According to the Minister of Information – Labaran Maku, literary icon, the late Prof. Chinua Achebe would have been a recipient of the Nobel Prize like other world renowned authors but his preference for African-related stories especially the Igbo tradition, was his undoing.
The minister, who said Achebe lived and died for his strong belief in exposing Africa’s rich culture to the world, added that he was unable to win the coveted prize because he refused to succumb to the literary taste of the international community.
Maku, speaking at the commendation service in honour of Achebe; organised by the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), in Abuja, extolled the ingenuity and doggedness of the late author in promoting African culture.
He said: ”I’m not totally surprise that late Chinua Achebe did not win the Nobel Prize in his lifetime. Rather than dancing to the tune, I mean the style of the Western world, he concentrated on our tradition here in Africa, especially that of the Igbo extraction, thereby projecting our culture in a good light to the whole world. We will miss him.”
When asked if Achebe would be immortalised as proposed by the National Assembly, Mr. Maku declined comment but noted that the late author had contributed immensely to the upliftment of the African culture in his books to the rest of the world.
He therefore urged Nigerians, particularly the youths, to emulate Achebe.