From Things Fall Apart published when he was barely 32 years old,Chinua Achebe continued to pronounce the doom that has befallen Nigeria up until his death. He crowned it all with his controversial "There was a Country" and the trouble with Nigeria. From his works,its obvious he met Nigeria as a failed nation and died,leaving the same Nigeria as a failed nation. This got MBN thinking. Is Chinua Achebe a realist who was constantly portraying the bad leadership image of the country so that those in the corridors of power will take correction? Sadly enough,those people have less time for party affairs and devoting an hour or more to reading a "novel" of a man is just a life time punishment for them. And I thought again;is Achebe a pessimist who never believed that anything good will come out of Nigeria? He refused the national honours twice and openly criticised the government for being corrupt and less concerned with the well being of the people.
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Martin Beck Nworah is my name and for Prof. Chinua Achebe,I wish he had a better opportunity to impact lives in this nation. I wish he didn't suffer the injury that kept him in a wheel chair for so long. I wish he was a professor based in Nigeria during his lifetime so that he will teach many of us the right way to make an impact while writing, speaking and most importantly,acting against evil. During his lifetime,the politicians he criticised never quoted him nor paid homage openly to him because they knew he would openly rebuff and ridicule them. But on his death,many identified with him and wanted to be associated with the Achebe brand. Prof. Chinua Achebe lived a life working for a Nigeria that never came to reality during his lifetime. If I had the opportunity of seeing him on his death bed,I would've asked him; "Did you really achieve your dreams for Nigeria?"
He is gone and I continue to wonder what will happen to his legacy. Surely,no person will fill the shoes of the great man like himself. He has shouted,written and spoken against the oppression in Nigeria but nothing has ever changed since then. I don't know if anything will change in the nearest future.
To me, Chinua Achebe was a realist who many praised for his literary prowess and forgot to listen to the message he was passing across. Chimamanda Adichie must've noticed this on time and tagged her brand with Women emancipation in Nigeria. So asides being a novelist, she is advocating for more rights for the feminine folk in Nigeria. I will talk about her another day. For the love of Nigeria,I pray our politicians to read the works of Chinua Achebe and slowly assimilate the message he was trying to pass across all his lifetime. If this is not done,we will continue to live in a nation filled with individuals who will clap for your prowess and refuse your message.
Till we get to the Promised Land,I shall be waiting for when you will pass me a glass of water and thank God for the gift of grace for the race.
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