THE MAN AND HIS BOOK – Abidoye Oluwaseyi Gideon

Inseparable from his classic, Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe can never be forgotten. He was clearly a man that walked on the rocks and took his time to etch his footprints on them. On Things Fall Apart, the simplicity and care he employed in the delivery of the story, yet not losing its underlying meaning, political, historical and cultural contextual essence is explicitly valuable and exemplary. The text has become a reference point for the mode of African prose delivery and experience.
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Chinua made himself a world literary citizen. Even to generations unborn, Things Fall Apart would always be a right of passage into modern African Prose and Literature. His overwhelming influence and mark on the African literary world cannot be under emphasized.

On my last walk with him through the pages of There was A country, I endlessly imagined for several hours the great hope that laid in the hands of the educated Nigerian Youth during Achebe’s growing time. I can never stop to imagine that really, there was a country, Nigeria in her full glory and pride.

After the reading, i somehow reached a conclusion that Things Fall Apart grew out from the part of Achebe’s heart that loved his root, yet embraced the western culture. As a child he loved reading so much he had read most English Literature Classics for the fun of it… No wonder he finally gave Nwoye, Okonkwo’s son to the missionary,killed Okonkwo, and gave room for a new beginning.

Despite his embrace of western education, the African in him never took it well with Conrad’s description of Africans. In essence, Achebe abhorred discrimination, racism, and down to his roots in Nigeria, marginalization. On specific accounts, Achebe has fought for Africans, Nigeria and the Igbo nation. He seemed to have taken grounds to boldly stand for every layer of his black identity, right from the top, continental, to the bottom, local. Achebe was proud of his origin to the very end.

His loyalty to the African nation, Nigeria (when there was a country), Biafra & the entire Igbo nation is admirable, and undoubtedly courageous. More than a great loss to the entire world, Literature and Nigeria as a whole, Achebe is an irreplaceable great loss to the Igbo nation. In all that could have been written to describe him and his relations in this world, this words should also find a place among them, Chinua Achebe : A Man of His People, A Citizen of the World.

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