Chimamanda Adiche pens an elegy to Chinua Achebe in Igbo [READ, TRANSLATION]

by Chimamanda Adichie

Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe addresses the Steve Biko memorial ceremony in Cape Town on  the 25th..

Ife mee,
Nnukwu ife mee,
Chinua Achebe anabago,
Onye edemede nke di,
Egwu, onye nnukwu uche, onye obi oma,
Keduzi onye anyi ga-eji eme onu?
Keduzi onye anyi ga-eji jee mba?
Keduzi onye ga-akwado anyi?
Ebenebe egbu o!
Anya mmili julu m anya,
Chinua Achebe, naba no ndokwa,
O ga-adili gi mma,
Naba na ndokwa.

English translation by Adaure Achumba

Something has happened
Something big/grave has happened,
Chinua Achebe is gone.
A great writer, a man of great wisdom, a man with a good heart.
Who shall we brag about?
Who are we going to tell the world about/take to other lands?
Who will guide us?
A storm has passed/a catastrophe has happened.
Tears fill my eyes.
Chinua Achebe rest in peace,
It shall be well with you.
Rest in peace.

This piece was published on Adaura Achumba’s website.

8 COMMENTS

  1. ihe nke a puru onu okwukwu, ma na ge nti n’ihe omimi nile o dere na akwukwo anyi ga enwe ako na uche di ka ya .

  2. My great Icon,may your humble and wise soul rest in the bosom of the onnipotent God.Amen.love you,miss you bye.

  3. I wonder why, why it has to be baba. Some see wisdom in dying. It sure is inevitable. For we all shall go one day. My grouse is in the timing. Though we have no right, don’t dare say power, to cease death from doing it’s rounds. If death needed visa, the American embassy would sure not grant it one. But I have a question for you. O! Death, why not the bad? Why leave the evil ones. O! Death, why now? Why not ever? Death, why our Chinua Achebe. Why?

  4. Chinua Achebe, naba no ndokwa,
    O ga-adili gi mma,
    Naba na ndokwa.

    Chinua Achebe, sun n re o
    Daadaa ni ti e
    Sun n ree o

    Chinua Achebe rest in peace,
    It shall be well with you.
    Rest in peace.

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