"THERE WAS A LANGUAGE"....God forbid!!

Posted by Chineme on Friday, March 29, 2013 Under: Events
Yesterday we mourned the killing of men, women, boys and girls in the luxury bus bomb explosion. May God have mercy on us.

Today we mark the passing of one of our greats, a legend, a hero, a colossus in Igbo land, a man whose works brought pre colonial Igbo life into international spotlight with books such as ‘Things fall apart’ ‘Arrow of God’, ‘ No longer at ease’, and most recently ‘There was a country: a personal history of Biafra’. In true Igbo tradition, when a great man like Chinua Achebe passes on, we weep not nor wail. Rather we celebrate the life he lived and hold on to the mantle that has dropped, because this symbolizes the passing of the baton to the next generation.

I remember meeting a Xhosa girl in South Africa in 2007. As we talked she realized that I was from Nigeria and the next thing she asked me was about Chinua Achebe and Things fall apart. She wanted to know if I was from that part of Nigeria and if the story was a record of real events or just fiction. She was literally glowing as she recalled events in the book. Naturally, as a well grounded Ada Igbo, I let off a couple of proverbs with their interpretations. By so doing, I let her into the world of the Igbos where she caught a glimpse of what Achebe meant when he wrote ‘…proverbs are the palm-oil with which words are eaten’. More than that, I caught a glimpse of greatness; what it means to be much known and loved; what it means to touch a billion lives with just pen and paper. I felt like a star, just to have been identified as someone from Achebe’s part of the world.

Chinualumogu (meaning may God fight for me) Achebe wrote about Igbo people. Things fall apart has been translated into 45 other languages. Should we not be proud of Igbo language?

Without a language there is no community.

May our story not degenerate from ‘There was a country’ to ‘There was a language’!

Bikonu umu nnem ka anyi gaa n’iru na-asu Igbo.

Dalu nu o!

In : Events 


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