Nigerian author Chinua Achebe, author of “Things Fall Apart” has died, he was 82.
His death was announced by a government spokesman in Achebe’s home state of Anambra.
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan called him “a cultural icon” and said that his “frank, truthful and fearless interventions in national affairs will be greatly missed at home in Nigeria.”
Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki wrote a statement on his website stating:
I am deeply saddened by the news of Professor Achebe’s death because his intellectual wealth are treasures we may never find as a nation- all his articles, books and interviews released are kept on the most treasured side of my personal library and I visit and reflect on them for guidance on various issues from time to time.
In moments like this, we should come together as a nation, irrespective of the tribe, religion and social status, critically examine together in oneness the progressive ideologies of a an icon like Professor Achebe and thoroughly inject them into our political, economic, educational and social culture, never to let his effort on Nigeria be in vain.
On behalf of good people of my constituency and Senate Committee on Environment, I send my sincere condolence message to the families of the late professor Achebe and Nigerians.
Achebe received his country’s highest award for intellectual achievement, the Nigerian National Merit Award.
Achebe is a major part of African literature, and is popular all over the continent for his novels, especially “Anthills of the Savannah,” which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1987, and “Things Fall Apart.”
His final book, published last year, was about the Nigerian region of Biafra’s unsuccessful war for independence and resulting famine, “There Was a Country: A Personal History of Biafra.”
Achebe was born Nov. 16, 1930, in Ogidi in southern Nigeria.
Reuters contributed to this report.