One of the greatest gifts my father gave me - unintentionally - was witnessing the courage with which he bore adversity. We had a bit of a rollercoaster life with some really challenging financial periods. He was always unshaken, completely tranquil, the same ebullient, laughing, jovial man.
When you can imagine you begin to create and when you begin to create you realize that you can create a world that you prefer to live in, rather than a world that you're suffering in.
Reading is an act of civilization; it's one of the greatest acts of civilization because it takes the free raw material of the mind and builds castles of possibilities.
Home can be the friend you have been searching for all your life or the person you met once very briefly.
Our time here is magic! It's the only space you have to realize whatever it is that is beautiful, whatever is true, whatever is great, whatever is potential, whatever is rare, whatever is unique, in. It's the only space.
I went to London because, for me, it was the home of literature. I went there because of Dickens and Shakespeare.
The magician and the politician have much in common: they both have to draw our attention away from what they are really doing.
We never think that our mothers will die. It was like suddenly an abyss opened at my feet - I was standing on nothing. It was the strangest thing. Her passing away ripped the solidity out of the world.
I learned that life will go through changes - up and down and up again. It's what life does.
The fact of storytelling hints at a fundamental human unease, hints at human imperfection. Where there is perfection there is no story to tell.
The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love and to be greater than our suffering.
I was born left-handed, but I was made to use my other hand. When I was writing 'Famished Road,' which was very long, I got repetitive stress syndrome. My right wrist collapsed, so I started using my left hand. The prose I wrote with my left hand came out denser, so later on I had to change it.
The worst time was 1983. Love and life and everything went wrong. I reached absolute rock bottom. I saw the Minotaur at the bottom of the abyss. I learnt of the harshness of the world and its impartiality to human failure.
Magic becomes art when it has nothing to hide.
At the heart of 'The Famished Road' is a philosophical conundrum - for me, an essential one: what is reality? Everybody's reality is subjective; it's conditioned by upbringing, ideas, temperament, religion, what's happened to you.
You see, I was told stories, we were all told stories as kids in Nigeria. We had to tell stories that would keep one another interested, and you weren't allowed to tell stories that everybody else knew. You had to dream up new ones.
To anyone who is homeless, I say, find a home.
I study people all the time. For some reason, we're not very good at seeing what's there or hearing what we're hearing.
Politics is the art of the possible; creativity is the art of the impossible.
Stories can conquer fear, you know. They can make the heart bigger.