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Today is Flora Nwapa‘s birthday and Google celebrates it with one of its signature anniversary doodle.

Flora Nwapa is Nigeria’s first female novelist. She was a close friend of Chinua Achebe who gave her her big break as a writer. Read the inspiring story here. Her most popular work is a Efuru, a dark, quirky love story set in a Nigerian village at the turn of the 20th century. She went on to write four other novels, short story collections, and children’s books. She also established Tana Press, a pioneering platform that created opportunities for women writers.

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Nwapa broke into the global literary scene at a time when African writing was largely male dominated. She, alongside women like Nadine Gordimer and, later, Bessie Head, opened the way for a generation of women to own and tell their stories.

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She has now been feature on one of over 2000 doodles that Google has shared on its home page over the last few years. Google celebrates her work because it believes that Nwapa, in her life and in her work, “reflects [its]…love for innovation.”

Her being featured on a Google doodle says a lot about Nwapa’s cultural influence and her status as a global icon. Even though we do not need Google to tell us how amazing Nwapa is, we are delighted that her life is being recognized on such a global platform.

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Post image via Flora Nwapa @ 50