Nigerian author Chinua Achebe received a huge recognition from his hometown of Anambra State in Nigeria as Governor Chukwuma Soludo renamed the state’s International Passenger and Cargo Airport after Achebe.
Regarded as the father of African literature, Chinua Achebe was a Nigerian novelist, poet, critic, and winner of the 2007 Man Booker International Prize. His debut novel Things Fall Apart (1958) is the most widely studied, translated, and read African novel. Achebe was born in Ogidi in Idemili North Local Government Area of the state and died on March 21, 2013, at age 82, in Boston, Massachusetts.
Vanguard reports that Governor of Anambra State, Soludo made the announcement on Sunday in Awka at Nigeria’s 63rd Independence Day parade. He began his speech by describing Achebe as Africa’s greatest unsung hero:
Chinua Achebe was an African and global hero and yet unsung at home. Achebe rejected Nigeria’s national honors twice in protest against what he perceived as injustice against his home state Anambra. Today, Anambra will finally honor Chinua Achebe.
Governon Soludo added there is a broad consensus that there is “no one more deserving” to grace the name of the first airport in Anambra State, located in the town of Umueri.
According to Vanguard, Soludo praised Achebe for his literary legacy to the world and to Africa, claiming that legacy is about impacting human life and civilization:
Achebe, a Nigerian novelist, poet, and critic, gave the African literature an identity and a voice and he rightly reconstructed and refined the identify of the people . . . Achebe was not a president or governor or military. He did not build bridges or roads or airports but he will outlive most presidents, governors and ministers in our minds.
Chinua Achebe International Airport will be an international airport, and the governor will work with the Federal Government to validate its international status.
Congrats to Achebe on this amazing honor!