Chimamanda Adichie with her parents.

Prof. James Nwoye Adichie, father of acclaimed novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, has passed on. The news broke earlier today in the Nigerian news media.

Aged 88, Prof J. N. Adichie, as he was popularly designated, reportedly died Wednesday (June 10) night at Chira Memorial Hospital, Awkuzu Oyi Local Government Area of Anambra state.

The news of his death was confirmed by his son Okey Adichie via phone correspondence with Daily Trust. The family subsequently made a public statement on Prof. Adichie’s passing:

A life so beautifully lived deserves to be beautifully remembered. With deepest sorrow, the Adichie family announce the death of our beloved husband and father, Professor James Nwoye Adichie, on Wednesday June 10, 2020.

He was 88 years old.

He received his PhD in statistics from Berkeley and went on to become Nigeria’s first professor of statistics. His dedicated life’s work was at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where he was named professor emeritus in 2016. Upon his retirement, he lived in his hometown, Abba, Njikoka Local Government Area, Anambra State.

He is survived by his wife Mrs. Grace Ifeoma Adichie; their six children: Ijeoma, Uchenna, Chuks, Okechukwu, Chimamanda and Kenechukwu; as well as nine grandchildren, in-laws and many relatives.

Funeral arrangements will be announced in due course.

Chuks Adichie
For the family

Born in Abba in 1932, Prof J. N. Adichie had his primary education at Nimo Primary School and Awkuzu Primary School and secondary education at Our Lady’s High School Onitsha (1947-48) and Yaba Technical Institute, Lagos (1948-1950).

He attended the University College, Ibadan where he studied Mathematics from 1957-60, graduating with honors. He worked at the Central Bank of Nigeria and later at the newly-established Nigerian College of Arts, Science and Technology in Enugu (now University of Nigeria, Nsukka) before moving to the US where he obtained a Ph.D in Statistics from the University of California, Berkley in 1966.

Upon returning to Nigeria, he held various positions at the University of Nigeria, steadily climbing the ranks until he became Nigeria’s first professor of statistics in 1976. He retired from the university in 1997, having once served as Deputy Vice Chancellor.

Prof J. N. Adichie is survived by his wife Ifeoma Grace Adichie, six children and many grandchildren.

Knowing how much Chimamanda Adichie adores her father, we can only imagine how devastating this loss must be for her and her family.

May his soul rest in peace.