Nigeria loses a legendary, irreplaceable novelist

Nigeria loses a legendary, irreplaceable novelistChinua Achebe, the founding father of African literature passed away on March 21 at age 82. His novels, short stories, poetry and other works inspired generations at home and afar.

I grew up with African short stories and fables when I was little and living in Nigeria. But it wasn’t until I moved to Canada did I started to seriously get into African literature. And Things Fall Apart was my first exposure to authentic Africa literature outside of Nigeria. Growing up as a teenager in Canada, it was a HUGE deal when we were studying Mr. Achebe’s famous novel, especially at a time when some of the students made it their job to torment my life and would mock Africa and our supposedly ‘barbaric’ ways. For me, Mr. Achebe put Africa on the map for my High School classmates—he gave us a voice. Mr. Achebe changed the landscape of literature—not just in Africa but around the world.

Chinua Achebe’s death is a great loss to Africa, to Nigeria. He will be grately missed.

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~ by omonaij on March 24, 2013.

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