Written by Afripol/BBC
World acclaimed author, the father of the modern African literature, The Great and Honorable Chinua Achebe has died. The dead of the Nigerian born academic giant and author was disclosed by Anambra State government and his publisher.
“Mr Achebe, 82, was one of Africa’s best known authors. His 1958 debut novel Things Fall Apart has sold more than 10 million copies. He had been living in the US since 1990 following injuries from a car crash. The writer and academic wrote more than 20 works – some fiercely critical of politicians and a failure of leadership in Nigeria.
South African writer and Nobel laureate Nadine Gordimer called him the “father of modern African literature” in 2007 when she was among the judges to award him the Man Booker International Prize in honour of his literary career.
Things Fall Apart has been translated into more than 50 languages and focuses on the traditions of Igbo society and the clash between Western and traditional values. Mr Udah is the spokesman for Anambra state governor Peter Obi.
Analysts say in Igbo society the death of an important person must be announced by someone in authority. Shortly after the Anambra government announcement, Mr Achebe’s London publisher Penguin confirmed his death.
Last year, Mr Achebe published a long-awaited memoir about the brutal three-year Biafran war – when the south-eastern Igbo region tried to split from Nigeria in 1967. After leaving Nigeria, he worked in the US as a professor. His 1990 car accident left him paralysed from the waist down and in a wheelchair.
A statement of the Nelson Mandela Foundation said it offered its condolences to the Achebe family. The former South African president and anti-apartheid fighter, who spent 27 years in jail, “referred to Prof Achebe as a writer ‘in whose company the prison walls fell down'”, the statement said.” (BBC)