The scales of reckoning with mortality are never evenly weighted, alas, and thus it is on the shoulders of the living that the burden of justice must continue to rest.

Even when I'm writing plays I enjoy having company and mentally I think of that company as the company I'm writing for.

Looking at faces of people, one gets the feeling there's a lot of work to be done.

Some African leaders actually dare to suggest that democracy is a concept alien to traditional African society. This is one of the most impudent political blasphemies I can think of.

I like to say, 'I spend one-third of my time in Nigeria, one-third in Europe or America, and one-third on a plane.'

I began writing early - very, very early... I was already writing short stories for the radio and selling poems to poetry and art festivals; I was involved in school plays; I wrote essays, so there was no definite moment when I said, 'Now I'm a writer.' I've always been a writer.

Some of the greatest uprisings and consequent civil wars in Mexico have centered squarely on the ownership of land.

History teaches us to beware of the excitation of the liberated and the injustices that often accompany their righteous thirst for justice.

Human life has meaning only to that degree and as long as it is lived in the service of humanity.

One's own self-worth is tied to the worth of the community to which one belongs, which is intimately connected to humanity in general. What happens in Darfur becomes an assault on my own community, and on me as an individual. That's what the human family is all about.

And gradually they're beginning to recognize the fact that there's nothing more secure than a democratic, accountable, and participatory form of government. But it's sunk in only theoretically, it has not yet sunk in completely in practical terms.

There's no way to escape the culture that has evolved, from which we ourselves have evolved. Naturally, we stress it, break it up, reassemble it to suit our own needs. But it is there - a source of vital strength.

You always assume for some strange reason that you need three meals a day.

The Nation of Islam provides an antidote in the United States to fundamentalist Islam - which is why individuals from America have to go abroad to find radical teachings.

One thing I can tell you is this, that I am not a methodical writer.

Power is domination, control, and therefore a very selective form of truth which is a lie.

Very conscious of the fact that an effort was being made to destroy my mind, because I was deprived of books, deprived of any means of writing, deprived of human companionship. You never know how much you need it until you're deprived of it.

Art is solace; art is vision, and when I pick up a literary work, I am a consumer of literature for its own sake.

Education is lacking in most of those who pontificate.

There is only one home to the life of a river-mussel; there is only one home to the life of a tortoise; there is only one shell to the soul of man: there is only one world to the spirit of our race. If that world leaves its course and smashes on boulders of the great void, whose world will give us shelter?

Seven is the magic figure, because that's a symbolic figure of my favorite deity, Ogun.

The hand that dips into the bottom of the pot will eat the biggest snail.

When I write plays, I'm already seeing the shapes on stage, of the actors and their interaction, and so on and so forth. I don't think I've ever written one play as an abstract piece, as a literary piece, floating in the air somewhere, to be flushed out later on.

All religions accept that there is something called 'criminality.' And criminality cannot be excused by religious fervour.

I consider the process of gestation just as important as when you're actually sitting down putting words to the paper.

Given the scale of trauma caused by the genocide, Rwanda has indicated that however thin the hope of a community can be, a hero always emerges. Although no one can dare claim that it is now a perfect state, and that no more work is needed, Rwanda has risen from the ashes as a model or truth and reconciliation.

Politics, I believe, is a full-time occupation.

Writing in certain environments carries with it an occupational risk.

There's a kind of dynamic quality about theater and that dynamic quality expresses itself in relation to, first of all, the environment in which it's being staged; then the audience, the nature of the audience, the quality of the audience.

There is something really horrific for any human being who feels he is being consumed by other people. I'm talking about a writer's critics, who don't address what you've written, but want to probe into your existence and magnify the trivia of your life without any sense of humor, without any sense of context.

No writer has a right to make that much money. Indeed, without diabolical assistance, no writer can.

But when you're deprived of it for a lengthy period then you value human companionship. But you have to survive and so you devise all kinds of mental exercises and it's amazing.

After the death of the sadistic dictator Gen. Sanni Abacha in 1998, Nigeria underwent a one-year transitional military administration headed by Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, who uncharacteristically bowed out precisely on the promised date for military disengagement. Did the military truly disengage, however? No.

England is the breeding ground of fundamentalist Muslims. Its social logic is to allow all religions to preach openly. But this is illogic, because none of the other religions preach apocalyptic violence. And yet England allows it.

I'm not sure I'm trying to communicate a message. I'm just trying to be part of the movement away from the unacceptable present.

I think that feeling that if one believed absolutely in any cause, then one must have the confidence, the self-certainty, to go through with that particular course of action.

My understanding of the creative process is simply that all cultures and all concerns meet at a certain point, the human point in which everything is related to one another. That has been my creative experience. I never know who's influencing me at any time.

I love beauty. But I like the beauty accidentally, not dished up, served up on a platter.

One has a responsibility to clean up one's space and make it livable as far as one's own resources go. That includes not only material resources, but psychological resources: the commitment of time and a portion of your mind to something when you'd rather be doing something else.

The Sudanese government has been playing games with the world, with the Africa Union, in particular, have been playing for time in order to conclude its mission of ethnic cleansing in the Sudan.

I like my peace and quiet whenever I can grab it.

The blatant aggressiveness of theocracies I find distressing, because I grew up when Christians, Muslim and animists lived peacefully together.

In the world of literature, I see prizes as more of a duty to the craft itself, rather than as something for the individual.

Military dictatorship, you can focus on it, you can fight it directly. It's a band of power-driven people.

In Africa, those who have money - businessmen and banks - do not believe in film.

The man dies in all who keep silent in the face of tyranny.

I grew up in an atmosphere where words were an integral part of culture.

The problem with literature, with writing, is that it works sometimes in terms of correction of social ills. Other times, it just does not suffice.

A war, with its attendant human suffering, must, when that evil is unavoidable, be made to fragment more than buildings: It must shatter the foundations of thought and re-create. Only in this way does every individual share in the cataclysm and understand the purpose of sacrifice.