On March 21, 2013, Chinua Acheba died at 82 years of age. When I read this news it instantly took me back to middle school. I was thirteen and I remember my English Teacher announcing that there was a new book we were being assigned to read. I even remember the first time I laid eyes on the yellow and red cover of Things Fall Apart, I fell in love. It was new and different from all the other books I had read. For starters all the names in the book sounded like my brothers’, and my cousins’ names. As I continued to read I fell even deeper in love, It took place in a country I visited summers as a child, a place my father called home. It was foreign and unknown to my classmates but a place that I loved. When I found out who the author was and that like my dad he was born and raised in Nigeria, I was excited. As a thirteen year old girl to see your culture represented in a book that was required reading for your whole entire school, was a proud moment that I will never forget.
Chinua Achebe for me, like many others, was my introduction to African Literature. I went on to read his other novels and through the years I have stayed inspired by his writings and his love for his homeland. That very same love I have for my homeland and for my people. At thirteen years of age, I got to witness and experience the power of literature and how it can transform young minds. The very reason I write today is because of great authors like Chinua Achebe.
Thank you for inspiring that thirteen year old girl and Thank You for inspiring the whole world.
RIP Chinua Achebe- Thank You!
“My weapon is literature”- Chinua Achebe
Knowledge is Power & Power is Possibility