From the heart-pounding classics to the vibrant voices of today, African literature is a dazzling reflection of our continent’s diversity. Prepare to be entranced as we unveil a curated collection of African literary wonders that absolutely must grace your bookshelf. It is unacceptable to go through life without reading them.
1. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
For anyone who really wants to understand the impact colonialism had on Africa, this book is a must read. It talks about a proud Igbo man who struggled to maintain his traditional way of life during the British regime.
2. We Are All Africans by Ali Mazrui:
This is a collection of essays that explores challenges and opportunities Africans are faced with in the 21st century.
3. The Famished Road by Ben Okri:
This book explores themes of identity, belonging and loss. It tells the story of a spirit child who was born into a human world.
4. Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie:
The author weaves a powerful and moving story about the human cost of war. Her story is based on the era of the Nigerian civil war.
5. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison:
For those who love poetic novels, this one is themed around a young black man’s search for his identity.
6. Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga:
This novel is centred around the coming of age of two young women who struggle against the patriarchal and colonial forces that oppress them.
7. Petals of Blood by Ngugi wa Thiong’o:
A Complex and multi-layered read, set against the backdrop of the Mau Mau Rebellion in Kenya.
8. The Joys of Motherhood by Buchi Emecheta:
This novel tells the story of the struggles of a woman in postcolonial Nigeria.
9. The House of Hunger by Dambudzo Marechera:
A story about a young man’s struggle for survival in the slums of Harare. It is a must -read for anyone who wants to understand the realities of poverty and hunger.
Why you should read these books before you turn 50:
- To learn more about African culture and history: Africa, though vast and diverse, is a continent that is rich with culture and history. These books take you on a journey through the different cultures of Africa. Even if you don’t have firsthand experience through travels, these books will be your travel guide.
- To expand your worldview: Reading these books will help you see the world from an entirely different perspective. You will get to understand the experiences of people from different cultures and backgrounds. This will help you to become a more well-rounded and understanding person.
- Enhance your overall self-development: Knowledge is power, and the knowledge you will gain from reading these books will not only help you become a more well-rounded person, but it will also expose you to new ideas and perspectives. This will help you grow as a person and see the world in a new light.
These books explore a wide range of themes, including love, loss, identity, and belonging. They are all well-written and thought-provoking, and are sure to stay with you long after you finish reading them. I hope this list of African books to read before you turn 50 inspires you to explore the rich and diverse literature of this continent.