Met up with a neighbour and talked about books we're reading. I said that I was reading something by Shimmer Chinodya, that it's very interesting but I don't think it's well written. He was shocked and later, as he talked, he said "Chinua Achebe is a brilliant writer". He had conflated Shimmer Chinodya with Chinua Achebe - 2 writers from different generations and different ends of the continent.

Even at the time I knew I would have reacted differently if he was white. Instead of understanding his mistake, I would have assumed a Euro-centrism, a kind of a racism in his mind that all African writers are the same.

<< | >>