Literary giant Prof. Emmanuel Obiechina dies in U.S
November 8, 2010: The distinguished and prolific scholar of English language, English literature, African literature and general arts Prof. Emmanuel Obiechina , USAfrica and USAfricaonline.com 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 USAfricaonline.com, AchebeBooks.com and CLASSmagazine.
Obama’s Africa agenda, our business and democracy. By Chido Nwangwu, Publisher of USAfricaonline.com, USAfrica The Newspaper, Houston, USAfricaonline.com and CLASS magazine and The Black Business Journal