It’s 2118 and you’ve arrived in Lagos for a book festival. When you step out of the airport, what is the first thing you see?
A vending machine where you can buy a selection of ‘swallow and soup’.
You’ve been selected for a mission to the moon. Which African author are you taking and why?
NoViolet Bulawayo because her debut book ‘We Need New Names’ perfectly captures what it feels like to live in a country that is not your own. I suspect it will make me feel less homesick on the moon.
What invention do you think would change the lives of Africans today?
This isn’t really an invention but affordable Internet would change African lives. Internet access is too expensive. Cheap Internet will give young people access to free education platforms; there are so many online courses in a variety of subjects. For entrepreneurs, the Internet can help optimise business operations and of course access a wider market. Affordable Internet access will change everything.
Two things you’re doing when not reading or writing?
Baking or Pilates.
To what extent has African literature envisioned an African future?
The bulk of African literature I have read solely deals with the present and past. In the past few years speculative fiction and Afrofuturism have been able to reconstruct Africa’s future.
What book do you think best captures Afrofuturism?
I will not claim to be well versed in Afrofuturism but I love Dilman Dila’s ‘A Killing in the Sun’. It is a book of short stories that are really exciting. My favourite one is set in the future where a vaccine has unintentionally mutated mosquitoes.
You wake up one morning to find that you’ve grown a pair of wings. What do you do?
Test them out in a secluded place.
Name one book that made you think differently about the world.
‘Their Eyes Were Watching God’ by Zora Neale Hurston.
What is the most difficult part of your creative process?
Finishing, there never feels like there is a finishing point.
What is your African dream?
To discover how African civilisation functioned before colonialism.