Remembering Chinua Achebe
By Chidike Okeem
On Thursday, March 21st, 2013, the world lost an intellectual heavyweight in Professor Chinua Achebe. He died at the age of 82. Commonly regarded as the father of African literature because of his development of the field, Achebe penned many significant books—most influential of these being Things Fall Apart, a 1958 novel that examined the manifold effects of British colonialism on the culture of the Igbo tribe in southeastern Nigeria. At the point of Achebe’s death, he was a professor of English at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.
Most remarkable about Achebe’s life is the fact that his extraordinary pen and sui generis literary talent took him from the provincial African town of Ogidi to the hallowed halls of the Ivy League as a professor. Achebe excelled during his early educational pursuits and had such a virtuoso grasp of the English language that he earned the nickname “Dictionary.” The fact that Achebe’s work continues to be required reading all over the globe—from the primary school level to the graduate school level—makes it difficult to impeach his literary credibility. His rise from obscurity to international prominence is a testament to the lofty heights that can be achieved when tremendous talent is merged with the same level of tremendous devotion to hard work.
Readers, you will note that this is first article I have published on a site that isn’t VOICEOFCHID.com in a year! The honest reason for this is because I completely lost the motivation to do freelance writing for other websites, especially since my views on issues like Trayvon Martin, race, and Mitt Romney stood out like a sore thumb against other conservative writers. (Of course, I was right, and they were wrong.) If you know me by now, you’ll know I am not the kind of writer to conform to viewpoints with which I vehemently disagree just to be part of the crowd. Sometimes, you need to retreat into your own space and confidently voice your own views. VOICEOFCHID.com provided a safe, quick, and easy platform to write what I really think about issues. A good writer knows his audience, and while I don’t have a problem with making provocative arguments, I am not a troll, so I would never want to troll other websites with my ideas.
As far as my hiatus from writing outside of VOICEOFCHID.com, things are about to change. I’ve signed on as a Communities columnist for The Washington Times! (Read my bio/staff page.) So definitely stay tuned for my columns there. Also, I still have pieces that are exclusive to VOICEOFCHID.com coming soon.