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Celebrating Ben Okri With 10 Famous Quotes

Ben Okri was born on this day in 1959 in Minna to an Urhobo father and Igbo mother. A little less than two years, he and his family moved to London. Shortly after their return to Nigeria, he took interest in the stories his father’s peers who claimed to have had encounters with ghosts had during the civil war.

Often described as one of Africa’s post-colonial and post-modern traditions writer, some of his political articles make him an easy target for attack and once resulted in him being placed on a death list.


At the age of 21, he published his first novel, Flowers and Shadows and today, he has become one of Africa’s finest and best writers. The award-winning author also has to his credit, Enchantment and Infinite Riches, Dangerous Love, The Famished Road among others. Here are some of his most remembered for

  • This is what you must be like. Grow wherever life puts you down.
  • 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.
  • It is easier to get lost within sight of the palace. […] Hope makes all things near, and so can prove treacherous.
  • What you see is what you make. What you see in a people is what you eventually create in them.
  • We ought to step out of our old, hard casing. We think that we are one kind of people, when in fact we are always creating ourselves. We are not fixed. We are constantly becoming, constantly coming into being.
  • I held you in the square And felt the evening Re-order itself around Your smile.
  • The law is simple. Every experience is repeated or suffered till you experience it properly and fully the first time.
  • An inner darkness is darker than an outer darkness.
  • A tolerable hell is better than an impossible heaven.
  • Understanding is a pure glass of water. All great truths have no taste. Hints of sweetness are coloured by the need for amazement
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Ben Okri
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