Prominent Nigerian author and award winning literary Icon, Chimamanda Adichie, has called for more African stories to help preserve the continent’s heritage, history and development.
Adichie said, stories are integral to development as they encompass the total essence of a people and their worldview, noting they impact positively on psychology, education, politics and more.
She spoke at the launch of CANEX Book Factory and Prize for Publishing in Africa, held during Creative Africa Nexus (CANEX) Summit on Thursday, at the hybrid Intra African Trade Fair 2023 holding in Cairo, Egypt, from Nov. 9 to Nov. 15.
She said: “We need more stories on this continent because we need to reclaim our histories. We need stories because stories are very much part of development.
“Our continent has so often been sidelined and maligned, and while there has been some change, there is still altogether too much patronizing and too much pity directed at this continent.
“And it must be said that, there are also a few Africans who by their actions, enable the state of affairs.
“If we reclaim our histories, it will give us the confidence that comes from knowing who we are, we need more stories so that we can turn our myths into memories.”
According to her, today, African children go to elite boarding schools in different parts of the world, and they learn about Greek mythology.
“But what is the difference between Persephone, the Greek goddess of planting seeds, and Ala, the Igbo Goddess of land?
“It is only that one story has been told well, and the other story has not,” she added.
The literary Icon emphasized that telling more African stories would give the people and continent more confidence and dignity in their heritage, shaping politics and perception.
“There is a clear psychological component to development, a nation without a strong sense of itself, a strong psychological sense of itself, cannot thrive.
“Stories can take away dignity and stories can also restore dignity.
“Stories shape politics and perception.