Subscribe to Newsletter
Monthly Newsletter: Join more than 5,000 African literature enthusiasts!
Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our "Guide to African Novels."

RIP

 The Concubine was my first encounter with Elechi Amadi’s work. A secondary school classmate lent me the book. I loved the genius of Amadi’s writing. Certain aspects of the story were familiar to someone like myself, a child brought up in an Igbo society. Perhaps, that’s why the novel has always enveloped me with nostalgia.

The novel left me with the realization that one could write stories about one’s cultures and traditions so passionately without holding back—in other to educate and to entertain.

As I grew older and became a writer, I realized that Amadi was an icon. I became aware of the role his work played in strengthening the African literary tradition. I began to search for his other works, enjoying The Great Ponds as much as I did The Concubine. When my dad gave me Sunset In Biafra, it made me hunger for more knowledge about the Biafran story. I became interested in the events that took place during the war and the many stories told about these events. That’s how I came to read Madiebo’s The Nigerian Revolution & The Biafran War.

On June 29, news broke of Amadi’s passing. He was said to have died in a Port Harcourt Hospital. The cause of his death remains undisclosed. It was a sad day for the African literary community as we mourned the loss of such a cherished literary soul.

Now the iroko has fallen, and if it were in the times of old, the Ikoro would sound for days and ear-tickling tales of Amadi’s greatness would be passed from mouth to mouth.

Though Amadi has joined his ancestors, we celebrate a long life spent enriching the world with the beauty and nutrition of art in its purity and authenticity, and for helping many young artists embrace their own narratives.

 

**********

About the Author:

Portrait-Udenwe-e1434978957315Obinna Udenwe is a prize winning Nigerian writer. He debut novel, a conspiracy thriller titled Satans and Shaitans, was published by Jacaranda last year. His works have appeared in the Kalahari Review, Tribe-write, Flair Magazine, Kadunaboy and in Literary & Travel Magazine. Satans and Shaitans, was published in October 2014. His short story was featured in the African Roar 2014
collection. When he is not traveling all over the world, he shares his time between Abakaliki and Enugu.

I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

One Response to “Obituary | Beating the Ikoro in Tribute to Elechi Amadi | by Obinna Udenwe” Subscribe

  1. Amaka Anozie July 4, 2016 at 11:35 am #

    2 days ago, I spent some time gisting a Kenyan friend about the Concubine. It was the least I could do. Rest in Peace Elechi Amadi.

Leave a Reply

Welcome to Brittle Paper, your go-to site for African writing and literary culture. We bring you all the latest news and juicy updates on publications, authors, events, prizes, and lifestyle. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram (@brittlepaper) and sign up for our "I love African Literature" newsletter.

Monthly Newsletter!

Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our
"Guide to African Novels."

Archives

The Heart of It: Working Through Xenophobia in South Africa | Ruksana Elk

XENOPHOBIA - South African civil society and private citizens march in protest against xenophobic violence in Johannesburg. EPA-EFE and Yeshiel Panchia

READ: 15 Pieces to Guide Your Understanding of Xenophobia in (South) Africa Talking xenophobia with South Africans of all classes […]

The Brittle Paper Interview with the Caine Prize 2019 Winner: Lesley Nneka Arimah

Lesley Nneka Arimah with bust of Sir Michael Caine - credit to John Cobb slash Caine Prize

In July, Lesley Nneka Arimah received the 2019 Caine Prize, the award’s twentieth edition, for her short story “Skinned,” published […]

Hollywood or Nollywood? As Americanah TV Series Goes to HBO, Actress Stella Damasus Suggests Industry Slight & Chika Unigwe Responds

danai gurira, lupita nyong'o, chimamanda adichie, stella damasus, chika unigwe

The Americanah TV series adaptation, starring Lupita Nyong’o and written by Danai Gurira, has been ordered by HBO Max. The […]

15 Pieces to Guide Your Understanding of Xenophobia in (South) Africa

xenophobia in south africa - photo by guillerme sartori for agence france press and getty images

Once again, this September, xenophobic violence was unleashed on other Africans, mostly Nigerians, in South Africa: businesses were closed, shops […]

Johary Ravaloson’s Return to the Enchanted Island Is the Second Novel from Madagascar to Be Translated into English

johary ravaloson - winds from elsewhere - graph (1)

In May 2018, we brought news of the first novel by a writer from Madagascar to be translated into English: […]

Sundays at Saint Steven’s | Davina Philomena Kawuma | Poetry

unsplash3

when god runs out of money (how, no one says) once a week, these days, we come to where the […]

Thanks for signing up!

Never miss out on new posts. Subscribe to a digest, too:

No thanks, I only want the monthly newsletter.