A great tree has fallen

Today, things really fall apart. Chinua Achebe, Africa’s wordsmith and global literary giant died at the age of 82. Many of us who pretend to write would not have had the courage if Achebe had not paved the way with classics like ‘Things Fall Apart’ ‘Arrow of God’ and ‘There once was a country’.

He was one of the first to point out the shamefully racist manner in which Africa is depicted in books and movies. He did so not to shame the world, but to push it to see Africa as a continent with a troubled past but a promising future. Through his teachings, Africans studying abroad could boldly challenge  professors and editors who dared portray Africa a mass filled with primitive tribes.

We could tell them that if they had Shakespeare, we had Chinua Achebe! We were able to do so because he had given us permission in beautifully scripted books. I personally loved ¬†Chinua Achebe for his striking rebuttal to Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness which can be read on the link attached¬†http://kirbyk.net/hod/image.of.africa.html

He is survived by his wife, four children and a bastion of grateful new writers.

Rest in perfect peace. In the words of Desmond Tutu, “God is proud of you”

 

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