Chimamanda Adichie’s mother Mrs. Grace Ijeoma Adichie was laid to rest on May 1. She died exactly two month before on March 1, which coincidentally was her husband’s 89th posthumous birthday. Adichie recently talked about the painful experience of losing both parents in such quick succession in Facebook post titled “How Does A Heart Break Twice?
The burial took place in Adichie’s hometown, Abba, in Njikoka Local Government Area of Anambra State. It was well-attended, as friends, families, and members of the community congregated to memorialize Mrs. Adichie’s life. Sympathizers from both within and outside the country, including members of the Society of Young Nigerian Writers (Anambra State Chapter), were present. Adichie’s husband, Dr. Ivara Esege and their daughter were also present.
In his homily during the burial mass, which held at St. Paul’s Catholic Church, Abba, the Auxiliary Bishop Jonas Benson Okoye of the Awka Catholic Diocese, who consoled the Adichie Family for the double tragedy that befell them within a very short period of time, exhorted them to continue their mother’s legacy.
In an interview with newsmen, Chimamanda Adichie, who earlier read the scriptural texts during the Burial Mass, described her mother as a great and humble woman, who lived a life worthy of emulation, even as she promised to live a life that would make her mother proud anywhere she is. She said, “Both in this life and in my next life, she will still be my mother. My mother was kind and warm, funny and fun, and intelligent and sharp. And she was very very supportive of all of us, her children. What I am today is because of how she raised me up and what she planted in me. I want to live my life in a way that I hope to make her proud wherever she is.”
On what she hopes to hold on to from her mother’s life: “My mother taught me to always have ambition and follow it, because she also had ambition and followed it. She taught me to be kind. She taught me to see people as people. My mother saw people as people, and treated everyone with respect, irrespective of one’s social status. And I want to live my life like that.”
Born in 1943, Mrs. Adichie was an administrator and the first female Registrar at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. She was also a permanent member of the Anambra State Universal Basic Education board (ASUBEB). She is survived by Ijeoma Adichie, Uchenna Adichie, Chuks Adichie, Okey Adichie, Chimamanda Adichie, and Kenechukwu Adichie (children).
All photos via bellanaija.com