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chinua achebe funeral

Chinua Achebe was buried yesterday at his hometown in Ogidi, Anambra state.  Thousands of well-wishers came out to pay their last respects to a man who gave Africa so much. President Goodluck Jonathan attended in the company of Ghana’s President Mahama.

The funeral had a heavy political presence. Ministers, governors, and senators were present in considerable number.

I was expecting more support from the literary side of things.  Wole Soyinka and J. P. Clarke were absent. Achebe’s funeral is a significant event. It makes perfect sense that political figures would want to be associated with it. The next set of elections may seem far away to you, but any good politician is already thinking ahead and knows that any amount of public goodwill helps. What I don’t get is why the literary presence was not as conspicuous.

In the last 24 hours, I have read tons of reports on the event, but nothing touched me as much as when I read that Achebe’s wife Christie sang for him. “Achebe’s widow, Christie rendered a special song in honour of her husband which according to her she sang last when she renewed her marriage vow with Chinua Achebe.” — The Osun Defender

Check out the photos.

 

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Nigeria's President Jonathan and Ghana's President Mahama

Nigeria’s President Jonathan and Ghana’s President Mahama

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Even the village clown came to pay his respects.

Even the village clown came to pay his respects.

Mr. Book Vendor

Mr. Book Vendor

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Ainehi Edoro is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she teaches African literature. She received her doctorate at Duke University. She is the founder and editor of Brittle Paper and series editor of Ohio University Press’s Modern African Writer’s imprint.

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