By Oluwatobi Opusunju
Tech giant, Google is dedicating its famous doodle to late Nigerian prolific writer and novelist, Chinua Achebe in celebration of his 87th posthumous birthday today, 16th of November.
Doodles are changes made to the Google logo to celebrate holidays, anniversaries, and the lives of famous artists, pioneers, and scientists.
Considered to be the father of modern African literature, Achebe gained worldwide attention for his first novel, ‘Things Fall Apart’ which was written in 1958.
According to The Economist, the novel is unarguably one of the most read books in the world and has been translated into more than 50 languages, with over 10 million copies sold.
The novel which follows the life of Okonkwo, an Igbo leader and local wrestling champion in the fictional Nigerian village of Umuofia, tells the story of Igbo’s earliest encounter with British colonial masters in the 1800s and the impact of colonial rule in Africa — the first time the story of European colonialism had been told from an African viewpoint.
His later novels include No Longer at Ease, Arrow of God, A Man of the People, and Anthills of the Savanna— all of which are successors of the previous novel in chronicling African history.
Achebe who also published collections of short stories, children books, poems and influential essays won ‘The Man Booker International Prize’ in 2007 and the Commonwealth poetry prize for his collection ‘Christmas in Biafra’.
He lived in the United States for several years in the 1970s as a Professor, but would later return to the US in 1990, after a car accident left him partially disabled and confined him to wheelchair.
Explaining why he moved to the US for medical attention, he said “I need to know that if I went to a pharmacist, the medicine there would be the drug that the bottle says it is.”
Meanwhile before his death on March 21, 2013 in the US, at the age of 82, Achebe had rejected twice, in 2004 and in 2011 government’s offer to name him Commander of the Federal Republic; one of Nigeria’s highest honors.
He cited unchecked corruption in government as his reason for turning down the awards.