just found out through loomnie that the famed Igbo historian, Professor Adiele Afigbo, died this morning. when one iroko tree falls, it is big news....but now it seems that of late several of our great ones are dying. just yesterday i twittered (yes, i twitter now) on how i had celestine ukwu on repeat and just this afternoon while driving, i cried as i listened to the old school highlife my dad and I used to dance to on saturday mornings. Egwu ndi a enweghi atu....works that can never be duplicated.....Achebe, Nwapa, Okigbo, Igwe, Egbuna, Isichei....were names that regularly graced our shelves. Most are aging and some are no more. I'd hate to get off tangent, but I sometimes wonder the kind of cultural legacy I will one day find myself passing down to my own children.***
Afigbo is a native of Okigwe, not too far away from my maternal home. He remains one of Igboland's most noted historians having authored several books on the history of southeastern Nigeria. His "Ropes of Sand," (a gift I received some years back from a good family friend), was probably my first formal introduction to Igbo history and origins. I remember only reading an excerpt of his other earlier work "The Warrant Chiefs: Indirect Rule in Southeastern Nigeria," during one of my many moments of procrastination. I have yet to read some of his later works, but hope to do so when chanced.
Professor Afigbo will be missed.
*** just to qualify this, i do believe that nigeria currently finds itself in somewhat of a cultural renaissance with some of the newer works that are coming out. i guess my comment here is more a reflection of wondering whether I, personally, would be able to share that culture with my children as effectively as my parents did. I look at my shelves and all i see are textbooks - "Bate's Guide to Physical Examination and History Taking" is not much of a literary legacy to pass down...sigh...
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