Connect with us

AFRICA

Achebe was the Igbo, Nigerian, African conscience and consciousness. By Onyeka Onwenu

Published

on

Achebe was the Igbo, Nigerian, African conscience and consciousness.
By Onyeka Onwenu, MFR

Exclusive tribute in USAfricaonline.com & CLASSmagazine Houston. Special to USAfrica multimedia networks, and CLASSmagazine, Houston.                                                                 @Twitter.com/Chido247Facebook.com/USAfricaChido

The news of Prof. Chinua Achebe’s death, this week, came as a rude shock to me. My heart stopped for a second. Yes he had lived to a ripe old age

Onyeka Onwenu; file pix via USAfricaonline.com

Onyeka Onwenu; file pix via USAfricaonline.com

but there are people one expects would never die, as irrational as that sounds. He was certainly one such person.

Chinua Achebe was larger than life. His life’s work had become so central to the Igbo/Nigerian/African identity and survival that it had become impossible to think of ourselves without his ever looming presence, to prod and direct our thinking, every now and then. He was the Igbo, nay Nigerian, nay African conscience and consciousness.

I first met Chinua Achebe in 1983, when I interviewed him for the BBC film, “Nigeria, A Squandering Of Riches”. He had just written ” The Trouble With Nigeria”. As usual, his observations about our country, a country he cared so much about, was succinct, honest, hard hitting and constructive.

Chinua Achebe’s answers to my questions were incisive, heartfelt and sincere as well. When I asked if he would ever consider leaving Nigeria for another country, his answer was  categorically, “no”. “This is where God in His infinite wisdom has placed me. Why should I live in a place that someone else has cleaned up” – I paraphrase. That answer, so apt, was vintage Chinua Achebe. It became the central message of our film –  that Nigerians who are smart enough to recognize the source of their problems, are the ones to remedy the ills of our society.

Although Chinua Achebe did leave Nigeria to reside in the United States because of the medical condition, caused by his near fatal motor car accident, he never did leave Nigeria in spirit. He continued to prod, chastise and direct, with criticisms, contributions and suggestions. Even the refusal of National Awards was his way of saying, “there is still so much work to be done”. The man loved his country, he didn’t lie – apologies to Wole Soyinka.

Here is an anecdote. Your dad confessed to me, after our first meeting, that he did not have high expectations for the interview, what with me being a “singing journalist” and all. But that it turned out to be one of the best interviews he had ever subjected himself to, as at that time.

Thereafter, his respect for me grew, to the point that he invited me, through you, to participate in the “Chinua Achebe Foundation Interview Series”. I conducted Margaret Ekpo’s last major interview before her death and Chief Gani Fawehinmi’s, as well.
His respect for me was most flattering, as you can imagine. I was grateful for it. What an honour it was, indeed, that this literary giant, our hero for all times, would consider me worthy of his attention.

Chinua Achebe will be sorely missed. But then, he is not dead. People like him never die. His works remain with us, into history, as one of the greatest writers, expressionists God blessed this world with, His advise and admonitions continue until we heed them.
What pride that he was from and of us. What pride that he was your father. But the Achebe family shared him with the world. Thank you. God bless the Achebe family and comfort you and us.
May his noble soul rest in peace.                                                                                                     •Onwenu, nominated for the USAfrica international creative leadership award at the 20th Anniversary of USAfrica on May 11, 2013 in Houston, is the foremost female artiste in Nigeria (of the past 22 years) and a leading voice on empowerment, development, broadcasting, political advocacy and transparency in Africa. She has been a contributing editor since 1999 of USAfricaonline.com , the first African-owned, U.S-based professional newspaper published on the internet.   

—-

Long Live, CHINUA ACHEBE! The Eagle on the iroko.                                                                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

 

Africa’s most acclaimed and fluent writer of the English Language, the most translated writer of Black heritage in the world, broadcaster extraordinaire, social conscience of millions, cultural 

USAfrica-CLASSmagazine-special.cover Vol. 5.8 Achebe080808-chido

USAfrica-CLASSmagazine-2008 special.cover Vol. 5.8 Achebe080808-chido

custodian and elevator, chronicler and essayist, goodwill ambassador and man of progressive rock-ribbed principles, the Eagle on the Iroko, Ugo n’abo Professor Chinua Achebe,joined his ancestors a few hours ago, at the age of 82, in a peaceful and graceful transition in the warm company of his family.

Reasonably, Achebe’s message has been neither dimmed nor dulled by time and clime. He’s our pathfinder, the intellectual godfather of millions of Africans and lovers of the fine art of good writing. Achebe’s cultural contexts are, at once, pan-African, globalist and local; hence, his literary contextualizations soar beyond the confines of Umuofia and any Igbo or Nigerian setting of his creative imagination or historical recall.

His globalist underpinnings and outlook are truly reflective of the true essence of his/our Igbo world-view, his Igbo upbringing and disposition. Igbos and Jews share (with a few other other cultures) this pan-global disposition to issues of art, life, commerce, juridical pursuits, and quest to be republicanist in terms of the vitality of the individual/self. 

In Achebe’s works, the centrality of Chi (God) attains an additional clarity in the Igbo cosmology… it is a world which prefers a quasi-capitalistic business attitude while taking due cognizance of the usefulness of the whole, the community.

I’ve studied, lived and tried to better understand, essentially, the rigor and towering moral certainties which Achebe have employed in most of his works and his world. I know, among other reasons, because I share the same Igbo ancestry with him.

Permit me to attempt a brief sentence, with that Achebean simplicty and clarity. Here, folks, what the world has known since 1958: Achebe is good! Eagle on the Iroko, may your Lineage endure! There has never been one like you! Ugo n’abo, chukwu gozie gi oo!

FULL text of this tribute-commentary at USAfricaonline.com click link https://usafricaonline.com/2013/03/22/long-live-chinua-achebe-by-chido-nwangwu/

——

WHY I CELEBRATE THE LIFE AND WORKS OF NELSON MANDELA. By Chido Nwangwu  https://usafricaonline.com/2010/07/15/mandela-why-i-celebrate-his-life-works-by-chido-nwangwu/

Mandela, others send tributes mourning Achebe

Special to USAfrica multimedia networks, and CLASSmagazine, Houston.                                                                 @Twitter.com/Chido247Facebook.com/USAfricaChido n Facebook.com/USAfrica247

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.

Achebe-n-Mandela. via USAfricaonline.com
Achebe-n-Mandela. via USAfricaonline.com

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.                                                                                                                               ——–

  Eight lessons of the 1994 Rwanda Genocide. By Chido Nwangwu, Publisher of USAfrica multimedia networks, Houston. https://usafricaonline.com/2009/11/01/chido-8lessons-rwanda-genocide/

——
Obama’s Africa agenda, our business and democracy. By Chido Nwangwu, Publisher of USAfricaonline.com, USAfrica The Newspaper, Houston.

——

Continue Reading
Advertisement http://pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/show_ads.js
7 Comments

AFRICA

USAfrica: Buhari to debate Atiku, Moghalu on January 19; rising Sowore not listed

Published

on

atiku-n-buhari - USAfricaonline.com

@Chido247

As the countdown to the February 2019 presidential elections in Africa’s most populated country continues, Nigerian Elections Debate Group (NEDG) and the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) have announced the “names of political parties” that they have pre-qualified to participate in the 2019 vice presidential and presidential debates.

The Executive Secretary of the NEDG, Eddie Emesiri, listed the parties as the following: Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN), All Progressives Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Young Progressives Party (YPP).

The Presidential debate will hold on Saturday, January 19, 2019 while the VP debate will be in Abuja on Friday, December 14, 2018.

President Buhari, a retired army general who does not warm up to contrary even if helpful views, USAfrica notes, will have the opportunity of counterpoint exchanges with his 2015 former ally Atiku Abubakar, and especially from the  former deputy Governor of Nigeria’s Central Bank Prof. Kingsley Moghalu. 

Significantly, the debate excludes Omoyele Sowore, the activist-journalist and young candidate who is among the top canvassers and most travelled candidates (inside and outside Nigeria) in search of votes. By Chido Nwangwu, Founder & Publisher of USAfrica [Houston] and USAfricaonline.com

https://usafricaonline.com/2018/05/19/usafrica-why-saharareporters-sowores-disrupt-the-nigerian-system-message-is-gaining-momentum-by-chido-nwangwu/

 

 

Continue Reading

AFRICA

Global Terrorism Index ranks Nigeria, Somalia and Egypt among the worst hit.

Published

on

Buhari-clasped-USAfrica

The Global Terrorism Index for 2018 has been released by the Institute for Economics and Peace, which recorded 3 African countries of Nigeria, Somalia  and Egypt among the worst hit. Iraq’s almost daily blasts placed it at the top, followed by Afghanistan, Nigeria, Syria, and Pakistan. 

The GTI found that “the global impact from terrorism is on the decline, it also shows that terrorism is still widespread, and even getting worse in some regions.”

The United States is at number 20. 

The Index ranked 138 countries based on the severity of terror attacks throughout 2017, and found that “The total number of deaths fell by 27 percent between 2016 and 2017, with the largest falls occurring in Iraq and Syria. The overall trend of a decline in the number of deaths caused by acts of terror reflects the increased emphasis placed on countering terrorism around the world since the surge in violence in 2013.”

“In the Maghreb and Sahel regions of Northern Africa, there has been a resurgence of terrorist activity in the past two years, most notably of al-Qa’ida. As of March 2018 there were more than 9,000 members of terrorist groups active in the region, mostly concentrated in Libya and Algeria,” it noted.

The GTI assessed the total global economic impact of terrorism at almost $52 billion.

USAfricaonline.com notes that the attacks by Nigeria’s Boko Haram and its affiliates mainly in the north east and exponential rise in the violence unleashed by the Fulani herdsmen negatively affected the country. By Chido Nwangwu @Chido247

Continue Reading

AFRICA

Nigerian army posts Trump video to justify shooting muslim Shiites

Published

on

Buhari-clasped-USAfrica







Nigeria’s army (has) posted a video of US President Donald Trump saying soldiers would shoot migrants throwing stones to justify opening fire on a Shiite group (last) week.

In the video, Trump warns that soldiers deployed to the Mexican border could shoot Central American migrants who throw stones at them while attempting to cross illegally.

“We’re not going to put up with that. They want to throw rocks at our military, our military fights back,” said Trump in remarks made on Thursday.

“I told them (troops) consider it (a rock) a rifle. When they throw rocks like they did at the Mexican military and police, I say consider it a rifle.”

Nigeria’s defence spokesman John Agim told AFP that the army posted the video in response to criticism that its security forces had acted unlawfully.

The Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) said 49 of its members were killed after the army and police fired live bullets at crowds who marched near and in the capital Abuja. The army’s official death toll was six.

Amnesty International said Wednesday it had “strong evidence” that police and soldiers used automatic weapons against IMN members and killed about 45 people in an “unconscionable use of deadly force by soldiers and police”.

The United States embassy in Nigeria said Thursday it was “concerned” and called for an investigation.

“The video was posted in reaction to the Amnesty International report accusing the army of using weapons against pacifist Shiite protesters…. Not only did they use stones but they were carrying petrol bombs, machetes and knives, so yes, we consider them as being armed,” said Agim.

“We intervened only because the IMN members are trying to harm our people, they are always meeting us…at security check points and trying to provoke us, they even burned a police vehicle.”

Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, is almost evenly split between a mostly Muslim north — which is predominantly Sunni — and a largely Christian south.

Experts have warned the government that a heavy-handed response to the group risks sparking conflict in a volatile region where poverty is widespread.

IMN leader Ibrahim Zakzaky has been in custody since 2015, when an army crackdown killed 300 of his supporters who were buried in mass graves, according to rights groups.

Zakzaky is facing a culpable homicide charge in connection with the 2015 violence. He remains in jail despite a court order granting him bail.

On Thursday, 120 of 400 IMN members arrested by police on Monday were  charged with “rioting, disturbance of public peace and causing hurt,” said a court official in Abuja on Friday.

According to court documents seen by AFP, the IMN members had been ordered to disperse but they “refused and started throwing stones at the police officers and other members of the public and thereby caused them bodily harm”.

All the suspects pleaded not guilty and were granted bail with the court hearing to resume on December 5.

Continue Reading

Trending

error: Content is protected !!
%d bloggers like this: