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“They used planks of wood, batons, canes, horsewhips, and so many other things that the two brothers could not see or make sense of. They mostly targeted their heads.”

“Tradition is an indifferent god. Like love, that one does not see it, or see it whole, does not mean it ceases to exist; if it is not possible to see, like one’s soul, it is often hidden from view, like one’s sole.”

“Bundled together with Soyinka, Clark and other members of what they classed the Ibadan-Nsukka school of Nigerian poetry, Okigbo is accused of a failure in craft in his early work.”

“I know there are many images of home borne about by people, vast libraries inside of them over which they would have taken darkness, the sounds of them so depressing, so disturbing they would gladly exchange them for silence.”

“Needless to say, hair is the joy and terror of Ethiopian girlhood. In my grandmother’s time, my great grandfather would mount a horse and take his only daughter out of nine children, miles to the best hair braider in the area.”

“years and years later, the reconciliation, it happens in a dream. We stand face to face for the first time – maybe the first time ever – and in her hand, palm open to the sky, are rings: one for each promise made, unkept, but here again, a complete circle, glimmering in that selfsame sunshine from years ago.”

“We are in the swelter of a kitchen and the noise of too many pots opening and closing over the laughter of children does not wake the neighbours because we are the neighbours. We are surrounded by ourselves in the shroud of ourselves. Who can see us here but us?”

“In the aftermath of Moi’s death, his choirs of praise came to the fore again. He was exalted as an African statesman, a patriot, a hero who did his best to bring democracy to the continent. However, to many in the country, memories of Moi’s tyranny remain.”

“As a child, it is strange what you feel when you see a Rumba Woman walking around in the quarter: you admire her and pity her in equal measure.”