Remembered for such thrillers like Turning and turning in the widening gyre, The falconer can’t reach the falcon, The centre can’t hold and Things Fall Apart
By: Prof Jama Aden Ali
Chinua Achebe, the best African writer in this century, has died at the age of 82. Achebe was an internationally renowned author whose works and publications are purely indigenous.
He highlighted particularly on African culture, history and unique heritage, and was most often known to defend, in his capacity as an African novelist, the African personality, which the colonial powers had chastised or condescended in the past century.
He repelled the European domination and pacification of African tribes by showing that the Africans weren’t know-nothing “savage” creatures, but were instead people who as well had their own sophisticated technology, culture and heritage. This was particularly displayed in his first successful novel “Things Fall Apart”, which he wrote in 1952.The novel reflects the African make-up, lifestyle and potential heritage. “Arrow of god” and other works are nonetheless works that left no space to defend the African nation, and talk for its purity.
Inspiring younger generations of African writers, after “Things Fall Apart, Achebe moved further and forward to analyse and criticize imposed European culture. This was more so with the African Been-tos who, after coming back home from Europe, obviously after their scholarships, had tried to impose a foreign culture to the Africans. “No Longer At Ease” is an example of Achebe’s work that puts across to readers to situations where the returnees undergo sufferings because of the cultural clash. In the early month of 1960, the year of African independence, many elites had appeared on the political arena , and had ruled their countries,albeit their limited experience. Consequently, Africa was plagued through and throgh into widespread corruption. Africa needed saviors. Achebe,s “A man of the people” and ARmah Ayi’s moving novel”The Beautiful are not yet Born” are among pieces of literary works intended to correct these mistakes.The mission which he and his friends in Africa were putting across to their readers was to teach Africans the way forward to better lifestyle and development.
Achebe was a distinguished writer, and he will be remembered most by African nationals, and more so, of course, by professional writers in world wide. We are proud of him and are thankful to what he left for his nation.