Posted by News Express | 23 March 2013 | 3,585 times
The University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) has been thrown into mourning over the death of foremost African writer Prof. Chinua Achebe, who died Thursday, March 21, at Boston, United States. Prof. Achebe is closely linked to the UNN, where he taught for many years after the Nigerian civil war of 1967-1970, serving as professor of literature as well as researcher and latter director of the Institute of African Studies.
UNN Vice-Chancellor Prof. Bartho Okolo in a statement said the University feels “deep sadness and sense of immense loss the demise of a distinguished member of the UNN family, Prof. Chinualumogu Albert Achebe.”
Okolo, the 13th Vice Chancellor of the University of Nigeria, declared: “Prof. Achebe was one of the academic titans whose presence on the faculty served as a beacon of light that drew the world to the University of Nigeria.”
He added: “After the epochal Things Fall Apart that gave a voice to African literature and its people, Achebe continued his pioneering endeavours with the founding of Okike, a foremost journal of African literature that birthed the careers of many a distinguished writer. His work in leading research into the cultures of the Igbo and various groups in the Institute of African Studies further cemented the reputation of the University of Nigeria as a centre of liberal learning in the best traditions.”
Speaking further on the legacy of the late author of several notable books, the UNN Vice-Chancellor declared that “Achebe in his work gave to the language, culture and people of Igbo land a universality that positioned it as one of the major ethnic groups of human civilisation.”
Okolo said UNN commiserates with the Achebe family, “the global literary and academic communities and all mankind on the loss of our distinguished former faculty member.”
News Express learnt that flags in the university would fly at half-mast in honour of the departed academic titan. In addition, Okolo has assured that “UNN will unfold a programme to honour Achebe and would be privileged to partake in all activities aimed at honouring this truly distinguished giant and contributor to the human race.”
•Photo: The departed Prof. Achebe.
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