One of Africa’s greatest novelists Florence Onyebuchi Emecheta passed away on January 25th; another heavy blow to Nigeria’s creative industry coming shortly after the demise of electronic funk pioneer, William Onyeabor.

Buchi Emecheta is famed for her works like In the ditch, The joys of motherhood, Second class citizen and at least 19 other books which were mostly written from her personal experiences.

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The writer who lived mostly in the United Kingdom came dangerously close to being undiscovered. Married at 17 under tough circumstances, she abandoned all ideas about chasing dreams while she tended to her new family.

Buchi moved with her husband a few years after to the UK when he was admitted to study Accountancy, and between raising five children and dealing with a difficult spouse she began to write. Her first manuscript titled The Bride Price did not stand a chance- the one person she wanted to read it so badly ended up burning it in anger. It was a romance story.

She published a book with same title later and it was NOT a romantic ending.

Marital crisis nonetheless Buchi Emecheta started studying Sociology as she worked jobs to begin a new life with just her children. She devoted her work to addressing women’s lives; rights and how they are affected by societal issues and constraints. Although she did not want to be called a feminist, her words and very importantly her actions proved she was a proper one; believing and pursuing her rights to her personal choices and interests which released her potentials as a human being to the world, and subsequently using her art to liberate women. Once in an interview she asserted that “Women are capable of living for so many other reasons than men.”

Preach.

We are humbled and motivated by your strength; your contributions to your culture and your many personal achievements; Buchi Emecheta, thank you for the inspiration.

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