Chinua Achebe, Africa’s Greatest Literary Export – Jacob Zuma

Nigerian author Chinua Achebe gestures during a news conference held during Frankfurt bookfair October 12, 2002.The South African President, Mr  Jacob Zuma, says Africa owes a debt of gratitude to late Nigerian author Chinua Achebe in view of his contributions to African literature.

Zuma said this Friday in Johannesburg while expressing his deepest condolences to the Nigerian government and the family of late Achebe.

According to a statement by the presidential spokesman, Mr Mac Maharaj, said Zuma expressed his deepest condolences “on the sad passing away of the distinguished Nigerian author’’.

“I have learnt with great sadness of the passing away of this colossus of African writing. Chinua Achebe was Nigeria’s and indeed Africa’s greatest literary export and a legend of African literature.

“It was in his famous novel `Things Fall Apart’ that many Africans saw themselves in literature and arts at the time when most of the writing was about Africans but not by Africans.

“Africa owes a debt of gratitude to the writer, Achebe.

“On behalf of the South African government and all her people, we wish to send our deepest condolences to the Achebe family, his home country, Nigeria and the whole literary community,” Zuma said.



  1. Africans and Nigerians in particular have lose an icon. Late professor Chinua Achebe had already immortalised himself with his indelible mark he had printed in the heart of the world, that is novel entitled: ‘Things Fall Apart’. I am personally shocked and depressed over his death, because I just discussed his matter to my students on friday morning, and I never knew that he was already on his way to his ancestor.