Watching “Things Fall apart” as a child on NTA was epic for me because when I studied it in school, it came to me as if every scene was being replayed in my head. It made the reading interesting and even though I knew the end and knew the songs, it was worthwhile having a priceless book in my hands even though I had not met the author, I felt glad that I understood a bit of Nigerian history.
Yesterday there was a breaking news that Chinua Achebe, the author of that same book is dead. Many may never understand why some people will take his death serious, some might even say everyone seems to know Chinua Achebe feeling like a writer. May be you don’t know who he is, may be you never read his work but whoever a person is, regardless of how small, he or she is a person and when that person makes a difference in any way, his or her death must be felt.
Chinua Achebe is not only an author, a father but he is a friend to a writer we have come to admire. A friend whom she avoided at first but got to meet because he is her legend, her teacher and her mentor.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie will never be Chinua Achebe even if she lived in his house, read his books and had lunch with him, in fact none of us will; he is a man of his people, never failed to recognise himself as a Nigerian who must write to tell the stories about Nigeria no one would.
I don’t believe telling his family sorry is the right word, I don’t believe sympathy is all there is to death, except of cause the person missed out on a big pay cheque the day he or she died. For this reason and more, I am not sorry, neither will I say sorry for his death.
He is an icon, he is a legend, he has told his story and so must we. Chimamanda on hearing his death, wrote an elergy of his death; of cause she must have being close to him but for those who weren’t, all who don’t understand why writers would mourn; understand this- those who have written or are writing have not done it for fun or sacarsm of mankind, there is an imaginary world a writer travels to that no one can.
I love Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and I pray she lives to a ripe old age, I pray she reads my stories and gets to know me just like Achebe got to know her. In my words I believe both Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Chinua Achebe could not reign at the same time as Igbo Laureates; he is gone but he not forgotten, he has passed on the torch and we must also tell and write stories like he did. Adieu Achebe
Ife mee. Nnukwu ife mee. Chinua Achebe anabago. Onye edemede nke di egwu, onye nnukwu uche, onye obi oma. Keduzi onye anyi ga-eji eme onu? Keduzi onye anyi ga-eji jee mba? Keduzi onye ga-akwado anyi? Ebenebe egbu o! Anya mmili julu m anya. Chinua Achebe, naba no ndokwa. O ga-adili gi mma. Naba na ndokwa.
‘A tree has fallen. A mighty tree has fallen! Chinua Achebe is gone. The inimitable wordsmith, the sage, the kind man. Now who is there for us to boast about? Who will be our rampart? How are the mighty fallen! My eyes are in flood with tears. Chinua Achebe may your soul rest in peace. It is well with you. Rest in peace.