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You are here:Home>>Strategic Research & Analysis>>Chinua Achebe's death: we have lost a brother - Soyinka and Clark
Saturday, 23 March 2013 13:52

Chinua Achebe's death: we have lost a brother - Soyinka and Clark

Written by Wole Soyinka and JP Clark
Chinua Achebe  Photograph: Craig Ruttle/AP Chinua Achebe Photograph: Craig Ruttle/AP

Press Release by Wole Soyinka and JP Clark on death of Chinua Achebe


Chinua was a man of resilient will. His works are testimony to the domination of the human spirit over the forces of repression


For us, the loss of Chinua Achebe is, above all else, intensely personal. We have lost a brother, a colleague, a trailblazer and a doughty fighter. Of the "pioneer quartet" of contemporary Nigerian literature, two voices have been silenced – one, of the poet Christopher Okigbo, and now, the novelist Chinua Achebe. It is perhaps difficult for outsiders of that intimate circle to appreciate this sense of depletion, but we take consolation in the young generation of writers to whom the baton has been passed, those who have already creatively ensured that there is no break in the continuum of the literary vocation.

Wole JP Achebe Okigbo

We need to stress this at a critical time of Nigerian history, where the forces of darkness appear to overshadow the illumination of existence that literature represents. These are forces that arrogantly pride themselves implacable and brutal enemies of what Chinua and his pen represented, not merely for the African continent, but for humanity. Indeed, we cannot help wondering if the recent insensate massacre of Chinua's people in Kano, only a few days ago, hastened the fatal undermining of that resilient will that had sustained him so many years after his crippling accident.


No matter the reality, after the initial shock, and a sense of abandonment, we confidently assert that Chinua lives. His works provide their enduring testimony to the domination of the human spirit over the forces of repression, bigotry and retrogression.


Last modified on Saturday, 23 March 2013 14:05

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