The death of one of the greatest writers of all time,Chinua Achebe,has sparked his fellow novelists to stand up and speak their own piece of mind about their colleague. Wole Soyinka and JP. Clark delivered their heartfelt message about their colleague,friend and brother and this is what they had to say.
“For us, the loss of Chinua Achebe is, above all else, intensely personal. We have lost a brother, a colleague, a trailblazer and a doughty fighter.
“It is perhaps difficult for outsiders of that intimate circle to appreciate this sense of depletion, but we take consolation in the young generation of writers to whom the baton has been passed, those who have already creatively ensured that there is no break in the continuum of the literary vocation.
“We need to stress this at a critical time of Nigerian history, where the forces of darkness appear to overshadow the illumination of existence that literature represents.
“These are forces that arrogantly pride themselves implacable and brutal enemies of what Chinua and his pen represented, not merely for the African continent, but for humanity.
“Indeed, we cannot help wondering if the recent insensate massacre of Chinua’s people in Kano, only a few days ago, hastened the fatal undermining of that resilient will that had sustained him so many years after his crippling accident.”
The University of Nigeria Nsukka in Enugu State has declared a morning period for the late Trailblazer.The accident that left him to a wheelchair occurred on the 22 march 1990 and he died on 22 march 2013.WHAT A TRAGIC LOSS. My condolence goes out to is family and friends.
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.
English translation by Adaure Achumba
Something has happened
Something big/grave has happened,
Chinua Achebe is gone.
A great writer, a man of great wisdom, a man with a good heart.
Who shall we brag about?
Who are we going to tell the world about/take to other lands?
Who will guide us?
A storm has passed/a catastrophe has happened.
Tears fill my eyes.
Chinua Achebe rest in peace,
It shall be well with you.
Rest in peace.