It is easy to romanticize poverty, to see poor people as inherently lacking agency and will. It is easy to strip them of human dignity, to reduce them to objects of pity. This has never been clearer than in the view of Africa from the American media, in which we are shown poverty and conflicts without any context.
I live half the year in Nigeria, the other half in the U.S. But home is Nigeria - it always will be. I consider myself a Nigerian who is comfortable in the world. I look at it through Nigerian eyes.
Lasting love has to be built on mutual regard and respect. It is about seeing the other person. I am very interested in relationships and, when I watch couples, sometimes I can sense a blindness has set in. They have stopped seeing each other. It is not easy to see another person.
Non-fiction, and in particular the literary memoir, the stylised recollection of personal experience, is often as much about character and story and emotion as fiction is.
The problem with looking in the mirror is that you never know how you will feel about what you see. Sometimes, when my hormones are out of sync, I have no interest in the mirror, and if I do look I think everything is all wrong. Other times, I am quite pleased with what I see.