InformAfrca – World acclaimed African novelist, Chinua Achebe, passes on at 82 years of age. He was born Albert Chinualumogu Achebe in the Igbo village of Ogidi in Anambra State, Nigeria on November 16, 1930. May his soul rest in peace.
Information circulating the web are reporting Achebe died last night (March 21st) in a hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, United States.
A source close to the family confirmed to PremiumTimesNG the literary icon’s passing – saying “the professor had been ill for a while and was hospitalized in an undisclosed hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, United States”. The source declined to be named because he was not authorized by the family to speak on the matter.
Mr. Achebe was the author of Things Fall Apart, published in 1958, and considered the most widely read book in modern African Literature. The book sold over 12 million copies and has been translated to over 50 languages worldwide.
Many of his other novels, including: No Longer at Ease, Anthills of the Savannah, The Flute (A Children’s Story) and A man of the People; were equally influential and widely read as well.
Until his death, the renowned author of Things Fall Apart was a Professor of Africana Studies at Brown University. The University described him as “known the world over for having played a seminal role in the founding and development of African literature.”
A Glimpse on Chinua Achebe’s Early Life
Chinua Achebe attended Government College Umuahia for his secondary school education. He was a pioneer student of the University College, now University of Ibadan in 1948. He was first admitted to study medicine but changed to English, history and theology after his first year.
While studying at Ibadan, Mr. Achebe began to become critical of European literature about Africa. He eventually wrote his final papers in the University in 1953 and emerged with a second-class degree.
Prof Achebe taught for a while after graduation before joining the Nigeria Broadcasting Service in 1954 in Lagos.
While in Lagos with the Broadcasting Service, Mr. Achebe met Christie Okoli, who later became his wife; they got married in 1961. The couple had four children.
He also played a major role during the Nigeria Civil War where he joined the Biafran Government as an ambassador.
His latest book, There Was a Country, was an autobiography on his experiences and views of the civil war. The book was probably the most criticised of his writings especially by Nigerians, with many arguing that the professor did not write a balanced account and wrote more as a Biafran than as a Nigerian.
Prof. Albert Chinualumogu Achebe (1930 – 2013). Rest in Peace. His works lives on.