London-based Nigerian poet and playwright, Efemena Agadama has described the demise of world literary icon, Prof Chinua Achebe as a great loss not only to Africa but to the entire world.
He said Achebe started writing when the world had a different perception of the African continent which he fearlessly challenged. “He challenged that wrong notion not through reductionist diplomacy but by the very standard that was being used at that era – brave writings and that notion and unfair mindset of Africa was changed forever.”
According to Agadama, it is a reductionist philosophy for people to refer Achebe, whose work is being used in different continents has been translated in over 50 world’s languages, as just a great Nigerian or African writer.
“Achebe is one of the world’s greatest writers that ever lived so we as Nigerians, especially writers, should avoid the classification of Achebe as one of Africa’s greatest writers. That is reductionist to a literary icon that gave birth to a new style of writing in the world.
“As a writer, he helped to sharpen the pen of many African writers and lit the way. He raised men and fearlessly spoke the truth. And as a politician, he didn’t fit into politics because great writers can’t make good politicians due to their love of saying undiluted truths and challenging the unrepentant forces that enjoy enslaving the masses and burying hard truths.”