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 retro thing: a brick-and-mortar bookstore. Maybe this means in 100 years Lagosians become more enamoured of books. One can only hope the book survives long enough for that to be the case.
You’ve been selected for a mission to the moon. Which African author are you taking and why?
Binyavanga Wainaina. So I can keep in touch with English prose of a certain level.
What invention do you think would change the lives of Africans today?
Maybe a device to encourage reading and curiosity, and at the same time decrease our perception of material success as sole indication of success, would be nice.
Two things you’re doing when not reading or writing?
Sleeping alone and not sleeping (alone). Scrolling through those thieves of time: Twitter and Facebook.
To what extent has African literature envisioned an African future?
A bit, given the speculative rage. But I’d rather African literature covered the many, many, many grounds left untouched by words and sentences currently. There is a lot still to be done with realism and the present.
What book do you think best captures Afrofuturism?
You wake up one morning to find that you’ve grown a pair of wings. What do you do?
Find a decent publisher to sell a novel and essay collection on living with wings as a Nigerian.
Name one book that made you think differently about the world.
Tricky question. Can’t answer at the moment.
What is the most difficult part of your creative process?
Finding time. Making money.
What is your African dream?
Selfishly: A land of my own hosting a house hosting many books; Endless power supply in this house; Walks with the LOML; Clothes that would wash and iron themselves. Politically: an eradication of poverty and ignorance.