Biography of Chinua Achebe

Topics: Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe, Igbo people Pages: 5 (2073 words) Published: November 10, 2008
Chinua Achebe: Africa most beloved author
The Prominent Igbo writer, famous for his novels describing the effects of western customs and values on traditional African society. Achebe’s satire and his keen ear for spoken language have made him one of the most highly esteemed African writers in English.

Chinua Achebe was born in eastern Nigeria on November 16, 1930 Isaiah and Janet Achebe (Bucker pars.1). Isaiah Okafor Achebe was a catechist for the Church Missionary Society and his wife to traveled Eastern Nigeria evangelist before settling in ogidi, Isaiah’s ancestral Igbo village, and five years after Chinua Achebe’s birth (Bucker pars 2). Growing up in Ogidi, Achebe he began to learn English at the age of eight and had contact with both Christian and Igbo religious beliefs and customs. In 1936 Achebe attend St. Phillip’s central. He spent about 2 week in the religious class for young child then was move up to a higher class when a reverend first notice him (Bio Achebe par 1). One teacher even commented on him to be the student with the best handwriting in class, and the reading skills. Every week he attended Sunday school and special evangelical services, held monthly. Achebe was selected fourteen to attend Government College, a highly secondary school in Umuahia. Modeled on the British public school, and funded by the colonial administration, Government College had been established in 1929 to educate Nigeria’s future elite. It had rigorous academics standards was vigorously egalitarian, accepting boys purely on the base of ability (Britannica par 2). English was the dominant language at the school, not only for proficiency but to provide a common tongue for pupils from different Nigerian language group (Britannica par 2). However Achebe got punish for asking a student in Igbo to pass the soap even through the school wanted them to communicate in the language of their colonizers. Once There Achebe was double promoted in his first year, completing first two years in studies one, and spending only four years in secondary school, instead of the standard five. Unsuited to the sports regiment at the school instead Achebe belong to a group of six exceedingly studious pupils. There he explore the library of the school and learn about author such as Booker T. Washington and David Copperfield (Achebe bio par 3). Upon graduation, Achebe accepted a scholarship to study medicine at University College in Ibadan, but after one year decided to switch to the study of English literature, forfeiting his scholarship. With financial assistance from his older brother John and received a government bursary, he was able to continue his studies. In 1950 Achebe wrote a piece for the University Herald entitled “Polar Undergraduate”. This was his debut as an author, in the piece he used irony and humor to celebrate the intellectual vigor of his classmates, later the piece was collected in Girls at War and other stories (1972), was Achebe first published fiction. In his third year Achebe became the editor of the University Herald.

After the final examination in 1953, Achebe was awarded a second-class degree unsure after graduation where to proceed he return back to his hometown Ogidi to sort through his option. While in his hometown contemplating on possible career paths, one of his old friend came from the University to visit him and advice him to apply for an English teaching position at the merchants light school at Oba. It was a ramshackle institution with crumbling infrastructure and a meagre library; the school was built around a resident called “Bad Brush”- sections of land consider to be tainted by evil spirit. As a teacher he urged his students to read extensively and be original in their work, but most of his student didn’t have access to the newspaper he read as a student so he made his own availble in the classroom. He taught at Oba for four months, but when an opportunity arose 1954 to work for the Nigerian Broadcasting Services...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Chinua Achebe Essay
  • Essay on Achebes Biography
  • No Longer At Ease, By Chinua Achebe Essay
  • Chinua Achebe Powerpoint Essay
  • Chinua Achebe Research Paper
  • Essay about Civil Peace By Chinua Achebe
  • Essay on Chinua Achebe Isu Handout
  • Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free