Nigerian Female Writer Buchi Emecheta Dies at 72


Nigerian female writer Buchi Emecheta has passed on. She died peacefully in her sleep in London. She was 72 years old. She was Nigeria's best female novelist. Some of her work includes: The Bride Price, The Joys of Motherhood, Gwendolen, The Moonlight Bride, The Rape of Shavi, A Kind of Marriage to mention a few.

RIP Buchi Emecheta

Florence Onyebuchi Emecheta was born on 21 July 1944, in Lagos, Nigeria, to Igbo parents, Alice (Okwuekwuhe) Emecheta and Jeremy Nwabudinke, both parents from Ibusa, Delta State, Nigeria. In an era when women were not allowed to go to school. Her father worked as a railway worker in the 1940s. Little Onyebuchi was initially kept at home while her younger brother was sent to school; but after persuading her parents to consider the benefits of her education, she spent her early childhood at an all-girl's missionary school. She lost her dad at the age of 9. A year later, Emecheta received a full scholarship to the Methodist Girls School, where she remained until the age of 16 when, in 1960, she got married to Sylvester Onwordi, a student to whom she had been engaged since she was 11 years old.

Buchi Emecheta in the middle

Onwordi relocated to the UK for college and was later joined by Emecheta. She gave birth to five children in six years. It was reported a rocky marriage - as chronicled in her autobiographical writings such as Second-Class Citizen. To elevate her mind, Emecheta wrote in her spare time; however, her husband was deeply suspicious of her writing, and he ultimately burned her first manuscript. According to her, she the novel The Bride Price, eventually published in 1976, would have been her first book but she had to rewrite it after it was destroyed: "There were five years between the two versions.

At the age of 22, Emecheta separeted from her husband. While working to support her five children alone, she earned a BSc degree in Sociology at the University of London.

She began writing about her experiences of Black British life in a regular column in the New Statesman, and a collection of these pieces became her first published book in 1972, In the Ditch. The semi-autobiographical book chronicled the struggles of a main character named Adah, who is forced to live in a housing estate while working as a librarian to support her five children. Her second novel published two years later, Second-Class Citizen (Allison and Busby, 1974), also drew on Emecheta's own experiences, and both books were eventually published in one volume under the title Adah's Story (Allison and Busby, 1983).

She was well known and received many awards. Among honours received during her literary career, Emecheta won the Jock. Campbell Award from the New Statesman in 1979, and was on Granta magazine's 1983 list of "Best of the Young British Novelists".

In September 2004, she appeared in the historic "A Great Day in London" photograph taken at the British Library, featuring 50 Black and Asian writers who have made major contributions to contemporary British literature. In 2005, she was made an OBE.

Credits to Wikipedia


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