Onyebuchi Emecheta: Nigerian Influencer

152-x-212-youthrevolutionaryparty-wordpress-comOur Influencer are people that impact their world in their own little way, they go the extra mile to achieve success and influence their host community.

Today we looking at the life of Onyebuchi Emecheta, well acknowledged as Buchi.

This influencer was born in Nigeria on July 21, 1944. She was a Nigerian-born British novelist who wrote plays and autobiography, as well as work for children. She authors several books, including Second-Class Citizen, The Pride Prize, The Slave Girl and The Joys of Motherhood, Double Yoke, In The Slave Girl, etc she won local and international several awards including the New Statesman’s jock Campbell award. Her themes of child slavery, motherhood, female independence and freedom through education gained recognition from critics and honours.

She is an advocacy in the literary space and the domestication of feminism within the ambience of womanism through her works devoted to exploring the place of the female in a highly patriarchal society. Nigerian literary scholars and African feminist literature writer, she was a leading Nigerian literary theorist and a consummate scribbler with a passion for fighting the woman cause, an authority in, who rose to prominent with her unique feminist bent was The Joys of Motherhood. She was one of the most foremost, prolific Nigerian authors, having written more than twenty books.

Buchi was a writer who had brought the history of female oppression and exploitation to the fore. She wasn’t, strictly speaking, a feminist in the radical sense, but she emphasized in her writings the need that, in any relationship, the woman should not be an underdog.

She has been characterised as “the first successful black woman novelist living in Britain after 1948.

The main source of inspiration for her writing, however, was Africa, and in particular the villages of Ibusa in (Delta State) Nigeria.

Why we really enjoy her writing is that she presented her own experiences in a fictional manner; so, whole reading her, we can identify with her characters and their experiences in the sense in which we can say she was among the very first to highlight the plight of African women in her writings.

Buchi once described her stories as “stories of the world…[where]… women face the universal problems of poverty and oppression, and the longer they stay, no matter where they have come from originally, the more the problems become identical.”

Then tragedy struck!  Her father died. She was barely eight years old by then. Despite all the promise of the life of the intellect ahead of her, despite her visible intelligence due to the top-flight results she must have earned in the primary school classes she may have attended. That her father died would have spelt the end of the road for Buchi Emecheta but for something that has remained a major plank of the progress, the remarkable progress, the unstoppable progress, the celebratory progress that has set Ibusa apart as a domain of progress and development. That thing is communal effort. In Ibusa town, Nigeria the saying that “it takes a village to train a child”, is still coming true today.

Buchi opened up her wings and soared like the eagle. She studied voraciously. She became the Buchi that was known and celebrated across the globe.

She is a product of hard work; the single mother who raised five children and still found the time to author 21 books.  The challenges she faced and overcame were fully reflected in Buchi’s often-autobiographical literary harvest. Her literary fecundity won her the honour and significance.

She facilitates a creative writing workshop for younger writers. A lot of young person who attended writing workshop found her to be of immense encouragement to their fledgling art. She lived a life of great productivity that she lifted herself to the pantheon of the immortals; for as long as her books continue to be read.

A committed writer and a master story teller, Buchi has left a loaded basket of books and literary materials widely recommended and in use in different parts of the world.

She kicked the bucket on 25 January 2017.

Why the loss is so painful; a further mile away from the golden morning when the artist was priest, prophet and pilot of enlightenment and joy.

Her iconoclastic and firm commitment to living her art through personal example would be missed.

Buchi’s works strengthened the foundations of feminist writings in Africa. Her novels were the young students’ favourites, even when they shot the mind of the mature reader into the realms of philosophy.

May Buchi’s soul and fertile; imagination rest in peace.

She typifies a success story that will continue to serve as a role model to every girl child all over the world.

 

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