Chinua Achebe: Death, Where Are Thy Claws? By Niyi Osundare

Prof. Chinua Achebe
By Niyi Osundare

Chinua Achebe is one of those epically unique individuals whose lives have been so full, so purposive and so impactful that we begin to pray that they will never die. But who doesn't know that that is mere wishful thinking? To be sure, the Eagle on Iroko didn't die young, but he left when we still need him urgently and acutely. He has gone, but he left so much of, by, himself behind...

 
Achebe shook up the literary world with Things Fall Apart when he was barely in his late twenties. He told Africa's story and gave humanity a song. Since that day in 1958 when that epochal novel intruded upon the world to this very day, hardly any week has passed without the author's name being mentioned somewhere in this world of books and ideas.
 
But if the sheer force and range of Achebe's fiction gave Africa a voice, the fearless truth of his critical interventions challenged so many myths and deliberate falsehoods about the most misrepresented and recklessly abused continent in the world. Achebe knew, and he tried to get us to know, that  Africans will remain mere objects of the stories told by others, until they, Africans,  have started to tell their own story their own way - without shutting out the rest of the world. Achebe challenged the 20th century philosophy of fiction as a pretty object d'art, arriving with works which foregrounded the human condition and told the wondering world that the clotheless Emperor was, indeed, naked! He entered a plea for the urgent necessity of an entity called 'applied art' and emboldened us to look triumphalist Formalism in the face and demand to see its passport. Yes, Achebe told a world sold to the art-for-art's-sake mystique that it is, indeed, possible to be an accomplished novelist who is also a teacher.
 
Controversy hardly ever parts company with a writer and thinker of his brand. He took almost as much criticism as he gave; for he was a man who never ran from a fight.

The world celebrates the LIFE of this distinguished story-teller and thinker. (Yes, celebrate, for to mourn is to concede supremacy to Death - and Oblivion, its Mephistophelean factotum).

Rest well, Chinualomogu. Rest well, Obierika, the man who thought about things. Posterity will never let you die. We regret your passing. We celebrate your Life.

 Niyi Osundare
New Orleans, March 22, 2013.   

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Achebe, Soyinka, Saro-Wiwa, Dele-Giwa, Okey-Ndibe, et al.

"When one is recalcitrantly fixated to the heart of darkness, there is very little one can do to help" (Nsionu, P)
Achebe, Soyinka, Saro-wiwa, Dele-Giwa, Okey-Ndibe, et al, have been mighty pen-warriors in the ailments of the Giant of Africa-Nigeria. Okey Ndibe, one of our contemporary, indefatigable pen-warriors, 'net-ethicists, and letter-ministers, has kept us awake and alert as to the solution or panacea for our National (dis)Unity, (in)sanity, and (un)progress. He pointed out: "In his short novel, Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad writes forthrightly about imperialism: 'The conquest of the earth, which mostly means the taking it away from those who have a different complexion or slightly flatter noses than ourselves, is not a pretty thing when you look into it too much.'”
Let each one of us be the change we want to see in others.
"When one is pathologically and recalcitrantly tied to the heart of darkness, there is very little one can do to help" - Nsionu Patrick.

Tribute....

Evil finally departs.
Frustrated in old age and condemned in exile.
Died, away from the Biafra he professed to love but too scared to reside!
Died, surrounded by descendants of a people that enslaved his ancestors
centuries ago.

Evil, charged by bitterness
and illuminated by hatred,
is extinguished
by the righteous spear
of judgment that came his way.

Ever at home
in a world nurtured with his lies, it blossomed into his truth!

Uncrippled
to be a spirit of the night sitting at the right hand side of Lucifer,
his soul is finally free to explore depths
of his new world!
Never a penny received from the fruits of libel,
Never another word written from the juice of libel,

Sage of Ikenne go back to sleep!
The reach of the god of Nemesis is broad, swift and deep.
The sun has set on the beast of the east.

Chinua Achebe Smiles At Last - A Poetic Tribute

Chinua Achebe smiles at last
Chinua Achebe smites at last
Chinua Achebe swipes at last
Chinua Achebe slights at last
Chinua Achebe styles at last
Chinua Achebe slides at last
Chinua Achebe scribes at last
Chinua Achebe strikes at last
Chinua Achebe smiles at last
Chinua Achebe debunks at last
Chinua Achebe defends at last
Chinua Achebe defeats at last
Chinua Achebe deceases at last
Chinua Achebe smiles at last
Chinua Achebe smiles at last
Chinua Achebe smiles at last
A Chinua Achebe Tribute in Poetry
by Rev. Prof. Nsionu Patrick.

On chinua Achebe

BLESSING EKEOCHA, DEPT OF MASS COMM,300L, CALEB UNIVERSITY, IMOTA, LAGOS.
ONE OF THE GREAT WRITERS OF OUR TIME.WE WILL MISS HIM AND HIS NUMEROUS WORKS. HOPING THAT THE INDUSTRY KEEP GROWING TO GET BETTER COMMUNICATORS IN FUTURE

On chinua Achebe

BLESSING EKEOCHA, DEPT OF MASS COMM,300L, CALEB UNIVERSITY, IMOTA, LAGOS.
ONE OF THE GREAT WRITERS OF OUR TIME.WE WILL MISS HIM AND HIS NUMEROUS WORKS. HOPING THAT THE INDUSTRY KEEP GROWING TO GET BETTER COMMUNICATORS IN FUTURE.

PITY, DELE AWEGBEOLA

YOU MUST BE A PITIABLE LOT FOR NOT KNOWING THAT HUMMANITY IS ONE AND ANY INJUSTICE METED AGAINST ANOTHER IS METED AGAINST SELF.

IT WAS IGBOS AT THE RECEIVING END OF AWO'S INHUMMANITY YESTERDAY, AND YOU FEEL SCANDALISED THAT ACHEBE VOICED HIS PERSONAL OPINION ABOUT YOUR 'GOD' AWOLOWO.

IF YOU REALLY BELIEVE IN AWOLOWO SO VERY MUCH, SIMPLY SAY AMEN TO THIS PRAYER:

GOD ALMIGHTY, THE FATHER OF ALL HUMMANITY, MAY WHAT HAPPENED TO THE IGBOS BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER THE CIVIL WAR ALSO HAPPEN TO THE YOURUBA.

IF YOU CAN NOT SAY AMEN, THEN PRAY TO GOD TO FORGIVE YOU FOR WRITING SUCH THRASH ABOUT ACHEBE WHO GAVE HIS TWO AND ONLY DAUGHTERS TO YORUBA MEN AS WIVES.

ON HATRED 2

GENERALLY, IGBOS DO NOT HATE THE YOURUBA, BUT WE CAN NEVER FORGET AND THERE ARE AS MANY ACHEBES IN IGBOLAND AS ARE COGNITIVE ENOUGH AND TO REMEMBER.

FOR A PERSON WHO CALLED HIMSELF A CHRISTIAN TO HAVE DONE ALL THESE TO FELLOW CHRISTIANS AND WHO DIED AN UNREPENTANT CRIMINAL AGAINST HUMMANITY, IT IS ONLY EXPECTED THAT GOD MUST HAVE RESERVED THE HOTEST AND DEEPEST RECESSES OF HELL FOR HIM WITH HIS RETINUE OF EVILDOERS STOKING HIS CELL WITH BRIMSTONE AND UNQUENCHABLE FIRE.

ALSO REMEMBER 1

KOLA, ALSO REMEMBER THAT AWOLOWO'S STARVATION WARFARE KILLED 2 MILLION MORE IGBOS THAN GOWON'S ARMY, FIGHTERS, BOMBERS,MACHINE GUNS, TANKS AND ARTILARY PUT TOGETHER.

AWOLOWO WAS AND IS SO MUCH EVIL TO NDIGBO THAT THERE WAS NO PROMINENT IGBOMAN WHO WAS NOT DEALT A BAD CARD - ZIK IN 1952, OJUKWU BW 1967-1970, ALL IGBOS AFTER THE WAR AND CHINUA ACHEBE.IF HATRED FOR THE IGBOS WALK ON ALL FOURS, AWOLOWO WOULD HAVE BEEN NEBUCHADNESSER.

AWOLOWO'S HATRED FOR THE IGBOS SPILT OVER TO HIS AND SUBSEQUENT GENERATIONS SO MUCH SO THAT IT WOULD APPEAR AS IF THE FIRST INNOCULATION THE AVERAGE YORUBA GIVES THEIR NEWBORNS IS TRIBALISM, PARAPOISM AND IGBOPHOBIA.

If only you think

@Abubarka you said you thought Igbos a lessons?after the lesson what happened? They bounce back that nothing happened and have overtaking you; lesson teacher.
Achebe wrote one book about the civil war according to his personal convictions. Did he speak for the whole igbos? No he didn't. Shallow minds like Dele must have been born in interior villages and is fortunate to have access to internet facilities in a global village if not I don't see any reason why he will generalise a personal opnion to the whole igbos,I am a Nigerian, then an igbo man, if am suddenly find myself as the richest man on earth, the first beneficiaries of my wealth will be me immediate family and my three closest friends,seyi,moyo and femi.

All the same

I think this is what criticism is all about as we have different perceptions. Achebe is definately not a perfect man and we should not expect that from any mortal but he left an indelible footprint that reminds us he was here. He deserves a celebration. @prof. Osundary. Thanks.

You are from a lowly birth!

Keep quite! Mask your ill-thought. Stop racing a though you were the death out of ogbuefi-father of Africanliterature.
Anti-Nigeria.

Why will u be so heartless?

Why will u be so heartless? Achebe is never evil. He chose to stay abroad cos his own country lacks a credible working system with national leaders who lack d political will to cause change! Achebe's stay abroad is thus a revolt! This does not make him evil! Please revoke ur statements! His works and contribution to literary arts will forever linger.

Tribute

Evil finally departs.

Frustrated in old age and condemned in exile.

Died, away from the Biafra he professed to love but too scared to reside!

Died, surrounded by descendants of a people that enslaved his ancestors
hundreds of years ago.

Charged by bitterness
and illuminated by hatred,
evil is extinguished
by the righteous spear
of judgment that came his way.

Ever at home
in a world nurtured with his lies, it blossomed into his truth!

Uncrippled to be a spirit of the night sitting at the right hand side of Lucifer, his soul is finally free to explore depths
of his new world!

Never a penny received from the fruits of libel,
Never another word written from the juice of libel,

the sage of Ikenne go back to sleep!
The reach of the god of Nemesis is broad
and deep.
The sun has set on the beast from the east.

BUT ACHEBE HATED YORUBAS!

While Achebe is rightly being remembered for his literary achievements, he should also be remembered for his animosity towards Yoruba people.
When Wole Soyinka was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986, Achebe came out to criticizethe Prize saying that the Nobel was not “the ultimate in African literature” and that the Prize did not make anybody the "Ashiwaju of Nigerian literature". Yet, Soyinka was celebrated by our fellow Africans - from Harare to Nairobi to Dakar - because the prize put a positive global focus on African works of literature, benefiting all African writers.
Again, in 1987 when Awo died and was being mourned not only in Yorubaland but across the country. Achebe rose again warning IBB not to accord Awo a national burial because he was a sectional leader, adding salt to the injury of a grieving family and a mourning people. Imagine!
We need to remember all these facts while Achebe is being mourned.

@wahala. vienna sausage igbo narcissist can't help himself!!!-2

they don't have to - except of course when you don't have enough, you try to compensate for the lack there in. more so, when you are half-baked and living in vienna. every day...igbo this...igbo that! na only you? fucking OSU. there are many more than you… thoroughbreds of pure stock, not otu ocha like you. again, who died and made you the spokesman? can’t help yourself because of your narcissistic personality disorder. a real igbo would not pick a fight on chinua achebe's grave. if an aboki spits in my face, tunde4k stabs you in the back.

@wahala. vienna sausage igbo. narcissist who can't help himself!

what an egotistical piece of shit. a narcissist. egomaniacal narcissism. narcissistic personality disorder. an epitome of hot steamy pile of bullshit. who died and made you a spokesman for ndigbo? ibo mythology! a spokesman for ndigbo...from vienna???? let me spell ogbunigwe for you!!! - my blood is probably more axenic than yours. got it?? i hope you do?? you can’t be all things at one time. i have chosen who i am. some people don't carry all their identities on their foreheads.

@Wahala...please HURT me...HATE me...show no mercy to me!!!!!

sure. hahahaha...real iconic image with your receding hairline. real iconic when you hair line starts in the middle of your scalp. dude...i have been haunting...dying to lock horns with you. AM READY FOR WHATEVER!!! bring on the HATE and i will hand you your BALD HEAD. the last time you begged for the fire to stop. this time, i will show no mercy. we can take this shit far and beyond to your ancestral land, faggot and i promise to be nice and give you a bloody nose! retard worm that you are. bitch, i promise to make you famous...bring it on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!onye iwe na we owe ya, iwe gabu gi. ofe nmanu onye oshi.

Chinua Achebe, the struggle continues where you left off!

Chinua Achebe, the struggle for a part to liberate adequately within the whole will continue where you left off!
Life and politics are intertwined but erudition points to the fine line. It takes a fellow to eulogize a departed icon-genius with soulful poetry, not withstanding!
You will live forever, Ichie oma!

@ Ogbunigwe : Blom-blo like you ...shut up dia !!!

@ OgbuBlom-blo :
Oko-oko. Calling yourself "Ogbunigwe". Translate 'Ogbunigwe'! If my positive contributions in defence of Igbo Mythology here on SR were counted in coins, the cash will buy your life! Mouthing off from the gutter at a superior mind and insulting Ibos to "suck it up" is an insolence I took umbrage at, that's why I'm granting you half-bakeded response. The fake Aboki tout you're defending will throw gworo spit in your face without flinching, and here you are making a repugnant fool of yourself. Henceforth, you won't get away with rubbing off on my iconic image. Ogiri. Make it a habit and I will treat you like a Baba Alawo ...with real Hatred!

Thema:
@ Niyi Osundare, O'jare! RESPECT !!
Lest we forget, it is on record that Prof. Achebe's contemporary, Nobel Lauret, Prof. Wole Soyinka was the Only Nigerian to "do time" on both sides of the divide during the Biafran war. Yorubas are Great and pragmatic people. Our Noisy Neighbours!

Taa! Stop, you Achebe haters!

Let my post be the last of anyone to acknowledge any negative post about Achebe. If we continue to do so we give fillip to the nincompoops' morbid propensities such as one of them expressed here that he contributed to making Achebe's life miserable as his days waned! The idiot believed Achebe read his posts on SR or wherever. Me, the commoner never bothered to read such posts.

Among the Igbo there is a saying that in the occurrence of two events you eschew enmity. These are if there is BIRTH and DEATH in any family. If you know a family and one of them dies, for instance, even if both families are in enmity, you still go to their home and commiserate with them. My Yoruba wife tells me they have a similar saying. Thus, these Achebe haters are merely exhibiting ill-breeding. I pity their generations! Please, let us leave the fools to continue to wallow in their foolishness. Niyi, thank you, o jare for the masterful euology!

@ Fake Aboki Abdul : Freedom of Speech does not include Slaves!

@ Abudl :
I never really discouraged warlords like Otile, Oleku, Akpos1 et al from shooting down omo gbana clowns like you, your last sentence gave you away as enslaved Ilorin Yoro (whose Oba is still hiding in the bush while the Emir occupies his throne - cr. Oleku), fake Yoruba. We don't need your sympathy, the World is mourning Prof. Achebe for his contribution to mankind, what have you contributed to humanity? Every news outlet worth a bowl of ewedu soup reported the passing "Live" while fellow icons like Mandela wailed about Africa's loss. Dey dia, keep scratching dust from real Aboki yansh for a piece of gworo. I'm sure they've tought you how to wash your yansh with a spent bottle of burukutu. Ode! Humbled servant! Oloshi, omo ale. Omo ashawo! Olori buruku! Instead of enriching your aboki-damaged mind from the write-up, you're displaying slave education and making a mess of your worhtless heritage. Clown!

@ Niyi Osundare : Deepest RESPECT, o'jare!

AN IROKO TREE HAS FALLEN

Achebe oh ACHEBE,the FATHER of modern African Literature,an ICON ,A proud AFRICAN,the voice of Africa. You gave African Literature a voice and many of your SONS and DAUGHTERS echo you. Even after death , your works live. YOU were not afraid of criticism when you lived because that is part of the Literay World and we are not going to raise an eye brow when people critizes you now. REST IN PEACE MY FATHER ,JE NKEOMA NWOKE IKE! OGA ADIRI GI N'MMA!

Re -Awogbeoba

Let us go back to the comments on the Achebe book last October. If we find many instances of our igbo brothers reprimanding Achebe for the words said about a dead Awolowo then we must bring Awogbeoba to order right now.

If there were no such reprimands, then each person should simply live with whatever they are doing and let each person live with his own conscience.

foolish Yorubas

I dey laugh ooooooo......Igbo man abuse ur whole tribe plus your revered Awo and you are doing all possible to avoid hurting the same ibos here...I dey laugh oooo....the dead man himself called the great Awo a war criminal just last year and u are trying to be civil...i dey laugh ooooo

Have u wondered why u Yorubas are the most hated by these ibos....because you are too stupid. You are turning de otha cheek....it would be slapt again.

You wait for OBJ's passing. Come to this very site and read the comments from ibos on ur leaders....i dey laugh oooo

ibos used to do that to us in the 60's until we taught them a lesson they will never forget...i dey laugh oooooo

@Biodun

Have you heard any igbo that criticised Achebe's comments aganist Awolowo (a man dead for over 20 years)? I did not hear any either. Igbos have no empathy for people other than themselves.

On Achebe, thanks my Prof.

My Professor, thanks for this magnanimous eulogy of Pro. Achebe. I know that you saw (and respected) him from the standpoint of Literature and Arts. I am proud of the fact that you did not join the chorus of those who mixed his political vocation with his literary work.

Please Do Not Fan Hatred, Respect the Icon

Whoever Abdul is -- please stop fanning hatred or initiate any negative comments about our own dear Prof. Chinua Achebe. Achebe served well our country Nigeria and beyond. Achebe's legacy are remarkable and now, more than ever before he deserves our respect and devotion to his causes. Achebe did not bow to those who hijacked our country and spoke against injustice. His love shines through pages of books and writings.
Sun re ooo, Achebe.

SUPERB MAGNANIMITY.

@McLord Obioha, Pascal Ifeacho and others.
The above eulogy shows clearly that the Yorubas can easily forgive and move on. For many years, I lived among the Yorubas and also Igbos in their respective domains. So, I am not a stranger to both.
When Ojukwu died, one of the very best eulogy for him was written by another Yoruba man. Yoruba-land was a major factor in what Ojukwu and Achebe became.

WHO HAD READ CHINUA ACHEBE'S STORY THE MAD MAN

The Madman must be Achebe's greatest work and it's hardly ever mentioned. GREAT piece. You don't realise who the madman is until you finish the story. Pure genius.

From a bird of his feather.

Dele Awogbeogba, u seem to me like Ayo Turton Esq of Egbe Omo...bla bla bla. Rather than get irked by Niyi's object d' art of a tribute, note that it's only really educated ones like Wole, Niyi, Chinua, MC etc that have read away that blight of tribalism and murderous rage, the two vices have engulfed u, leading u to publish ur hate piece wherever Achebe (the Great Eagle that just flew off the iroko tree) is eulogized. Failed is ur bid to infect the minds of Yorubas! I've told u b4, I await ur cosmic capital purnishment.