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 tidy row of destination trees. I climb one and it sets me on the right branch to my destination.
You’ve been selected for a mission to the moon. Which African author are you taking and why?
Someone I can talk to easily and can hold a tune ’cos you can’t travel that long without talking and singing. I’d say Hisham Matar; if he’s gone to Mars, Alain Mabanckou.
What invention do you think would change the lives of Africans today?
A Time Machine.
Two things you’re doing when not reading or writing?
Washing Clothes, Listening to Music.
To what extent has African literature envisioned an African future?
I’ve seen some great stuff in short stories and poetry and a few unpublished manuscripts I’ve read, but in longer fiction we have a small vanguard of woman-led visionaries such as Nnedi Okorafor, Lauren Beukes, but it’s a growing army.
What book do you think best captures Afrofuturism?
I think Afrofuturism’s shape is defined by each new book that draws a path. Like life itself, there is no single narrative that best captures it.
You wake up one morning to find that you’ve grown a pair of wings. What do you do?
I decorate them so I look fly, then I sit at my desk to write.
Name one book that made you think differently about the world.
‘The Temple of My Familiar’ by Alice Walker.
What is the most difficult part of your creative process?
Typing up what I’ve written. My handwriting is terrible when I’m writing at speed.
What is your African dream?
A quiet morning in the shade of a mango tree laden with fruit – just reading, waiting for a mango to fall.