The death of highly respected veteran novelist, Professor Chinua Achebe left the entire nation of Nigeria in a cold state. The 'Things Fall Apart' author who passed on in a Boston hospital in Massachusetts, U.S.A, was a champion of integrity and honour. Fellow legendary writers and close friends to the Professor in his lifetime, Wole Soyinka and John Pepper Clark issued a joint statement to Punch Newspaper, expressing their pain of losing a "brother, a colleague, a trailblazer and a doughty fighter" in the demise of Chinua Achebe.
Read their statement "On The Passing Of Chinua Achebe":
"For us, the loss of Chinua Achebe is, above all else, intensely personal. We have lost a brother, a colleague, a trailblazer and a doughty fighter...
"...Of the ‘pioneer quartet’ of contemporary Nigerian literature, two voices have been silenced – one, of the poet Christopher Okigbo, and now, the novelist Chinua Achebe.
It is perhaps difficult for outsiders of that intimate circle to appreciate this sense of depletion, but we take consolation in the young generation of writers to whom the baton has been passed, those who have already creatively ensured that there is no break in the continuum of the literary vocation.
We need to stress this at a critical time of Nigerian history, where the forces of darkness appear to overshadow the illumination of existence that literature represents.
These are forces that arrogantly pride themselves implacable and brutal enemies of what Chinua and his pen represented, not merely for the African continent, but for humanity.
Indeed, we cannot help wondering if the recent insensate massacre of Chinua’s people in Kano, only a few days ago, hastened the fatal undermining of that resilient will that had sustained him so many years after his crippling accident."