R.I.P. Chinua Achebe

Chinua Achebe, the Nigerian activist, novelist, poet  who had the world in his grasp passed away on

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Thursday. He was 82 years old. Achebe debut novel “All Things Fall Apart” effected not only African and European culture but it effected the United States so much that it is a reading requirement for most high schools. The book is about the British colonialism but in the perspective of an African.  In 1958, when the book was released it sold 11 million copies world-wide and have been translated in 50 languages.

What makes him important is not just his written word but what he did with his personal life. He was an artist that lived by his words and he hated what was going on in Africa. From declining awards from presidents because of the condition of the country to writing about his frustrations; Achebe never hid his unhappiness for the way things were/are going for Africa.

He was amazing and he will be deeply miss. So in his honor read this poem and respect the truth that he is making us to see.

A Mother In A Refugee Camp

No Madonna and Child could touch
Her tenderness for a son
She soon would have to forget. . . .
The air was heavy with odors of diarrhea,
Of unwashed children with washed-out ribs
And dried-up bottoms waddling in labored steps
Behind blown-empty bellies. Other mothers there
Had long ceased to care, but not this one:
She held a ghost-smile between her teeth,
And in her eyes the memory
Of a mother’s pride. . . . She had bathed him
And rubbed him down with bare palms.
She took from their bundle of possessions
A broken comb and combed
The rust-colored hair left on his skull
And then—humming in her eyes—began carefully to part it.
In their former life this was perhaps
A little daily act of no consequence
Before his breakfast and school; now she did it
Like putting flowers on a tiny grave.

—Chinua Achebe

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One comment

  1. Pingback: In memoriam across the globe: Chinua Achebe | african perspectives

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