Friday, 22 March 2013

Chinua Achebe, voice of Nigeria and Africa gone

The never tired writer, Achebe continued to hold public readings, write critical essays and discuss various topics related to the well being of his own country Nigeria and Africa even in retirement demonstrating his long standing commitment to improving Africa intellectually and justice 
The author of Things Fall Apart Chinua Achebe passed away today at the age 82 years old. Achebe was a giant among many of his peers and remind a legendary literary voice widely respected inside and outside his country of Nigeria and beyond Africa's borders. His book Things Fall Apart which recounts the story a Nigerian village's struggle between synchronizing Nigerian and Western culture upon independence and weary of the future is required reading in African schools. Few African and Nigerian writers of the past and even today with exception of Kenyan author Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o) have enjoyed world wide recognition as Achebe. In addition to Things Fall Apart, he continued to write until his last breath. His books includes Man of the People, Arrow of God, No longer at Ease, his most recent book, "There once was a country," about his personal experience during the Biafaran war in 1960s Nigeria. Achebe also published essays among them, "Africa's tarnished image," in which he laments not only the use of continual and recycled racist images of Africa and its diverse peoples but also Europe and America's failure to see both the continent and its peoples and the Diaspora as fellow humans and not as exotic aliens. Having experienced colonialism and witness racism firsthand while growing up in Nigeria, Chebe had an eye and heart for showcasing the humanity of Africans and their beautiful history, culture, traditions and arts. In nearly all his writings he denounces both colonialism, racism and negative stereotypes associated with the continent to remind Europe and the world that Africans can and do speak for themselves, they have names, personalities and families and are well aware of the power media and imagery has on one's perception of the world. Chinua Achebe was the lion that told his own story making his voice louder than the hunter. A giant among giants and a literary king, who proved the pen is far mightier than the sword, gun and bombs. Rest in Peace and thank you for your stories. 

"Until the lion tells his own story, the hunt (history) will always glorify the hunter."
-African Proverb

Chinua Achebe dies at 82

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