BUCHI EMECHETA

Considered by many to be one of the most important female African writers, she is greatly respected and admired for her creative and narrative writing about African women’s experiences in Africa and in Great Britain.

She said :

 “A man is never ugly”.

“A hungry man is an angry one.”

“I like to be called a Nigerian rather thansomebody from the Third World or the developing or whatever.”

“I work toward the liberation of women, but I’m not feminist. I’m just a woman.”

“Black women all over the world should re-unite and re-examine the way history has portrayed us.”

NAME: Florence Onyebuchi Emecheta
BORN: on 21 July 1944, in Lagos, Nigeria

DIED:25 January 2017. 

EDUCATION: after persuading her parents to consider the benefits of her education, she spent her early childhood at an all-girl’s missionary school. A year later, Emecheta received a full scholarship to the Methodist Girls School, where she remained until the

FAMILY LIFE: age of 16, in 1960, she married Sylvester Onwordi, a student to whom she had been engaged since she was 11 years old.

Onwordi immediately moved to London, UK, to attend university and Emecheta joined him. She gave birth to five children in six years. It was an unhappy and sometimes violent marriage. To keep her sanity, Emecheta wrote in her spare time; however, her husband was deeply suspicious of her writing, and he ultimately burned her first manuscript; she has said that The Bride Price, eventually published in 1976, would have been her first book but she had to rewrite it after it was destroyed: “There were five years between the two versions.”

At the age of 22, Emecheta left her husband. While working to support her five children alone, she earned a BSc degree in Sociology at the University of London

CAREER: worked as a library officer for the British Museum in London. Was a youth worker and sociologist for the Inner London Education Authority, and from 1976 to 1978 she was a community worker.

Following her success as an author, Emecheta travelled widely as a visiting professor and lecturer. From 1972 to 1979 she visited several American universities, including Pennsylvania State University, Rutgers University, the University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

From 1980 to 1981, she was senior resident fellow and visiting professor of English, University of Calabar, Nigeria. lectured at Yale University, and the University of London, as well as holding a fellowship at the University of London in 1986. 

She published over 20 books and received lot of awards. 

INSPIRATION: Just before Christmas, when my baby sister said she wanted books for the yuletide,  I was quick to indulge her. In the book Shop, I stumbled on Buchi’s Joys of Motherhood; I had read that book in my early secondary school days and because I couldn’t remember the story, I bought it along with Slave girl. I really enjoyed and learnt a lot reading them. 

On the 26th January 2017, after my quiet time, Ezeada’s post on Facebook about her death struck me especially I had this article already prepared for this category on the blog. Another friend who knew I had been reading her book told me of her death and when I told him, I had a draft prepared prior to her passing, he suggested I make it an eulogy. 

You’re a woman and a proud woman at that. 

A woman who didn’t allow her circumstances define her nor determine how far she rose. 

A woman who knew when to stay and when to have no more. 

A fighter and Achiever. 

A woman with history and scar. 

A woman who can write, and write beautifully. 

A mother, A proud Nigerian. 

An Inspirator. 

Credit: Wikipedia 

So what would you excuse be for not making it in life? Probably abuse? 

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