Nigeria has lost one of its illustrious authors, Professor Chinua Achebe. Reports say Professor Achebe who authored the famed novel Things Fall Apart died on Thursday in a hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. He was 82. He has been a Marianna Fisher University Professor of Africana Studies at the Brown University since 2003.
Achebe’s 1958 novel Things Fall Apart has been described as the most widely read book in modern African literature.
Some other of his works include Arrow of God, A Man of The People, No Longer At Ease, Anthills of The Savannah.
As a student, Acthebe was admitted into the University College, Ibadan on scholarship to study Medicine. He however changed to English, History and Theology as a result of which he lost his scholarship. During his studies in Ibadan, he became critical of European literature about Africa. Most of his works dwelt on the richness of African culture and the effects of Christianity on the culture. His novels shed light on the social and psychological disorientation accompanying the imposition of Western customs and values upon traditional African society.
After his education, he taught for some time, after which he joined the National Broadcasting Corporation, Lagos as Director of External Broadcasting from 1961-66. In 1967, he co-founded a publishing company in Enugu with Christopher Okigbo, his poet friend who died during the Nigerian Civil War. On his arrival from the United States after the war, Achebe became a research fellow at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka where he later became a Professor of English, a position he held from 1976-81.
During the Nigerian Civil War, Achebe supported the Republic of Biafra and became the breakaway country’s ambassador. His latest work, There Was A Country generated some controversies being an account of the Civil War.
He won the Man Booker International Prize in 2007.