Friday, 22 March 2013


 Nigerian playwright Chinua Achebe is dead. He passed away last night in a hospital in Boston,  Massachusetts. He was 82.

Chinua Achebe author of Things Fall Apart, No Longer At Ease, Arrow of God and The Education of A British Protected Child: Essays. The first three books I had the opportunity of using as literary studies in high school and they played a role in developing my love for literature.

Born Albert Chinualumogu (meaning May God fight on my behalf) Achebe in the Igbo village of Ogidi on November 16, 1930, Achebe's early influences came from the church, the traditional culture which was very much a part of his upbringing and the many stories told to him under the moonlight by his mother and his sister. By the time he started school, he had an undeniable intelligence which was spotted quickly by his teachers; recognising him as having good reading skills and the best handwriting in class. He did exceptionally well and went on to obtain a scholarship to study medicine at the University of Ibadan, but he was to later change to the study of English after one year. 

His writings have earned him numerous accolades and at the time of his death, he was a professor of African studies at Brown University.

He loved his tribe and nation and described his love for his family as 'indescribable'.

Survived by his wife, four children and six grandchildren, the great Achebe will be sorely missed.

“We cannot trample upon the humanity of others without devaluing our own. The Igbo, always practical, put it concretely in their proverb Onye ji onye n'ani ji onwe ya: "He who will hold another down in the mud must stay in the mud to keep him down.” 

- Chinua Achebe in The Education of A British Protected Child: Essays

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