USAfrica BrkNEWS: Literary giant Prof. Emmanuel Obiechina dies in U.S









Literary giant Prof. Emmanuel Obiechina dies in U.S


By Chido Nwangwu. Special to USAfrica multimedia networks (Houston) and

November 8, 2010: The distinguished and prolific scholar of English language, English literature, African literature and general arts Prof. Emmanuel Obiechina , USAfrica and learned a few minutes ago from close


family sources, has died here in the United States.


Obiechina is the author of the ground-breaking and highly recommended book the Onitsha Market Literature (published by Heinemann in 1972). He followed it up with An African Popular Literature : A Study of Onitsha Market Literature (published by the Cambridge University Press in 1973.
Professor Obiechina got his Bachelor of Arts degree of the University of London in English in 1961 through the University College Ibadan, Nigeria, and a Ph.D.  in English from the prestigious University of Cambridge in 1967.

He was a senior lecturer, later deputy vice chancellor of the University of Nigeria (Nsukka) and interim vice chancellor in the late 1980s.


I was a student and attended his General Studies highly valuable class on Understanding the concept and reality of Chi (God) in the Igbo cosmology at the University of Nigeria (Nsukka).


After a remarkable career in Nigeria, he  moved to the U.S in the late 1980s where he became a  visiting scholar at the Harvard University’s departments of African and African American Studies and English. He was also the recipient of the W.E.B. Du Bois Fellowship at Harvard University.


He brought his intellectual clout to benefit several other universities and students.  He was appointed and served from 1987 to 1990 as director of the Nigerian Universities Office and education attaché at the Nigerian embassy in Washington, D.C.



Obiechina was a colleague and close associate of the great Chinua Achebe. He was devoted to the growth of education across Africa and international. I met Obiechina at two African literature events in Harvard, at an Achebe honors event, and only a few months ago on Saturday July 6, 2010 in Maryland, USA, at  a social event.

May his outstanding path and scholarship be a shining light for us and others to come. Goodbye, great scholar and mentor!                                                                                                                                                              •Chido Nwangwu is Founder & Publisher of, and CLASSmagazine.


Obama’s Africa agenda, our business and democracy. By Chido Nwangwu, Publisher of, USAfrica The Newspaper, Houston, and CLASS magazine and The Black Business Journal


VIDEO of the CNN International broadcast/profile of USAfrica and CLASSmagazine Publisher Chido Nwangwu.



#BreakingNews and special reports unit of USAfrica multimedia networks, and USAfricaTV

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  1. What a colossal exit of a rare GEM. May God grant his soul a perfect repose.

  2. There is no one else like Emmanuel Obiechina among the friends, colleagues, teachers, intellectuals, nationalists and seekers I have met within and outside the academy since I first knew him in 1967. His self-effacing humility is matched by his absolute honesty, extraordinary perspicasity and unyielding assidousness in the pursuit of excellence in whatsever task he undertakes. Always rooting for the younger generation of scholars and artists, he remained ever young at heart and passionate about any new idea that comes within his ken. He will be sorely missed by us all who have loved him and will forever cherish him as a loving and trustworthy brother, uncle, father and leader. Ichie Obiechina, biko nodu mma.

    Chukwuma Azuonye, Professor of African Literature, University of Massachusetts Boston

  3. sad news. One of my most respected colleagues at UNN, a 'neighbour' from the English Department. I am glad I met him this year!

  4. Why are we here? May all the departed souls rest in peace. My deepest sympathy to his family.

  5. May the soul of Prof. Obiechina rest in peace. He was an authority on African Literature.


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