Chinua Achebe has indeed run a great race.
By Prof. Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe
Our Eagle on the Iroko has flown home… No, not really… Our Eagle is right here – with us. Our Eagle lives on. This has been the solemn promise made since age 28 with Things
Fall Apart and followed by the unrelenting, exemplifying rigour of the entire consummate stretch of discourses and reflections and yet more discourses during the course of 54 subsequent years that culminated in that towering testament of our age, There was a Country. Our Eagle lives on.
Focusing on the Eagle´s first discourse, a classic, Kwame Anthony Appiah, literary scholar and philosopher, has argued: “It would be impossible to say how Things Fall Apart influenced African writing. It would be like asking how Shakespeare influenced English writers or Pushkin influenced Russians. Achebe didn’t only play the game, he invented it.”
Chinua Achebe has indeed run a great race. Ka Chukwu anyi gozie his blessed soul and give comfort to his loving family. Odogwu Mmadu, ije oma.
Our pledge at this time: Igbo will be free and we will surely bring to a halt this ongoing genocide against our people, which started on 29 May 1966, and we will transform Igboland to an advanced state and society as duly resolved in the Ahiara Declaration. •Prof. Ekwe-Ekwe, contributing editor of USAfrica, USAfricaonline.com and CLASS magazine, is an influential research scholar and historian. He has worked at Senegal’s Africa Research Institute and the director of the Centre for Cross-Cultural Studies in Dakar, Senegal. He has taught at the London School of Economics, and is author of several books. Several of his essays have appeared, some exclusively, on USAfricaonline.com, including the heavily referenced commentary: Obasanjo’s obsession with Biafra versus facts of history. http://www.usafricaonline.com/ekweekwe.biafra.html . He started in 2010 a new blog www.re-thinkingafrica.blogspot.com/
Mandela, others send tributes mourning Achebe
The death of the grand-father of modern African literature Prof. Chinua Achebe is drawing several messages from some of the world’s leaders, Nigeria’s president, his friends, contemporaries and writers.
A statement from the Nelson Mandela Foundation in South Africa has been sent to the family of the late renowned writer Chinua Achebe. It conveyed, on behalf of the Chairperson, Board of Trustees and staff of the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, “our condolences to the family of Prof. Chinua Achebe, a great African writer and thinker, who passed away on 21 March 2013 at the age of 82.”
Nelson Mandela, a friend of Achebe’s and an avid reader of his works, notably once referred to Prof. Achebe as a writer “in whose company the prison walls fell down” — a reference to Mandela’s 27 years in apartheid South Africa jail.
Both men are known for their principled positions on issues of justice, opposition to bigotry, discrimination and commitment to fairness to all persons and support for progressive pan Africanism. By Chido Nwangwu, moderator of the Achebe Colloquium (Governance, Security, and Peace in Africa) December 7-8, 2012 at Brown University, is the Publisher of USAfrica and first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the internet USAfricaonline.com