Chinua Achebe, Nigeria’s Foremost Author and Storyteller, Is Dead

Nigeria’s literary icon and author of several world acclaimed books is dead. Mr Achebe, who was 82, was said to have been suffering an undisclosed ailment and died in a hospital in Boston, Masachussets, United States.

A source close to the family said the professor had been ill for a while and was hospitalised in an undisclosed hospital in Boston. The source declined to be named because he was not authorised by the family to speak on the matter.

He also declined to provide further details, saying the family would issue a statement on the development later today.

According to Premium Times when contacted, spokesperson for Brown University, where Mr. Achebe worked until he took ill, Darlene Trewcrist, did not respond to enquiries on the professor’s condition.

Until his death, the renowned author of Things Fall Apart was the David and Marianna Fisher University Professor and Professor of Africana Studies at Brown.
The University described him as “known the world over for having played a seminal role in the founding and development of African literature.”

“Achebe’s global significance lies not only in his talent and recognition as a writer, but also as a critical thinker and essayist who has written extensively on questions of the role of culture in Africa and the social and political significance of aesthetics and analysis of the postcolonial state in Africa,” Brown University writes of the literary icon.

Mr. Achebe was the author of Things Fall Apart, published in 1958, and considered the most widely read book in modern African Literature. The book sold over 12 million copies and has been translated to over 50 languages worldwide.

Many of his other novels, including Arrow of God, No Longer at Ease, Anthills of the Savannah, and A man of the People, were equally influential as well.

Prof Achebe was born in Ogidi, Anambra State, on November 16, 1930 and attended St Philips’ Central School at the age of six. He moved away from his family to Nekede, four kilometres from Owerri, the capital of Imo State, at the age of 12 and registered at the Central School there.

He attended Government College Umuahia for his secondary school education. He was a pioneer student of the University College, now University of Ibadan in 1948. He was first admitted to study medicine but changed to English, history and theology after his first year.

While studying at Ibadan, Mr. Achebe began to become critical of European literature about Africa. He eventually wrote his final papers in the University in 1953 and emerged with a second-class degree.

His latest book, There Was a Country, was an autobiography on his experiences and views of the civil war. The book was probably the most criticised of his writings especially by Nigerians, with many arguing that the professor did not write a balanced account and wrote more as a Biafran than as a Nigerian.
Mr. Achebe was a consistent critic of various military dictators that ruled Nigeria and was a loud voice in denouncing the failure of governance in the country.

Twice, he rejected offers by the Nigerian government to grant him a national honour, citing the deplorable political situations in the country, particularly in his home state of Anambra, as reason.

Additional reports from Premiumtimesng.com

About Paul

Paul Eze is the Co-founder and CEO at NGCareers. He is an avid writer. Connect with Paul on Twitter

3 Comments

  1. Pat Anyasor says:

    Life, they say,is a stage where every one plays his or her part. I doff my hart for this man of great character- even in death as much as in his lifetime!

  2. Luther Ismaila says:

    Chinua Achebe – The one name that brings laughter to my face when an American student(s) walk at my wife restaurant in the USA and say the name Chinua Achebe.
    The only man Nigerians from coast-coast can be proud of. He achieved his glory the old fashioned way – studied hard through intellectual prowess and not 419. Let’s all try to be Achebe.

    • diamond ismaila says:

      Yes, Well Luther it’s really sad when you don’t reconize your own daughter that’s 9 years old a innocent child that you helped make, but u want the world to think your the best , you don’t own up to your own child let the world know that her name is kymjana ismaila/ facebook diamond slaughter if you like to see it for yourself, your very less than a Man, no person should admire you just because u lye good.

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