It goes without saying that most people grow up immersed in a culture and worldview of which they never give even a second thought. This is true no matter the location. What often makes a person cognizant of their own worldview is the conflict that happens when another worldview competes for attention.
Having spent the bulk of the past two decades in Africa, I must admit that even though there are many things in Africa to which I have grown accustomed there yet remains a deeper worldview that remains elusive to me and prods me to learn more and understand more fully. One of the ways to probe the depths of another culture is to read its literature. The African Writer Series is an excellent tool at our disposal to understand better the heart and mind of modern Africa. The recent lockdowns and stay-at-home orders has given me the time to read and reflect on what some of these authors are saying.
The first book in the African Writers Series is Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. First published in 1958, Things Fall Apart exemplifies the spirit of the series. Chinua Achebe grew up in Nigeria while it was under British administration. The story recounts the early days of British rule when traditional Igbo beliefs were confronted by those of the British and of Christian missionaries. The main character, Okonkwo, remains staunchly committed to his traditional beliefs and values. Yet, contrary to his expectations, his devotion to Igbo traditions does not bring him respect and honor from his fellow tribesman but quite the opposite as he becomes an outcast from his people. Rather than being honored, Okonkwo became cursed. To make things even worse, the missionaries began to arrive and muddled the local traditions even more. Okonkwo