Chinua Achebe (born Albert Chinualumogu Achebe) was a celebrated Nigerian author, poet, and essayist. He was born on November 16, 1930, in Ogidi, a small town in Eastern Nigeria, to Isaiah Okafor Achebe and Janet Ileogbunam. He was the fifth child of six and belonged to the Igbo tribe.
Early Life And Education
Achebe’s parents were persuaded to convert from their traditional religion to Christianity by representatives of the British government, which ruled Nigeria at the time.
As a result, Achebe was raised as a Christian, but he also showed interest in traditional Nigerian religions.
He received his early education in a local school where the use of the Igbo language was prohibited, and parents were encouraged to disown their traditional religion. However, Achebe’s parents continued to practice their ancient polytheistic religion.
At the age of 14, Achebe was enrolled in the Government College in Umuahia, a prestigious boarding school. It was there that he met Christopher Okigbo, a classmate who would become a lifelong friend.
Achebe received a scholarship to study medicine at the University of Ibadan in 1948, but he switched to writing after a year. He studied history, theology, and English language and literature, earning his degree in 1954.
Career and Literary Works
After graduating from college, Achebe started working as a scriptwriter for the Nigerian Broadcasting Service (NBS). He rose to the position of chief programmer for the debate series and traveled to London in 1956 to attend a BBC training session.
Achebe returned to Nigeria and worked as an editor and story producer for the NBS, all the while writing in his free time. In 1958, he published his first novel, “Things Fall Apart.” The novel chronicles the effects of British colonialism on Nigerian society and is considered a classic of modern African literature.
It has been translated into over 50 languages and has sold over 10 million copies worldwide.
Achebe went on to write several other works of fiction, including “No Longer at Ease” (1960), “Arrow of God” (1964), and “A Man of the People” (1966). He also published a collection of essays, “Morning Yet on Creation Day” (1975), in which he discusses the role of literature in African society.
Achebe’s writing was a response to the dominance of European literature in African schools and universities. He believed that African literature should reflect the experiences of African people and provide a counter-narrative to the colonialist view of African culture.
Chinua Achebe Age
Chinua Achebe was born on November 16, 1930, and passed away on March 21, 2013. Therefore, he lived to be 82 years old.
Personal Life and Legacy
Achebe married Christiana Chinwe Okoli in 1961, and they had four children together: daughters Chinelo and Nwando, twin sons Ikechukwu and Chidi, and a daughter named Chinelo.
Achebe’s literary contributions earned him numerous honors and awards. He received more than 30 honorary doctorates and was awarded the Man Booker International Prize in 2007 for his lifetime’s work.
Achebe’s legacy as a writer and political activist continues to inspire and influence people around the world. He passed away on March 21, 2013, in Boston, Massachusetts, following a brief illness.
In conclusion, Chinua Achebe was a trailblazer in the world of literature, using his writing to shed light on the effects of colonialism and promote African voices.
His works have been translated into more than 40 languages and continue to be studied and appreciated by readers around the world.
Achebe’s impact on African literature and culture has been profound, and his legacy lives on through his writing and his dedication to promoting the works of other African writers.