“Chinua Achebe, one of the most premier minds of Africa, often hailed as the father of African modern literature has immensely contributed to the growth of African literature, making it very rich and thriving,” opined Prof C Naganna, former Director of Prasaranga, University of Mysore.
He was speaking at a special lecture organised by the department of English, SBRR Mahajana First Grade College, Mysuru. Prof Naganna spoke at length on Achebe as a writer and his novel ‘Things Fall Apart’.
Narrating what made Achebe write Things Fall Apart, a seminal work which has celebrated its golden jubilee year of publication in 2008, Prof Naganna said that Achebe was critical of the Euro-centric portrayal of Africa by many English writers. Hence the writer strongly felt that “We have to tell our own story”, because the soul of Africa was criticised.
Prof Naganna fondly remembered Achebe’s visit to the University of Mysore in 1982 and his association with the great writer. Throwing light on Achebe’s personality, it was pointed out that characteristically the writer had rejected the highest award of Nigeria- Grand Commander of the Federal Republic. Neither Achebe was ruffled when Wole Soyinka, another great writer of Africa was the first one to be conferred with the Nobel Prize for literature nor glad that a fellow writer had been chosen. Achebe had remarked; “Nobel Prize is European; it is not African”.
The head of the department of English Manjunath, lecturers and students were present.