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?
Signs for the hovercraft mass transport station that takes travellers to various stops around the city.
You’ve been selected for a mission to the moon. Which African author are you taking and why?
It would have to be Nnedi Okoroafor. She is most likely to prepare me mentally for anything I might encounter.
What invention do you think would change the lives of Africans today?
Hmm… this is an interesting one… I think, a cross continental learning programme that teaches people of any age. The programme would use their preferred language and teach unconventional courses like Plumbing or Haircare or Agriculture – anything! Students could sign up, read and be assessed at their own pace and then when they’ve finished, be passed into a database of skilled personnel in their field.
Two things you’re doing when not reading or writing?
Sleeping and cooking.
To what extent has African literature envisioned an African future?
Maybe my perspective is limited, but I think we are still very much in the place of telling the stories of the past and the now – and that’s OK.
What book do you think best captures Afrofuturism?
I think I need to read some of the most recent works before I can accurately answer this question.
You wake up one morning to find that you’ve grown a pair of wings. What do you do?
Spend about 15 minutes freaking out – make that a couple of hours actually
Name one book that made you think differently about the world.
It would have to be Akwaeke Emezi’s ‘Freshwater’. It made me think of how so much of the human experience exists outside our individually perceived spaces. It made me think of how traditional beliefs can shape and explain our experiences and it made me wonder how many more people exist in ways that we have not yet put into words.
What is the most difficult part of your creative process?
Second guessing everything I am thinking of creating, attempting to impose perfection and getting extremely frustrated in the process.
What is your African dream?
It would be of a continent where leadership recognises our challenges and explores present day realities to end those challenges. I dream of a continent where we have moved past trying to fix roads and providing running water, and where we are taking ownership of our resources and creating solutions and possibilities for the continent and the world.