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Chinua Achebe: A man of the People (1930-2013: The Peoples’ tributes)

Dear Sir, God bless you for giving people the opportunity to pay tribute to this great son of Africa. I like the way Nadine Gordimer’s describes Achebe as a brilliant mind and bold spirit. Thank you Achebe for passing through this clime. Chukwudi Ihenacho. Lagos. 08033000371

Dear Sir, Chinua Achebe was the last Mohican. A moral avatar. He was a literary sheriff illuminating with his pen, the dark night of the Nigerian soul. Lest we forget, he constantly reminded us of the wasteland of our leadership trapped in corruption, ineptitude and officially sanctioned cornucopian. His works have earned him a gambol in the corridor of immortality. He is already writing on heaven’s walls! Agu Onwuzuruoha. 08034034878.

Dear Sir, Chinualumogu Achebe spoke for all Africans. A true ambassador who showed the world the good that was in Africa before the whites landed! The Fela Kuti of African literature! A prophet! A wise one! And a honest icon who was never moved by mediocrity! Fearless! A legend! He can’t die! His legacy lives! Its on us to build on it! Africa is rich! -Kamsi Atuchukwu,Lagos. [email protected]

Dear Sir, The news of the death of the foremost African writer, Prof. Chinua Achebe was shattering as it marks the nunc dimitis of pioneer African writing. This indeed shows what stealth death can do even to those whose lives and works have become institutions. The death of Achebe underscores the immortality of all living creatures even as their good works will live on. Described by President Nelson Mandela as the “writer in whose company the prison walls fell down”, Achebe in writing sought   to and did liberate souls and people who were captives of man’s inhumanity to fellow men. By his death, we have lost a gem, an archive of historical developments and an agent of change. Adieu. The Hon Barr. Nwabueze Ugwu. [email protected]

Dear Sir, Professor Chinua Achebe lives on. Indeed the whole world will miss Achebe. I am particularly consoled by the fact Achebe stood for the truth and development. Things are really falling apart.  Noble. N. 08060969697.

Dear Sir, Achebe is not dead. He merely transited to paradise of fecund muses. Things fall Apart has been translated to over sixty world languages and read and studied by millions all over the world. To live in the hearts of those who love you and love your works is simply the attainment of eternity, immortality and deification. It is good he penned There was a Country…capturing his personal experiences of the Biafran holocaust and the Nigerian dilemma. My condolence to the Achebe family, Nigeria, the world literati. Onye obuna dienu. Onwe.OJ 08035033723.

Dear Sir, Chinua Achebe’s death was just heart breaking. Chukwuebuka. Anaebo NAU Akwa. 07030053847.

Dear Sir, The great Professor Chinua Achebe won my respect and love not just because he has improved my knowledge of African culture and tradition through his books, but because he rejected 50 cents I million dollars, a huge amount which many of our politicians will never turn down? For the integrity of his book Things Fall Apart and again because of his moral value and humanity he refused to share national honors with ill-gotten millionaires and criminals? Oh Prof RIP. I will miss you. 081305344807.

Dear Sir, though I have found one or two comments in the time past by a certain Lai Ashadele as irksome and disturbing, I however agree with him this time in his response to your last article. In making reference to the civil war in your last article as he said “of what contributive advantage was that in big rich kids and entertainment?” your thought about the injustice of the civil war in the past have been made and understood by discerning minds. When sensitive matters like this become over stretched, it gives the do-gooders more room to twist one’s thought. So, I agree with him even though… and my tribute to Achebe. Oh Chinus! The master story teller. He was finely rooted in culture as reflected in his work and appearance. He came to simply fulfill a mission and he did so well. Njideka. 07038694227.

Dear Sir, the eagle is still on the iroko and will forever remain there. Okait, ugonabo, odenka, omenka, thank you for the good job you did for us. Ya gazie. Nwokedi Owerri. 07035200002.

Dear Sir, Achebe in your first novel, you told how the British in their civilizing mission destroyed Igbo norms and values; in your last you told how Nigeria  a product of the British and in collaboration with their civilized masters massacred and genocided Igbo people. The truth you told the world will forever remain with them. Achebe uwa nile you will live forever in the minds of truth lovers. 08034205517.

Dear Sir, my hero and father even if literary, Albert Chinualumogu Achebe is dead. My world! My woes! It is the end of an era. I mourn for the paragon of Igbo nationalism… a paragon of virtue that bent to no evil wind. The noble author and defender of African literature. I agonize. I am in anguish. With what will they measure my tears. The pride of Igbo race. The defender of Igbo cause and the black man’s history bows to mortality. My world! My woes! G. Nebechi Ezeoke ESQ. 08033779010.

Dear Sir, a rare gem and a colossus of the literary world, who would take up the battle started by his recent exposition in there was a country published as a personal account of the Nigeria Biafra civil war?  Azuama.S. I. Owerri. 08063045665.

Dear Sir, Chinualumogu Achebe was a great man. He came he saw and he conquered. If not for anything l love his last book, There was a Country. May the soul of Chinua and the soul of the departed rest in peace. Amen.08035804917.


Dear Sir, he was a prolific literary icon, the arrow that shot him into the world belongs to the god. With him the literary sun was set at ease. If they had listened to him things wouldn’t have fallen apart and now that he has gone they remember there was a Chinua Achebe. Adieu Achebe. Engr. Owhor Honest Obi. Port Harcourt. 07084148116.


Dear Sir, Chinua Achebe is the greatest Igbo man that has passed through this evil riddled land called Nigeria since 1914. George Ibecheozor. Owerri. 08036737985.


Dear Sir, truly The Arrow of God struck and A Man of the People passed on. For this reason, Things Fall Apart and it was no longer at ease at the anthill. Truly there was a country. Rest in peace Achebe. Sonny Ehimare. Inegbenose, Uromi Edo State. 08052140849.


Dear Sir, from primary school at St Phillips Central School Ogidi, Anambra State and Central School Nekede, Owerri, Imo State, Achebe left his footprints as a very brilliant student having obtained full scholarship to Dennis Memorial Grammar School Onitsha and Goverment College Umuahia. At Umuahia he completed his secondary school in a record four years instead of the five-year time frame, passing the Cambridge ordinary level in five distinctions and one credit.The credit ironically was in english literature. For a student nick-named “Dictionary”, he must have felt disappointed. Achebe proceeded to University College Ibadan through a nation-wide entrance examination in which he was first or second in the country and his proud Government College Umuahia put up a sign which stayed for years announcing his performance at the University entrance examination.  After his university education at Ibadan, Achebe moved on and commenced a career with the Nigerian Broadcasting Service (NBS) in 1954. He moved rather rapidly up the ladder and ultimately appointed Director of External Broadcasting.Whilst at NBS he utilised his spare time in writing.

The turning point however was an encounter at Ibadan with his English professor when she could not explain to him the meaning that Achebe’s’story entry in a short story competition” lacked form”. Achebe declared thereafter “And it dawned on me that despite her excellent mind and background, she was not capable of teaching across cultures, from her English culture to mine. It was in these circumstances that I was moved to put down on paper the story that became” Things Fall Apart”. Yet” Things Fall Apart”, the epic ground-breaking novel would have been lost to the world. Achebe himself told the story of how in his naivety he sent the original and only manusript of the novel to a typing agency in London for an expert touch in typing and preparation for publishing.

Achebe reminisces “I look back now at those events and state categorically that had the manuscript been lost,I most certainly would have been irreversibly discouraged from continuing my writing career.” And the world never would have read such intriguing, captivating and enthralling stories of not only” Things Fall Apart” where Achebe expressed himself in naked gratitude to his Igbo culture and history but also” No Longer At Ease”, “Arrow Of God”, “A Man Of The People”, “Anthills Of The Savannah” etc. Nigerians especially would probably  not have known Achebe’s perspective in what is arguably the most lucid diagnosis and remedy of the Nigerian problem in” The Trouble With Nigeria”. And indeed a most revealing account of the Nigeria-Biafra war may also have been lost in” There Was A Country”.

Achebe was not just a great story-teller,he was a literary Pan-Africanist.Through his writing he contributed immensely in redirecting the orientation of the rest of the world on their dim perspective of African culture and history. He was literally saying particularly to our Colonizers—before your arrival,we had a story and are proud to tell it. One of the more common features in the barrage of tributes and eulogies following the news of his death is that  he was a great Patriot apart ofcourse from his obvious literary feat.This is just as well because in his essays, lectures, interviews,books etc he had continued to engage the Nigerian question by not only pointing clearly at what the problem is in “The Trouble With Nigeria” where he put the problem squarely on leadership but also by suggesting remedies.

His now famous rejection twice of the national honours was not as disrespect to Nigeria but as a protest of inept leadership. Similarly when he ignored sometime ago an appointment to the board of the Federal Radio Corporation Of Nigeria (FRCN)made over the radio,he was simply telling the Government that things are not done that way.

The story is told of a popular American musician who chose to title his upcoming film “Things Fall Apart” and when informed that Achebe had a copyright to the title he bragged that he would pay him off and offered a million dollars which Achebe rejected, informing him the title was not for sale not even for one hundred million dollars. Achebe would be leaving not only a legacy of principle, forthrightness, uncommon courage, classic story-telling etc, but an intellectual family of a wife who is professor of psychology, four children,two of whom are professors of history, one assistant professor of medicine and the other a writer all in the USA.

As Achebe departs…we obviously need a leader who is A Man of The People who will repeatedly shoot at our problems with Arrow Of God atop the Anthill Of A Savannah until we have not a country that was but one that is. Adieu. Victor Emeana. Abuja. 08033054474.  [email protected]

Dear uncle Jimanze, keep the good work you are going you are gradually building a new generation. Ahiazuwa. Okechukwu Aguzue. 08037195315.

Dear Sir, The story you wrote on the tabloid Daily Sun rich kids and entertainment don’t you have what to write again or you are out of ideas because that is a stupid story. Next time think before you write. 08108914984.


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