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The Danger of a Single Story

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I'm a storyteller.
And I would like to tell you a few personal stories about what I like to call "the danger of the single story."
I grew up on a university campus in eastern Nigeria.
My mother says that I started reading at the age of two, although I think four is probably close to the truth.
So I was an early reader, and what I read were British and American children's books.
I was also an early writer, and when I began to write, at about the age of seven, stories in pencil with crayon illustrations that my poor mother was obligated to read, I wrote exactly the kinds of stories I was reading:
All my characters were white and blue-eyed, they played in the snow, they ate apples, and they talked a lot about the weather, how lovely it was that the sun had come out.
Now, this despite the fact that I lived in Nigeria. I had never been outside Nigeria.
We didn't have snow, we ate mangoes, and we never talked about the weather, because there was no need to.
My characters also drank a lot of ginger beer, because the characters in the British books I read drank ginger beer.