Technology giant, Google,
honoured late Nigerian
literary icon, Chinua
Achebe, on its doodle on
Thursday.
Google Doodle is a special
logo on Google’s homepage
that is temporarily
alternated and intended to
celebrate holidays, events,
achievements and people.
Surrounded by iconic
images of his most famous
literary works, Wednesday’s
Doodle celebrates Achebe’s
legacy.
If he hadn’t died in March
of 2013, Achebe who is one
of Nigeria’s most popular
novelists, poets, professors, and
critics, would have clocked 87
today.
Google said on its website on
Thursday that Achebe had been
honoured to underscore his
status as a figure of 20th century
literature.
Google said, “One man took
it upon himself to tell the world
the story of Nigeria through the
eyes of its own people.”
Chinua Achebe was the
studious son of an evangelical
priest and a student of English
Literature.
He started writing in the 1950s,
choosing English as his medium
but weaving the storytelling
tradition of the Igbo people into
his books.
“His characters were insiders,
everyday people such as the
village chief (in Things Fall
Apart); the priest (in Arrow of
God) or the school teacher (in
A Man of the People). Through
their stories, we witness a Nigeria
at the crossroads of civilisation,
culture and generations.”
The search engine also said that
Achebe’s pen brought to life the
land and traditions of the Igbo,
the hum of everyday village life,
the anticipation and excitement
of sacred masquerades.
Google added that Achebe’s
pen brought to life the stories
of the elders and the honour of
warriors, the joy of family and
the grief of loss.
It said that Achebe was
considered by many to be
the father of modern African
literature and was awarded the
Man Booker Prize in 2007.
The novelist was born on
November 16, 1930. His first
novel, Things Fall Apart (1958),
often considered his best, is one
of the most widely read books in
modern African literature.
His journey into the world of
African literature began from
the University of Ibadan where
he studied English Literature
instead of medicine that was
earlier intended.
After Things Fall Apart –
which depicts the complex
customs of the Igbo people
– and the wide acceptance it
received, Achebe went on to
write No Longer at Ease (1960),
Arrow of God (1964), A Man of
the People (1966), and Anthills
of the Savannah (1987).
A titled Igbo chieftain himself,
Achebe’s novels focus on the
traditions of the Igbo society, the
effect of Christian influences,
and the clash of Western and
traditional African values
during and after the colonial era.
His style relies heavily on the
Igbo oral tradition and combines
straightforward narration with
representations of folk stories,
proverbs and oratory.
On March 22, 1990, Achebe
had a car accident that confined
him to the wheelchair for the
rest of his life.
He won, among others, the
Man Booker International Prize
in 2007.
In October 2012, Achebe’s
publishers, Penguin Books,
released what became his last
published book, ‘There Was a
Country: A Personal History of
Biafra.’ He died in March, the
following year.

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