Sunday, 29 January 2017

Chimamanda Adichie & Chika Unigwe mourn Buchi Emecheta..

Buchi Emecheta, pictured in 1995.

Florence Onyebuchi "Buchi" Emecheta OBE (21 July 1944 – 25 January 2017) was a Nigerian-born British novelist, based in Britain since 1960,[1] who had also written plays and autobiography, as well as for children. She was the author of more than 20 books, including Second-Class Citizen (1974), The Bride Price (1976), The Slave Girl (1977) and The Joys of Motherhood (1979).
Buchi Emecheta, was a pioneering Nigerian author whose 20 novels mined her experience as a black single mother in Britain to produce work that inspired a generation of black British writers, has died at the age of 72.
The author, whose work encompassed adult and children’s fiction, as well as plays, passed away in her sleep at her care home in London on Wednesday.
Her themes of child slavery, motherhood, female independence and freedom through education won her considerable critical acclaim and honours. Emecheta once described her stories as "stories of the world…[where]… women face the universal problems of poverty and oppression, and the longer they stay, no matter where they have come from originally, the more the problems become identical." She has been characterised as "the first successful black woman novelist living in Britain after 1948".

Acclaimed writers Chika Unigwe and Chimamanda Adichie mourned Buchi Emecheta:

Buchi Emecheta passed away 25th January,2017
Buchi Emecheta died this morning ): 
Someday I'll write a fitting ode to this woman whose books grew me

I remember meeting Buchi years ago in London (with other Caine Prize shortlisted writers Monica Arac de Nyeko, Brian Chikwava, Parselelo Kantai and Doreen Baingana) and the conversation turned to the whys of our writing . A journalist (?) asked if we wrote for the love of writing or for money. And we all said for the love it of course. Buchi gave us an earful. "You don't hear journalists say they do their jobs for the love of it! There is nothing wrong with making money from writing! It's a job like any other!" (Or something along those lines) She taught me the very valuable lesson that pursuing your passion and making money from it are not mutually exclusive.

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Buchi Emecheta.
We are able to speak because you first spoke. 
Thank you for your courage.
Thank you for your art.
Nodu na ndokwa.

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