavyweight championship. Nigerians may think, you know, this man has been knocked out. It’s nothing to do with that.


He who travels to eat his ancestral yam in a foreign country should be ready to face the wrath of Dike, the warrior of the seven rivers and seven mountains.


Thank you for reading. I invite you to share your favorite Chinua Achebe quotes with us in the comments below.

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